10:49:53 pm on
Monday 06 Dec 2021

Walking
AJ Robinson

I take many walks these days, many, many walks mostly for my health. I learned sitting at a desk for long periods, hour after hour, isn’t good for me; I need to get up and stretch, get my eyes to focus on something other than a computer screen. So, I take a half dozen walks each day.

Walks help.

Also, walking allows for quiet contemplation. I don’t have a computer in front of me, I’m not tapping away on my phone. I’m not one of those people who is glued to the screen and not paying attention to where I’m going. I usually don’t have someone walking with me. So, nothing to do and no one to talk to.

That leads to one thing: thinking. Often, it’s quite good. I get ideas for my columns.

I also think about my books and review plot points, characters and even outline complete conversations. Just the other day I considered an idea for a podcast and worked out the mechanism for my next puzzle box. Yeah, I think of some odd things all mashed together.

These days, I think of other events, too. I think of brothers Stephen and Gregory and, most especially, my mom. All are gone.

That means I must take tissues along on those walks. I sometimes laugh as it puts me in mind of that movie The Intern. DeNiro’s character explains to his younger co-workers the reason a man should carry a handkerchief; it’s there to offer to a lady in a time of distress. Yes, his character is quite the old school guy.

I’m lucky there are usually so few people around, on my walks. seldom must I explain my need for tissues. There’s also a nice little sitting area right outside my office.

The sitting place is quaint. there is a table table, chairs and a couch. It's right by a huge picture window. (See above)

I often sit there and look up at the clouds. This again puts me in mind of my mom. When I was quite young and we went to State Beach on Martha’s Vineyard, we’d sometimes sit and find shapes in the clouds.

So, these days, sitting in the couch or a chair is quite the nice trip down Memory Lane for me. I sit, I clear my mind of the tribulations of work, which are many. I listen to her whisper of the people and animals floating above us.

I often need many more tissues.

Sometimes, I think there must be something wrong with me, becoming so overcome with grief over such simple things as clouds. Yet, my wife, Jo Ann, says there’s nothing wrong with it. Everyone grieves in their own way and own time.

When it’s your mother, well, that’s a special sort of grief. It cuts deep to your soul and never heals. It’s more than simply learning to incorporate heartache into your mind.

Ironically, being an engineer is a help with that idea. I know that, for any project, you first need a good survey, an environmental assessment and a decent layout for the development. Putting the full set of plans together takes time and then it must be reviewed, revised, re-submitted and finally approved.

Then there’s the actual construction. Yes, it can take years; it's a long way from the first idea to the final product. Much the same when getting used to living without someone, especially family members, in your life.

So, if a silly set of plans for a shopping plaza or residential community can take that long, what’s wrong with me taking an equal amount of time to deal with such a terrible loss? Those walks will continue for as long as I’m able, which I hope will be many decades to come. The misery? Well, it’ll walk with me for a while longer, but in time we will part ways.

A life-long process.

What of the memories of those clouds? Those I shall cherish until my mother I are reunited. Learning to live with the fact important people are gone from your life is a lifelong process.m

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Working, again, as an engineeer, after years out of the field due to 2009 recession and slow recovery, Robinson finds time to write. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true. His teen vampire adventure novel, "Vampire Vendetta," will publish in 2020. Robinson continues to write books, screenplays and teleplays and keeps hoping for that big break.

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