Processing shock and loss takes many forms. For me, physicality is key. I need to be present in the charred space, exploring at the scene. I bear witness. I feel it intensely. And then I start to draw or write to release it.
I went up to 555 this morning and climbed over into the center of the house. I was careful to watch for places where the floor dropped away and where charred beams were not as solid as they seemed. In solitude, I dug around and looked for objects. I found the edge of the bedroom cupboard with a few pieces of clothing that had been buried deep in it. A broken frame that had layers of certificates in it that now looked like singed pirate maps. A little iron teapot without its lid. Wire coils from unknown mechanisms were strew around. A broken dish. There’s nothing, nothing, nothing. I didn’t stay long.
This afternoon, I took a nap and had the most vivid dream of walking through the house with Mrs. Kawasaki. We stepped from the dining room down into the kitchen. The scene was unusually vivid and detailed. I could feel my body moving through the space, noticed all the objects in the rooms, the spring of floors, textures of the walls, and height of the steps. I woke up startled that I wasn’t actually there, then let myself back into the dreamspace to walk through and remember the house some more. I am sad that it is gone.
After my nap, I got up and started to draw details of the charred beam I photographed on Saturday. It’s very beautiful. Sad but lovely. I will continue to work on this artful etude and let my thoughts wander in meditation and contemplation. It will help me feel better.