February 1, 2015

POETRY BY DR. MEL WALDMAN "BACK IN OGUNQUIT"


Mel Waldman, Ph. D.





Dr. Mel Waldman is a psychologist, poet, and writer. He is a past winner of the literary GRADIVA AWARD in Psychoanalysis and was nominated for a PUSHCART PRIZE in literature. He is the author of 11 books.



BACK IN OGUNQUIT


I imagine I’m back in Ogunquit with my wife in the late summer of 2011. We often returned to the Beautiful Place by the Sea in July or August and stayed at the Seafarer’s Motel, across from the Ogunquit Playhouse, on the other side of Main Street. 

I imagine. Look! There we are.



After feasting on an exotic omelet or luscious blueberry pancakes for breakfast at Bessie’s, in the center of town, we taste a sensuous sun as we stroll along the sweet-smelling sultry avenue.



We turn onto Bourne Lane, pass Jonathan’s, and saunter off to Perkins Cove where we drift in and out of quaint art galleries and gift shops.



Time melts beneath the sprawling sun, a canopy of illusory joy. Time disappears and we exist in the mind-altering moment, a magical interlude, until we meander to Jackie’s Too for lunch.



We sit on the terrace a few feet from the rocks and seagulls and the Atlantic Ocean. The waves are quiet now. I gaze adoringly at my sensuous wife with soulful dark brown eyes that beckon and welcome me into her private universe.



She is the pulchritudinous queen of my being. I should tell her how much I love her. But I don’t. (A premonition of loss overwhelms me.)



I remove our disposable Kodak camera from my Barnes & Noble bag and take pictures of my photogenic wife with the sea and seagulls and rocks in the background. She smiles with overflowing joy and then snaps a few pictures of me.



(When I look at her, my preternatural eyes see my lovely wife trapped in a future circle of death. I am afraid. But silently, my soul whispers words of love and prayer and healing.)



After lunch, strangers click the camera and capture us together on film, two lovers frozen in time.



We hold hands and disappear in the moment that dies again and again.







Before we leave, the azure sky turns black, the calm waves rush furiously to shore, and the seagulls sail away, fleeing from the rocks.



The tempest is coming,



We may never return to Ogunquit. In a few months, my wife will undergo surgery, develop sepsis, and come close to death. We will pass through the storm that suddenly threatens our life together and our dreams and even time, but not our love.



Time dissolves. Three years disappear with the blink of an eye. It is the summer of 2014.



Tomorrow, I will tell her how much I love her. I will never stop caressing her with words from my soul.


MY SISTER,



DO YOU REMEMBER?



 
My sister, do you remember the lost years of our youth, a vast labyrinth of light and darkness, as paradoxical as the sadness of love and the redemptive surrender to loss, before Mother’s premature death?



Of course, any other time for her demise, even the distant winter of old age, with a pristine landscape and the deep snow rising toward a dying red sun of glory, outside her home, and a celestial living room window with a soothing view of quiet surroundings, would have been too soon, her life too short.



The little woman, our mother, passed into the motionless silence of the endless sleep, so long ago, only half-a-century old.



My sister, do you remember?



And after Mother’s death, how many deaths have we suffered, how many loved ones have we mourned, my beloved sister, stoic widow and woman of strength?



Now, as the future shrinks and the past expands, we gaze at our lost panorama, mourn for the dead, and feast on the power of love.



THE DARK SIDE OF HEALING




I am a healer.



I hear trauma stories. Without receiving these unspeakable revelations, I would be someone else. I can’t imagine any other life; wouldn’t choose another way.



I am a healer by design and destiny.



A magnet since childhood, I attracted sufferers. Folks flocked to me for fixing and just by being in my presence, some seemed to heal. That’s the way it’s always been.



I’ve got a secret.



The dark side of healing exists. It looms over me. It is a giant shadow and the monster I fear.



This is the chilling truth.



To empower my patients, I’ve got to hold their pain and become a quiet container of their seething hell.



It is an act of courage.



To be a catalyst of change, I must risk going mad. Yet if I’m mad enough to risk going mad, I can survive any temporary insanity in the therapy session and heal.



Trust and letting go are the two sides of the therapy key.



I am a healer. I hear trauma stories. It is an act of courage, for the dark side of healing exists and threatens me. It may shatter my soul. But I trust it won’t. I will return from this dangerous journey in one piece, alive and well, safe and sane.



I am a healer. I trust.


 ~Dr. Mel Waldman












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