Apologizing to the Dead

Sometimes people come and go, opportunities are missed, things are never said, or said exactly as one had hoped, stumbled over clumsy words and feelings, hoping to get it straight the next time when we — lost in a single moment.

That’s when Grief comes knocking at the door, and we have no choice — we must let him in. 

But we are the ones who choose how to grieve, however messy it may be, for this is a private matter, and its length is undetermined.

And we do have access, a glimpse of things we do not see — at least not consciously — what was once a person grieving on the other side, and who cannot be consoled, and cannot let go of those they loved. Or we can be the ones on the other side, sitting and waiting, grieving on the floor, searching for that door — until we don’t.

There’s nothing exotic here. These are the dimensions of dreams. We don’t need to hire charlatans to tell us what we already know: that those who are no longer with us will always be with us, regardless of what is on the other side — which depends on our beliefs.

And only the foolish would try to strike a deal with Time, help us lessen or shorten our suffering, give us a timeline, a clock, something to grasp. 

But Time has no interest in us. Even as specs of dust. The best we can expect is —complete indifference. And yet, time does play a vital role among the living.

There are no bargains to be made. There are no instruction manuals for grief — although many have undoubtedly profited handsomely from making such claims — and there is no escape.

However, we assume only the living grieve for those who are no longer amongst us. But have we ever considered those who are standing at the door are also grieving for those they will leave behind?



Film Review of The Dinner

Richard Gere is one of the most underrated actors, and I keep asking myself why. What is it with the Academy? What’s wrong with them? Until I realized he doesn’t belong there, never did, but somewhere else, beyond and above them.

This film has no happy ending. Instead, it’s ending is abrupt and gut-wrenching and tragedy lingers, as though the story hasn’t ended. Who knows? Maybe it has? Or, maybe it’s part of something larger? Maybe the Second part of the Trilogy is just around the corner?

This is best manifestation of someone who has a psychiatric diagnoses. Why? Because it doesn’t tell you. It shows you how deeply conflicted someone is when they know they have been compromised.

Their brains seldom refrain from producing a host of distortions, and though we know we’re still somewhere in there, the intellect and emotions have been sabotaged, and our defenses weakened.

We are powerless before such a formidable opponent who lives inside of us, and whose resources are vast and unparalleled. The odds aren’t looking good. And those persons know it.

But while this one character clearly cannot escape his demons, however brilliant he may be, the other characters are, as all humans, flawed and conflicted. And the moral compass keeps shifting.

Their motives are elusive and mysterious and cannot be easily determined. So the question you keep asking yourself while watching: What is going on? And the tension is almost unbearable.

It’s about a family. Brothers, wives, and children. Is he actually trying to hurt the brother? It’s possible. Besides, after all, he’s a powerful politician who has an unstable brother and the Governor’s race is tomorrow. Or is he trying to help and protect his brother? And what about the wives? Are they who they appear to be? If not, then who are they?

A crime has been committed by 2 boys. But are you sure it’s only 2 boys, or is there a 3rd boy, as well? The scene is replayed over and over, but the versions keep shifting. So which version is real?

And what have the parents done? Are their motives altruistic, sinister, or simply misunderstood? We can’t be sure because we are forced to consider the possibilities. And our instincts. It’s up to us to determine which context is real, and which one isn’t? And that’s what makes it so exciting.

The Business Card

For years I’ve wondered about business cards. How could I possibly explain who I am on a card, no bigger than 3” wide and 2” long? It was a problem with no solution nearby, so I tossed the idea aside.

What was the point of getting something that lacked the necessary information to convey who you are and what you do? I tried a few times, but those attempts went directly to trash, and then I stopped trying. 

And then, I figured it out. I knew precisely how I would introduce myself, without ever speaking a word.

Dreaming of Cameras

Had a dream about you last night. You were traveling and I already knew you traveled a lot, but in my dream, I realized you were never traveling towards me, but always away from me.

Interesting how dreams clearly explain things you may feel, but are distracted, because your focus is multifunctional, filled with real problems that must be solved. And this compromises your ability to access a deeper path to yourself, where everything you need to understand is there, because that’s where your soul is. And your soul never lies.

So when you dream, you are equipped with a camera that is precise and focused. It never misses a detail, because that camera is perfect and fully operational and never stops working.

It’s a perfect camera, beyond our comprehension and skill. And we will never be able to replicate it. It’s code is impenetrable, and sealed behind an invisible door. But it still sends information from a network of its own, built to protect it from those whose intentions are not pure.

That’s why I love cameras.
That’s why I love to dream.

In Search of a Title

In Search of a Title 

Though you spend years buried, knowing who you are, but unable to be, still there are leaks along the way, both good and bad, glimpses from above, colors so bright, impossible to ignore, even from below. 

Then something happens, not through the strength you know you have, but will not budge, but something outside yourself, from above, forces beyond your reach, forces that nudge you to be the person you know you are. 

And though the roots have always been strong, it’s branches gnarled, they shed and new ones, unlike any before, spread above and beyond, uncertain of how far, and though this sensation is new, you know it well, for this is who you are. 

And so you begin, lighter than ever before, though heaviness and darkness still prevail, but now are bathed under the fierce light of the sun. And so, you tread carefully, but with confidence, on a thread you were meant to walk, and though balanced, shakes ever so slightly, as its rhythm grows. 

And though you now are the person you’ve always been, you know that was merely a theory before, and stood as shadows do – not far from you, but far enough. But now, you and your shadow are one, your companion, while you walk upon this trail, and learn, things you could never before. 

But this is no easy task. 

Though filled with light, the sun behind you, darkness is still ahead, for light never stands alone, but is the consort of darkness, and this is how you balance the scales. And though the branches are no longer gnarled, and the engines roar, the road ahead is, as always, unknown. 

And so, you follow paths, which must be followed, however dark they may appear, until you reach a room filled with light, and the sun bathes your face, fully knowing who you are, until you don’t, for you never know when the end is near. 


Betty Barkas Hood