Keep From Crying I Started To Sing

ns river

Out Of A Sense Of Loss One Suffers, But Love Survives

In The Woods Of Cape Breton Alone

July 24, ‘82

I expected to find Mike back at the beach, but he was still a no show. Only when I was cleaning my bike at a gas station did I finally run into him. He had left his billfold in a phone booth and had to backtrack to find it. He lost a whole day in the process. After he told me his story, and after both of us had taken showers and had eaten a dinner of tuna fish sandwiches, we were still no closer to figuring out our future plans. Mike had refigured his time and had come up with a couple of extra days. He wanted to bicycle the entire Cabet Trail. That sounded like a good idea to me except for the fact that my time was running out also. I still had to bicycle back to Michigan (not to mention that our sunny days had given way to clouds and rain). I decided to head south instead. Mike would board a train and head back to Michigan, but first he would continue to bike around the Cape. We parted on good terms. Our goodbyes were short, though. If I had my way, goodbyes were always short.

We separated under normal circumstances. However, the effect of that separation was anything but normal. Yesterday, after we had parted, I felt very melancholy. The abruptness of leaving Mike bothered me, and coupled with the thought that my father would not greet me upon my return home depressed me severely. He had died last year. My defense mechanism kicked in, though. To keep from crying I started to sing. I sang morning, afternoon, and on into the evening—until my voice gave out. That kind of emotional intensity brought with it a very high level of sensitivity. The scenery became animated. In Cape Breton the scenery was beautiful anyway, but with my heightened sensitivity, it jumped out at me. Even though I had bicycled through the same area only three or four days ago, and the sun was shining to boot, I was now experiencing the mountains, inlets, bays, creeks, streams, and rivers in a totally different way. Everything was absolutely gorgeous. I was still depressed, tired, and wet, but somehow that whole experience had become sublime!

I’m alone now, in the woods, listening to the pitter-patter of rain on my tent, with an ache in my stomach that won’t go away. Mike and I are physically, as well as mentally apart, and I am sad because of it. This feeling of emptiness is not strange. “Breaking up is hard to do,” isn’t that what the song says? Am I really breaking up with Mike? Am I in love with him? Was I in love with him all along? Is this why I can’t sleep? Love is not a dirty word, is it? I love Mike. There, I’ve said it. It’s in writing; I can see it. I feel better. Don’t ask me why. I just do. The pain of separation is less now. Don’t ask me why. I don’t know. The distance remains; I can’t change that, but boundaries do not contain love. Mike is a beautiful person. Maybe less beautiful then he used to be (I am to), but love isn’t that fickle. Out of a sense of loss, one suffers, but love survives. It’s ubiquitous. As the breath of the universe, love penetrates all. Wounded lovers look to the healing powers of time, but love, unconditional love for sure, renders time meaningless. The divine becomes Divine through love; and I am its witness. Sweet dreams, Mike. We’ll be together again. I’m sure of it. Goodbye—and thanks!

July 26

Yesterday, when I arrived back in Antigonish, I found a note attached to the bulletin board. Bill was known for his planning abilities, so I wasn’t surprised to find a note informing me that he would be in on the 1pm train. I was looking forward to seeing him. I was also, however, a little uncertain about biking all the way back to Michigan with him. Time would tell on that one.

After borrowing a map, I figured my route and I will have to average 72 miles a day for the next 25 days in order to get back to Michigan on schedule. Probably that is an unrealistic figure, but it is certainly something to strive for. And, that bit of information will help me impress upon Bill that I am not into unnecessary delays.

I’m presently sitting in the Antigonish youth hostel. I just had a nice chat with two young ladies from France who are backpacking Canada. Last night I took in a movie—The Road Warrior. That was fun, and now I feel rested and clean, and am ready to meet Bill. I’m kind of excited.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: