In a switch from my usual Sondheim-ing, Joni Mitchell-ing, and Phoebe Snow-ing, tonight I am listening to a rosary on YouTube.
This Roman Catholic chanting was the music of my life before those others. Tonight, a Saturday night, resurrected was my aching loneliness. It is a tessellation of despairings, an accumulation of missings and might have beens, this mosaic; longing for lovers never met and too, those met; for a friend now gone; for those specific people, specific memories of them; that last time she called me honey; that last time he sat on my lap; that last time I delayed getting up and going to do what needed to be done because he was playing with the light blonde hairs on my arm; and too, the wondering memories; when was the last time she made one of her daily calls to me; when was the last time he kissed me; when was the last time he said goodnight; when was the last time he told me the truth/lied to me.
I thought: Each memory, each ache, is like a bead in some sick, too often revisited rosary, chanted again and again, and I never, never achieve absolution.
And I thought of my aunt, Sissie, who’d spent nearly all of her Saturday nights alone, her bed never shared except with nieces and nephews there, spending weekends, as she gave parents a break from the endless having of them.
I hate the church but I love the sound of the rosary, and the angelic hymns sung in the background.
I send up my sighs, from this, my current exile in this valley of tears, and wish I might imitate Sissie’s grace.