When I was a teenager neighborhood friends I had connected with moved away, the way that neighborhood friends do. It wasn’t far but it wasn’t nearly as close. I have a memory that kind of haunts me about walking around the area the day after they left, passing by their house, feeling this kind of emptiness.
In my early 20’s I fell in love with a coffeehouse in downtown Dearborn. There was coffee of course but also whimsical decor, this chicken wrap with toum, music and poetry in the evenings, and friendly randos who quickly became confidants. It closed for renovations promising to reopen in a few months but it never did.
I enjoy the nature of endings in my work as they tend to allow for reflection and growth. I can also plan for them. They are explicitly expected, timed precisely, and everyone is on board. The term is x weeks long, the class is x hours, the midterm occurs in week x, and the final in week xy. But endings in most of life are never like this.
It feels like there has been a lot of endings over the last yearish. For me personally but also for so many around me. And I’m not exactly sure what to do with it – there has just been so much of it. I want to mourn but I also want to celebrate. I also want to learn and do better next time. I also want to scream and cry. I also want to spit in the face of any asshole who dares come at me with that “better to have loved and lost..” or “when one door closes..” crap.
To err is human. To end is human.
For now, in late autumn, in Michigan, with most of the trees bare and woody, it has been unseasonably warm. I’ll prepare for winter and darkness as best I can. I’ll plant amaryllis now for a splash of color in few weeks when the cold is sure to have set in. And I’ll wait and watch for some sign of newness.