Kage Baker died on January 31, 2010, at 1:14 AM.
She would have scolded me very sternly for remembering the date, or doing anything that even hinted at memorializing it. She herself tried to ignore death dates. But, having spent a lifetime as commensal organisms (an acquaintance once confessed she had thought we were only one person, called Cajun Kathleen), that’s proven impossible for me to do. And Kage can’t scold me into it, because – you know, she’s dead.
It nagged at me all day yestreday. It’s not the constant hollow pain it was, but it’s not something I ever forget, either. The lack of Kage has become a permanent part of me, a low-level pain like all the other low-level pains of aging. Most of the time, it’s easier to bear than arthritis, or the bad-tempered growling from my malicious kidneys. And then, from time to time, it leaps into agonizing brilliance, like looking too closely at an explosion.
But it’s been 5 years now. It’s gotten almost to the point where I just twitch and go on – yeah, that hurt like hell, but I still need to find the pickles on this grocery list … like putting too much weight on a sprained ankle: it hurts, you yelp, you remember you need to be more careful with that joint, and you limp on.
The only real problem was that I couldn’t write. I just stared at the screen and nothing happened. It’s a little better today, but my mind is still fettered. When this day is gone, I’ll return to life. I just need to sit quietly and catch my breath again.
It’s almost February 2nd – things to do! Time to get out the new candles, and build a shrine to the ground hog in the Lady Chapel. Send up a prayer to Brigid, in any of her manifestations, and be kind to lactating sheep.
See you tomorrow.