[Author’s note: Yes, it’s been a lifetime or two since I last blogged. Yes, buckets and buckets of things, bad, good and incredible have happened during this time. No, I’m not going to attempt to summarize or recap them here—that’s what Facebook is for. Yes, I’ll friend you as long as I see no evidence that you’re a bot or a teabagger. Yes, “Music Monday” and “Wordless Wednesday” are blog clichés used by sometimes lame bloggers who can’t just, well, write more, so they come up with cute concepts to prompt themselves to post more often. Anything else? That’s what the “Comment” box is for.]

Like most of us who aren’t dead (Widower joke. Ha fucking ha.), a good song can make me cry. Heck, a BAD song can make me cry, but it’s gotta be a really GOOD bad song. Most of the time, it doesn’t take a Psychology degree to figure out what about a certain song dovetails with our personal emotional landscape at that moment, even if it has little to do with what the songwriter might have been originally writing about. As Dave Matthews wrote:

Funny the way it is, not right or wrong
Somebody’s heart is broken and it becomes your favorite song

But other times, it’s more of a puzzle. More of a “Thick Picnic,” as Julie used to say. (She liked the concept so much it became the title of her first solo recording.) THIS was definitely a Thick Picnic.

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Since Facebook does not allow images wider than a 3:1 aspect ratio (why?), it seemed natural to post this image here. I took these images during the Saturday night gala during Camp Widow 2011, then stitched them together using the open-source program Hugin.

(Click and drag to pan the image; click to open full-size.)

So many awesome widowed people, all in the same room!

My dear widow friend from Australia, Simone, posted a couple of things that hit me like a ton of bricks. The more I have thought about them, the more I have seen them as a way forward from the unanswered questions raised in my last post, when I asked, “Should you trust your fear to keep you safe, or break it as shackles that are holding you back? When does your fear teach you not to throw your life away, and when does it prevent you from living? How can you tell?” Dr. Wayne Dyer has some guidance that really rings true:

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What are you afraid of, anyway? And why? Should you trust your fear to keep you safe, or break it as shackles that are holding you back? When does your fear teach you not to throw your life away, and when does it prevent you from living? How can you tell?

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GAWD! How do I get myself IN to these situations. (Shut up! Don’t answer that! Who asked you? No I didn’t, it was a rhetorical question!)

My friend Charlena recently said, “But is there really any other way to go but in over one’s head? Full out baby, that’s the way you play it, and it’s the best shit even though doing it this way hurts like hell.”

You know what? I’m tired of hurting. I’m exhausted by pain, anguish, uncertainty, soaring hopes dashed to pieces on jagged rocks. Flying without a net.

Truth is, I’m soft.

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