Cynthia Jobin, a blogging friend, passed away last month. I knew her voice through her poetry and generous, insightful comments on my blog and many others. Her comments bit sometimes too, and made me mad but those comments got me to look at my writing from a different viewpoint. She was honest – unreservedly so. I miss her presence.
At 7:00 this morning, as black turned to grey the colour of old long johns, a trio of cardinals in the maples along our street belted out a call and response folk song. It sounded like spring. Inside, I sipped the first cup of coffee of the day in my dark living room. I lit a tray of candles, let thoughts flicker. If I’m lucky I get about 10 minutes of quiet before others begin to rumble upstairs, footfalls thumping to and from the bathroom. The faucets squeak on, water runs, the faucets squeak off.
While I sat sipping, birdsong burst through the windows, so aggressively cheerful that I let their voices lead me barefoot onto the front porch where damp air licked my toes and icicles dripped around me. I scanned the top branches of the closest trees but dense grey light prevented me from seeing the birds.
As I looked up, crows took off from their rookery in the woods along Sawmill Creek. Beyond them, clouds covered the stars I knew were underneath. I decided that stars are punctures, places souls push through to an alternate universe. The brightness we think of as stars is their energy, glowing through the holes. That’s where Cynthia is, I think, reading her poetry out loud to the assembly, like a cardinal on a wet winter morning.
*Cynthia’s friend, Pauline King, wrote a lovely piece about her here.