Sunday, March 7, 2010


Dear Ellen

I am a tightrope walker. Behind me on this thin wire is everything I know about you, me and the world in general. Everything familiar and comforting pulls me back, but I can't turn around because the wire is shaking and my balance precarious. There's no net below me, just an abyss of loss, self pity, depression and fear which is constantly pulling at me. Each day is a fight to keep my balance, to avoid the
fall, each evening I find myself hanging on by this thin thread of a wire with just my fingers. Ahead of me is a platform of safety. It might as well be a mile away.
I know, it sounds so drama, but this is what my mind dreams of at night. I used to dream of flying, wonderful and light and free, now I dream of high wire acts.

It's been two months now. It's a lifetime which just happened yesterday in terms of time endured. My protective fog has lifted, leaving me with a clear mind to indulge in sharp images and unexpected emotions. If I falter on my thin wire, the fall is hard. I do fall, often, and sometimes the spiral downward is a relief, like breathing in while drowning to quicken the process. Maybe it's not so bad, I think, to stay here awhile, blocking the world out.

But then, your voice in my head. Clearly annoyed. You rarely indulged in self-pity and didn't tolerate it much in me. So we talk, well really, I talk and you listen. I sit in the bathtub with a glass of wine and the cat lying nearby as a witness. I talk until the glass is empty and the water cold, the cat now bored. I talk until I feel better, until I figure out a way to climb back up on the wire. I laugh at myself, how utterly absurd I am to think I could get away with self indulgence when you are listening.

Each day I find a new way to see things differently, to cope, to understand this grief.
I am a tightrope walker and the platform is only a mile away.



Shirley Corky Bruce said...

Oh dear Cathy...I feel so with you in emotions as you write. I wish that I didnt, and I wish that you didnt either, but we are both without the one we love, and so I feel with you and understand some of the emotions you have experienced. My husband Bill, of 29 years was killked in a helicopter crash in the gulf of maxico. He and 3 passengers were all killed. All 3 died and 1 was never found. Bill was the pilot.

I wish so that I were near you, as I long to hold you and tell you to just go on and sob your heart out. I am sure I would do the same thing with you. For some peculiar reason, the last year has been a very tough one for me emotionally. I have been grieving again, for Bill. I wish that I wouldnt, as it is sure not comforting. It confuses me...but then a lot of things do now days. Why? Old age pulling another sneaky trick? Hormones romping around a 75 year old? Heavens..I hope not. Well, it just is, isnt it? I try hard to keep a sense of humor, and sometimes it actually works...sometimes not. It took me years before I felt like a whole person again, for with his death I felt split into 2 parts. I was like I couldnt even walk very well, what with only 1 leg. It takes time to grow the other half of ones self. That, dear Cathy, is what you have ahead of you. Becoming a whole person again. Now I mean this most sincerely. Call or email me if there is anything I can ever do. Because I loved Ellen, well, I just love you too. I am so proud of you, are going after this so grandly. I am proud of you getting your gallery going and open. Do you have a blog or something showing your work?

My phone number is 801-261-8149. My email is
Much love, Corky Bruce (aka Shirley)

Anonymous said...

Dear Cathy,

I feel as though we've been eaves dropping on you... You have often let us in with your art with glimpses of your world... and now as you continue to journal... you have let us in deeper. It must be somewhat cathartic... Getting in out by posting it to this link to Ellen's Brain... this silent entity... this memory... this connection to the past live you lived... to this wonderful women that you loved so deeply... that we loved with you...

I have your pictures on my fridge along with the bookmark from the Celebration. It startles me sometimes... I think of you both and often put my hands to my lips for a kiss and touch the photo. Missing you both...

My love to you my dear friend,

r.alfemale said...

Dear Cathy,
Just want you to know that I admire your strength and feel so for your loss... I hope you find healing in your blogging and through your art. Surely there is comfort in knowing that you are not alone...
Robin Mead