Capturing an authentic moment in writing

Being with Sali, August 1, 2012, on a full moon night

Norman Zierold, an associate and author, had suggested I write about my experiences after visiting my sweetheart Sally Peden at Parkview Care Center, while they were still fresh. That way, he said, I would have an authentic record for some future use, which, he added, would be a lot easier than relying on memory. Aside from the poems inspired by her, I wish I had done so more often. But I did find one precious account from over four years ago that stands out for me. It took place during a full moon night and ended with a poem. Here is that journal entry:

Went to see Sali Wednesday night, August 1, 2012, between 8:45 to 9:30 pm, full moon night. I was dropping off some supplies for her and came into her room to see if she might be awake. She was sort of sleeping in bed. I came up close to her and spoke quietly. She smiled, opened her eyes slightly and started to talk. I spoke to her some more. When it became clear to her that I was really there she became animated trying to say how much she loved me. I said the same to her. She was happy and giggled from time to time. It was a powerful sweet experience just being with her. It was joyful for both of us.

I brought a chair over and sat next to her at the head of the bed. I leaned in through the open space where the bedrail ended and put my arms around her. My heart was at peace, happy; I felt whole again. That sweet memory of what it was like to be together made me see how empty my time alone on the computer back home was compared to sharing this joy.

The peace and bliss I was feeling was palpable. She felt it too and we both laughed from time to time. Even with her physical and mental limitations, she was able to radiate this powerful spiritual reality from within herself.

Life is a mystery, and a blessing, in ways that are unfathomable, in the most unexpected situations. I spontaneously spoke out the experience I was having with her and then quickly wrote these 3 lines down.

This is the calming center
This is the place of sweetness
Lying next to you

Since I wasn’t actually lying next to her I later revised the last line to read: Being here with you. Then I completed the poem.

Being with Sali

This is the calming center
This is the place of sweetness
Being here with you

All that I knew before this
All that I thought important
Simply was not true

You radiate truth … beauty
You’re giving me so much more
Than I’m giving you

Just by being who you are

Ken Chawkin
Fairfield, Iowa
August 4, 2012

Sally Peden would pass, October 1, 2016, four years and two months later. I’ll share that experience of our final moments together, which I wrote in a poem; and what happened with her ashes during another full moon, in a future post. An earlier poem, This Quiet Love, with links to others, will give you an understanding of our relationship, and what Sali meant to me; as well as this recent description of her Memorial and Vedic Cremation Ceremony, by friend and author, Valerie Gangas: Life in Love with You.

Here is that update: An early attempt at some kind of closure with a poem on Sali’s passing and auspicious times.

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8 Responses to “Capturing an authentic moment in writing”

  1. Margot Says:

    So sweet, wonderful and endearing!!! THANK YOU!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amy Ruff Says:

    This is so beautiful, Ken. I found that after my brother died I did a lot of journaling, and it was so so healing. You write beautifully. Amy

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nathanael Chawkin Says:

    A sweet reminder of your innocent sweet and playful way with us as young children ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Elizabeth Says:

    Oh, OH, Oh. You are Ram, bringing Wholeness to this world of too much specificity. WOW…Kenny…..congratulations.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This Quiet Love, a #LovePoem from Kenny, for Sally on #ValentinesDay | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] this most recent post, Capturing an authentic moment in writing, Being with Sali, August 1, 2012, on a full moon night. It concludes with an update, of […]

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  6. An early attempt at some kind of closure with a poem on Sali’s passing and auspicious times | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] Ken Chawkin's articles & poems: Transcendental Meditation, consciousness & enlightenment « Capturing an authentic moment in writing […]

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  7. For Us—a tanka honoring Sali and what we shared | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] in her mind and body due to Dementia—drew us even closer together. I lovingly cared for her, and experienced joy when we were together, even as I continued to grieve and worry about her when we were apart. It also fulfilled a lifelong […]

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