Thursday, January 3

Reaching into the New Year . . .

Well, here we go, reaching into the New Year . . .

day after day into the unknown.

It gets less scary as we move forward.

Less like the beginning of the "Bad Year"

as the days collect behind us.

I didn't always feel this way.

I felt hopeful and fresh. Renewed even,

but then I learned what could be . . .

First, there was that friend of C's I was just vaguely aware of.

"JuJu" was the name he went by.

He died alone in his parents' house.

Friends left him there --

after he overdosed.

Scared I think.

That same summer it was the younger brother

of C's good friend and comrade.

He too died alone,

in an abandoned house,

down the street from his grandparents' home.

Green from rehab, he fled.

Took their car.

Drove into the city to buy drugs.

Another heroin overdose.

Tragically not found for a week.

His mother melted.

And then,

in September, when C himself was fresh from treatment,

he came home early to attend the funeral.

The son of a friend.

C's former roommate.

An entrepreneur.

A rock climber.

An athlete.

An addict.

On his way west,

back to a half-way house.

To a good life.

A healthy life.

He died alone in a hotel room

in Pittsburgh.

Of an overdose.

And so I count the days.

The days when nothing bad happens.

The days when all is calm.

All is bright.

And when the good days (like today) have passed

and they stack up higher

than the days ahead,

I will find hope that it may be

a Good Year after all.


  1. i want to say something but i'm not sure what. let me see if this typekey works first, before i babble on.

  2. oh goodie, i've been having trouble leaving comments with my typekey. maybe because i thought i was "gnewfry."

    anyway, i think if we were closer i'd give you a genuine hug of reassurance. not one of those internet *hugs* which are so easy to give they hardly seem real.

    i'm glad you felt comfortable enough to share a real concern. i'm just sorry that it is really hard.

    you're doing the best you can...providing a loving environment. take good care of yourself and know that i am thinking of you.

  3. You and I had a conversation last night in which you said this topic might be "too dark" for this venue. Art is all about expression. Expression should be a stained glass window to the soul. Sometimes the light that comes through that window is so bright that it projects colors through the hearts of everyone. And occasionally, it is so somber that it barely illuminates the reality that defines the basis of all artistic work.

    Your creativity is the sum total of everything you feel, experience, and hold as critical to life. The somber reflection is as vital as the whimsical breezes that lead you to experiment with color, lines, and media.

    Those who find joy in so many of your photographs, artwork, scrapbooks, cards, journal pages and this blog will understand that this appreciation is made possible through a much deeper reality. It will add a new dimension of warmth -- from the victory of belief in hope -- to the bright light that so often pours through the stained glass window of your soul.

    It may cause a lot of your readers to reflect on the frailty of their own lives, which is not an easy thing to share. And it may prompt others to want to write a response, but leave them grasping for the words to do justice to your statement. Expressing the human condition through art is a gift. Releasing that expression is its own relief. Fostering understanding through that release is the highest form of appreciation... A kind of appreciation best shared by ones eyes.

    The Lindbergh Baby
    --- And Your Paramour in Residence

  4. Not too somber for me....I agree with the comments above and wonder at the beauty of that response to your brave words! I feel twice blessed for having read both heartfelt expressions. I have a son who is here with us now...recovering...We still have no specific diagnosis....Drugs, depression, and the horrible possiblility of schizonphrenia. A lively, artist, athelete...indomitable spirit...How could this happen....? Your words are beautiful, supporting. I am so comforted....reading and having someone to tell my story to. Bless you ....and may this year bring you the quiet, peaceful tenderness you so obviously deserve....

  5. Hope and C somehow seem synonymous here too.

    Here's to hope...


    (you needed a tissue warning tag on that!)

  6. One never has words that equal the emotion that one feels.
    My heart aches for you.

  7. That was so beautifully expressed.I felt all those emotions coming from those words. You ended with strength and
    hope. Those are good emotions for the new year.

  8. light and dark dance

    embracing - loving...

    in difference and polarity

    we so accustomed to the light

    and sleeping in and through

    the darker hours

    the dark gives the light

    its scintillating and seductive


    the light - gives shape

    and substance

    to the dark...

    I love this dance - although...

    it is not always easy

    Leslie -

    you have shined your light

    into an area that asks

    to be illuminated

    this may be the harbinger

    of a new year - that we might...

    all of us look into those places

    of hiding and secrecy...

    our own private closets

    that the dark partner might

    emerge and be given a place

    at the banquet table...

    xox - eb.

