I haven’t posted in a while, I hadn’t intended to post again until the new year, but the past three weeks or so have been fully focused on my circle of friends here on my blog, and on one in particular.
I know I am not unusual in having had the opportunity to make many friends and some particularly deep connections with folk who blog – we stumble into each other in odd moments, like what we see and stick around. We are often introduced through another blog, usually in the comments where we air our thoughts and feelings (well, I do any way) generously, randomly and sometimes in great detail. 🙂 We find folk who resonate with us as well as having shared interests. It’s the resonating that is important to me, it probably is to you too.
My friend Cynthia reminded me that we first met through Derrick’s blog, I had forgotten the genesis of our friendship but she had not. We knew each well for less than two years – yet it seems we knew each well for much longer.
Our friendship grew quickly. We emailed and continued conversations started in a comment somewhere. We shared our opinions, our thoughts with honesty, sometimes acerbically, sometimes with humour, and sometimes with tears about hurt hearts. There was nothing that couldn’t be resolved, there was nothing that didn’t end with us bouncing humorously off each other. Despite having lived in different parts of the world and having followed very different paths on the journey, we found we held thoughts in common, about health, about education, about art, about spirituality, about life and death. Sometimes we ranted, sometimes we sighed, sometimes we amused ourselves and each other highly, sometimes we simply changed the subject.
I bought her book of poems, ‘A Certain Age’, loving so much of what I read on her blog. She ordered a light catcher, to be made in blues and oranges. Particular blues and oranges! I was aghast at her colour choices and kept trying to calm them down. “No, no!” she emailed back, “the other blue the bright one….” I strung some together and sent a photo, “Less amber,” she replied “more orange, the bright orange”
At last I got it right and she pronounced herself satisfied. It was spectacular!
Cynthia had a gypsy soul I decided. She agreed, but don’t spread it around she said – I can’t dance any more and I’ve lost my castanets and you can’t be a proper gypsy without castanets!
And then my gypsy souled friend admitted she was feeling unwell. I knew she had been struggling all through that last northern summer. She emailed and said she had finally given in and gone to be checked out. She was afraid the cancer had returned.
Cancer? What cancer? She had a bout of cancer some time back and had gone into remission six years ago. Cynthia was afraid it had now returned. She didn’t want to go the medical cancer route and she didn’t want the battle she thought she would have to endure.
I mostly ignored that email – I didn’t want her to go that route either. Another note arrived hot on its heels. The diagnosis was in. Cancer. Metastisized. A matter of time.
The time was two weeks. Two weeks from diagnosis to a peaceful passing with her beloved sister Jen beside her and Celtic lullabies playing on the CD.
Cynthia Jobin, poet, writer, calligrapher, artist, blogger, friend, passed away December 13th 2016.
Cynthia will be cremated today. She did not want a service, just her ashes to be scattered when the weather is more clement off the coast of New Hampshire.
Far away in New Zealand on the 13th of December, I sent my last daily email to her. The following morning I sat before my in-box and a little voice whispered in my ear to let her go.
We’ve lost a great gal from our blogging circle.
A wonderful poet – a great mind – a ready wit.
A particularly kind woman!
I thought you’d like to know and perhaps share the news as appropriate.
Cynthia’s sister Jen is happy to hear from any of her friends who would like to make contact. Her email is [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Cynthia told me that her friend and fellow blogger John (Looker) Stevens had offered to organise publication of a second volume of her poetry. She was ecstatic about the kind offer and with her energy failing and her sister’s help, gathered together some works and sent them to him. ‘They won’t go into the dumpster’ she wrote ‘Hallelujah!’
Cynthia’s intention was to make three last posts on her blog, poems already in her archives. She managed two.
I’ll leave you with the third:
The Sun Also Sets
Without a bedtime story or a lullabye
the evening’s blush sinks to a deeper red
then slips into a slit between the earth and sky
leaving our goodbyes lingering, unsaid.
I do not want to go, or let you go.
I want to dare this ending, call its bluff,
delay our parting with a sudden overflow
of words—too many and yet not enough–
while you, my dearest one, would choose
blunt disappearance, the mute way
to stanch an agony—those deeper blues
along the skyline fire—as if to say
the sun rises, the sun also sets.
So let it set. Let us let it. Let’s.
To listen to Cynthia read this poem, follow this link