Tag Archives: loss

I was visiting with a fellow human being this week, an artist, a healer. She told me something that I have considered all week. Perhaps it was the reference to something so mysterious, or maybe it was how it incited my imagination, or maybe it was that it is just a fact. Things, people, even places disappear, and we never lay eyes on them again. But that is not exactly what she said.  What she said was, “Let go of the single socks in your sock drawer.”

When she said it, I imagined all the missing socks. They were hiking in droves, some massive migration. To where, I don’t know.  All I know is that they were leaving. They never left a note, never a word indicating their imminent departure. One day, they just up and left. So do I keep the other single socks in hopes of the return of the now invisible others? Or do I keep them as a reminder that things can go missing? A sort of tally of things that I have lost. Or do I keep them to shepherd the lonely and abandoned; after all, I have been lonely and abandoned in my life and I wouldn’t want someone to toss me in the rag bag or worse, the kitchen trash bin.

At some point in my life, I noticed the single socks. And being an organized sort of person, I set up a system to manage this dilemma.  It is my nature to make sense of things. So I periodically gathered the losers up, tied them into a parcel using one of their own and, on the next inquiry, if their mates didn’t show up, I tossed the lot of them. Poor things, it was rare that the others ever returned. And I did feel badly. I wanted the others to return, for everyone to feel whole and happy again. It was a practical system I had developed, but even so, it didn’t suit another aspect of my being.  I am a romantic. It felt cruel, or at least wasteful. There was so much potential in the metaphor; too much to just throw it all away. So for a while the kids and I turned them into puppets, stuffed them with cat nip, or wore them as mismatched as they were.

What about the socks in your sock drawer? How many have jumped ship? How many are determined to stay the course as reminders of what could have been, or of what once was? And what about you? Do you even know what is in there? Are you afraid to look? Is it easy to let the loners go? Is it necessary to help them find new meaning in life? Can you let go of the great mystery of what happens to the socks? And then how do you live in a world where things just up and disappear?

Today is the new moon in Gemini. It is conjunct with the Sun and Venus and nicely aspected by Jupiter. Think a perfect pair of the finest socks. You love them. They are the best money can buy. Go ahead and wear them with the satisfaction of knowing that even if they disappear, you will always have Paris.

In the midst of what you see as problematic, it can be difficult to recognize the opportunities. I can help you discover a new way of thinking that will assist you in managing and negotiating life’s obstacles. You will find that this new way of thinking provides you opportunities that you hadn’t previously noticed as well as affords you the confidence and desire to live your life in the driver’s seat.

Tami Satterfield, MSW, LCSW-C, NBCCH, HTP is a licensed psychotherapist who practices solution-oriented healing from a deep ecological perspective. Her specialities include hypnosis for anxiety, performance, and creativity. Sessions on-line or in Boulder, Colorado include cutting edge brain therapies that will change the way you think. Learn more at

Oliver in a Winter Wonderland

“I love that old man,” he said
And hunched over swinging his arms and picking up his feet,
Looking like an elephant muppet.
Flippity flop, flippity flop,
He showed me how you moved across the floor and out the door.
Like a puppet in a curly white coat,
Feet made of mops,
Off you went.

We calculated you were nearly 98 years old
When you didn’t come back.
We called and called for you
And we called others
To call and call for you.
Searching the yard, the road, the woods;
making a wide berth around the river,
Your favorite morning drink.

From the street I heard
The great moan of a tree just before it lays down.
I ran, knowing
Before I ever descended down that hill.
The earth quaked up out of me.
The trees picked it up and the early January sky filled
As the river valley echoed it back to me.
This drowning wake I came to know as ours.

And the other,
Dressed for handling papers and pens,
Squatted on the muddy bank and
Agreed to be keeper of time, witness of grief,
Pulled us from what was becoming our own etheric, watery world
And helped lift you from the gentle drink you rested in.
So peaceful looking.
I couldn’t help but notice.

Your beautiful tendrils of hair afloat like that of a mermaid.
Your body relaxed in the cold, clear Gunpowder River
And for a moment it all made sense.
You, that lovely, graceful creature.
In the flow of life.
Setting off.
Floating away.
F l o a t i n g o n b y.

By the tree, where you had minded over a decade of laughing kids,
Barking and nipping at their untucked shirts as they defied gravity from a tire swing.
And the boy, who is now a man,
Came flying through the field of beasts of burden.
Still and wide-eyed, they watched, bearing witness to our drama.
And down that hill
He fell to his knees and cried “No!” at seeing you so still.
And I heard her cat cries as they broke into sobs of sorrow from miles away.

I imagine
That everyone in the river valley felt our grief that morning
Vibrate through their kitchens
As they poured coffee.
For a moment and in a moment,
They paused,
“Did you feel that? What was that?”
Hymns of the Greek Chorus.

He carried you up to the garden where all before you lie.
And the earth was kind and opened easily for you.
We placed you in a bed of forgiving dirt.
Forgiving us
For our human tangle of doubt and fear.
Our clumsy words,
Flippity flopped, flippity flopped,
Absorbed into the soft clay hole of our hearts.

And like the earth,
And the river that morning,
The night sky opened to the Heavens.
A sailor’s paradise.
Jupiter sat right above your grave.
Stars and planets shivered in revery as you passed,
Curtseying and bowing to your greatness.
And he and she and he and I stood on this earth and waved goodbye.