  9. dark and light,
    day and night
    all this for balance,
    i guess,

    when thoughts get tooo heavy
    to bear ---->look to the right
    on this blog.

    and see the baby-widget
    ~~a floating little happiness~~
    soon to hatch.

    there. feel that?
    feel some hopefulness return?

    the light does not cancel
    out the dark, i know,

    but still,
    it helps to know
    the light will come,
    it will.

  10. Not sure what to say really but as you know from my blog, out of the depth of darkness in people's lives, slowly but surely comes the light. Hoping this comes soon.

  11. echoing the sentiments of hope for you and yours

  12. i just had a vision where we got the the end of the year and those unknown days are stacked a mile high in the good category.

    we never know who we are touching when we send our words out into the ether. but they will land where they are meant to be heard, just as you were meant to write them.

    so much love is wrapping around you this very minute. it's all good. and it will be all good.

    thanks leslie.

  13. wow - Leslie - look at all this love coming through - touch a nerve and you will get multiple reactions - all thought provoking and all coming from a place of love and hoping to embrace - you, C., and all those emerging into the light for clarity and healing...

    thanks so much for allowing this

    giving this a place at the table...

    xox - eb.

  14. We are swimming up through the dark....finding light in the most unexpected places.

    I think this blog world is a wonderful place to find some light, some lightNESS.

    Life is not an easy thing, so many struggle, so many find they just cannot find a way to stay here.

    I am holding you in my heart and sending all the light I can muster for this new year.


  15. in the dusty corners
    where hurt & pain dwell
    a sunbeam of softest light
    shines the beauty
    that will heal

  16. OMG are you going thru this? I am to the point of a good day/week is not getting that phone call in the night/day. A good year is he got thru another year and maybe this will be the year he wakes up and wants more from life.

  17. Leslie, my heart goes out to you, your fears are those that a mother never wants to have to deal with. I'm glad you shared this, sometimes this blogland of ours can give the support you/we need, when it's needed the most. Know that I'm thinking of you & yours, and hope that the pile of good & wonderful days will far exceed the other.

  18. Wishing you and C the best of new years. The very best.

  19. I feel your uncertainty, sorrow and bewilderment at these situations. A few years ago a wonderful ,young girl I had baby sat as a child died, also in Pittsburgh, from a Heroin OD. It didnt and still dosent make sense. She was IQ smart, super model beautiful and had a sweet personality and loving parents. A "bad batch" of heroin caught her. She too was found after days and days of not being seen. Her mother and father drove to her apt. and found her. I can't imagine recovering as a parent from any of these tragedies.
    Hugs & Prayers,

  20. leslie...i applaud your strength in sharing...i feel your painful nights awake...and days waiting...i have been where you are...many have...and many will follow us...we can only pray that the will to live will be stronger than the pain of addiction...i am sure you know that you are helpless to do anything but love him deeply...bless you, rebecca

  21. You have so much love pouring in Leslie know that we care and feel it also for you. You have made me realize it may be good to share what we are all going thru outloud? I am impressed that many read the blogs and what we say. We all have our own private(or not so)hells HUGS gf.

  22. coisa linda, parece um bebezinho....risos

  23. When I read this last week... it left me at a loss for words. Addiction is terribly debilitating for all. The addict is but one effected by the ravages of this dreaded disease, but there are other victims as well. And so I pray. I pray for those addicted, and for those who watch, and wait, and wonder. I pray for us all.

    Be well my dear Leslie,

  24. Life isnt all about fun and laughter is it....

    it can be so sorry to hear that you and C have had such a sad year

    I wish you both lots of strength and may it be boring and uneventful. Sometimes boring and uneventful is good..

  25. I don't know how to express how deep your words touched. Hugs and love to you. May the light enter through teensy cracks and send an embrace to all, those who struggle and suffer.. and try...

  26. This post knocked me to my knees. Through tears and gratitude, I thank you for sharing this.


  27. We love you C, you are important. We love you Leslie, more than you know.

  28. I just started a BP photo class with you and was not expecting to see a post like this when checking out your page...all too appropriate of a time for me. My stepson is here with us and is battling a terrible addiction. It is a sad and awful thing that is so hard to understand. I hope this year is a great one for you! And I have enjoyed viewing your photos...look forward to seeing more!