A few days ago I said to Aaron, “2014 has been really shitty to a lot of people so far” and Aaron said, “That’s what you said last year.” We’ve had some good times, for sure, in the new 2014, but I still want more, and expect more, really. haven’t we earned some peace?
Aaron sent this Larry Levis poem to some friends of ours, who have had some shitty 2014 themselves. Aaron said it wasn’t comforting, but it is, because Levis is such a good writer and because he writes about our own stupid lives, we despite everything, we like our lives.
Doesn’t Aaron know so much?
In the City of Light
The last thing my father did for me
Was map a way: he died, & so
Made death possible. If he could do it, I
Will also, someday, be so honored. Once,
At night, I walked through the lit streets
Of New York, from the Gramercy Park Hotel
Up Lexington & at that hour, alone,
I stopped hearing traffic, voices, the racket
Of spring wind lifting a newspaper high
Above the lights. The streets wet,
And shining. No sounds. Once,
When I saw my son be born, I thought
How loud this world must be to him, how final.
That night, out of respect for someone missing,
I stopped listening to it.
Out of respect for someone missing,
I have to say
This isn’t the whole story.
The fact is, I was still in love.
My father died, & I was still in love. I know
It’s in bad taste to say it quite this way. Tell me,
How would you say it?
The story goes: wanting to be alone & wanting
The easy loneliness of travelers,
I said good-bye in an airport & flew west.
It happened otherwise.
And where I’d held her close to me,
My skin felt raw, & flayed.
Descending, I looked down at light lacquering fields
Of pale vines, & small towns, each
With a water tower; then the shadows of wings;
My only advice is not to go away.
Or, go away. Most
Of my decisions have been wrong.
When I wake, I lift cold water
To my face. I close my eyes.
A body wishes to be held, & held, & what
Can you do about that?
Because there are faces I might never see again,
There are two things I want to remember
About light, & what it does to us.
Her bright, green eyes at an airport—how they widened
As if in disbelief;
And my father opening the gate: a lit, & silent
Fellow twin parents Lyndsey and Emily, whose twin boys were born in Brooklyn, found out a year ago that their son Mac (16 months old at the time) had cancer. Some twin moms did a fundraiser when Mac was first diagnosed, and they were amazed by the generosity of strangers.
Thanks to those who gave, the family has been able to meet unforeseen expenses such as travel costs, medical copays, and full-time childcare for Mac’s twin brother. They have bravely battled Mac’s disease, trying chemo, radiation, and clinical trials. They have also been split apart, with Emily working and the Lyndsey often in the hospital with Mac.
Unfortunately, Mac’s disease was resistant to all treatments, and they are out of options. The disease is taking over Mac’s body. In order to spend Mac’s last weeks together as a family, Emily must take unpaid leave from her job, making their financial situation difficult once again.
Please consider donating and sharing with your friends, so that this family can be together while facing the most unbearable loss a parent can face. As a friend says,
"To lose a child is the worst thing a parent can face. To find yourself bankrupt when it’s all over is just bullsh*t. Sadly, that is what happens to a lot of cancer families."
Go to this page to donate: https://www.youcaring.com/macalister