Yesterday

A permanent archive dedicated to the memory of Jennifer Sloan. Read The Ravyn's story in poetry and prose. Post your own story or seek help in The Ravyn's Wings forum.

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LJAmara
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Yesterday

Post by LJAmara » Wed May 19, 2004 8:18 pm

It seems like only yesterday. I was lying out in the sun by the pool. Two teenage boys were engaged in some kind of water fight on the other side. A mother was teaching her daughter to swim. I watched bemusedly as the child, all of three years old I thought, climbed the stairs, quickly walked around to the side and jumped back in. I turned over to get the sun on my back. It was a lovely June Saturday. A few other people arrived and took their places, either to sun or to swim. I’d already done my daily laps. It was time to relax.

“Mom! Let’s go to the deep end!”

“Alright, but you have to swim out there. Kick your feet like I showed you.” A pause was followed by splashes and laughter. “Don’t flail your arms. Smooth strokes like I showed you.”

“Let’s go to the edge!”

“Ok. Are you gonna jump some more?”

“Yeah, but don’t catch me. Well, you can catch me after.”

“Ok.”

More laughing and splashing, then the sound of small feet approaching.

“Hi! My name is Serena but everybody calls me ‘Rena. What’s your name? I’m three!”

I turned over to see a grinning tow-head hovering beside my lounge chair, water dripping off of goose-pimpled skin. I laughed.

“Which question should I answer first?”

“I don’t care. What’s your name?”

“Lisa.”

“Mom! Come here! You need to meet Lisa!”

“Don’t bother the lady ‘Rena. Come on, let’s go back to the shallow side and practice some more.”

“Please!?! Just come on!”

“Ok, but just for a minute. We need to get going soon. It’s almost dinner time.”

I watched as she climbed the ladder. She was very petite, too skinny I thought. She wrung her black shoulder length hair out as she walked around to where I sat being regaled with stories of dinosaurs, leopards, monkeys and puppies.

“….T-rex is the best! He’s got three toes like this” the fingers curled into a dinosaur claw “ and his teeth are about that long!” The hands spread apart to show me an impossible seeming tooth length. I looked wide eyed as in disbelief. “Mom! Come on!”

“Hi!” I smiled up at her. “I’m Lisa, as I’m sure you heard already.”

She smiled nervously and our eyes met briefly before hers dropped to the ground self-consciously. ”Hi. I’m Kathie.”

Three thoughts ran almost simultaneously through my mind. The first was “That’s not her name, not really.” Followed by “Glass, that scar. Glass did that.” “My god, she’s so thin! Anorexic?”

“I see you’ve already met my little munchkin. I’m sorry if she’s bothering you.”

“Oh, no! She’s delightful!” Which she was. Now that the formalities were out of the way, ‘Rena set off on another tale of childhood delight involving her skill at diving and jumping. Kathie sat nervously on a lounge chair, biting her lip. I couldn’t help but think how completely opposite these two were. The one shy and visibly, painfully embarrassed, the other without reservation, talking about her whole world to a complete stranger.

We passed a few more minutes of animated conversation. Kathie, who was growing increasingly nervous, stood up and told ‘Rena it was time to go. It was getting to be dinnertime.

Rena made a face. “Five more minutes? I want to swim some more! Please?”

“No, it’s time to go now. We’ve been here long enough and I’m sure Lisa would like to get back to her sunbathing” She glanced at me, for support perhaps, then quickly looked down towards the ground again. I thought “There must be some really interesting cracks in the cement just there.”

“You need to mind your mom ‘Rena. If she says it’s time to go, then it’s time to go.”

“Awwww! Ok. Can we have macaroni and cheese mom? And a hot dog?”

“And some green beans to go with them.”

“Eewwww! Can we have corn instead?”

“Ok, corn it is. On the cob.”

“Tight!”

“It was very nice to meet you Lisa. I’m sorry if we bothered you.”

“Oh, no bother at all! ‘Rena? I’m glad you came over to talk to me. You’re a very special young lady. And, I think, so is your mom.” I caught her eyes and held them for a few seconds before they dropped to examine the concrete again. But wasn’t that a little bit of a smile I caught there? I think it was.

I watched as they walked around the pool, put on their sandals, gathered up towels and water bottles. I thought to myself, “What Kathie lacks in personality, ‘Rena definitely makes up for.” Which was immediately follwed by “Oh, that was sooooooo not nice!”

As if reading my thoughts, Kathie turned towards me, her facial expression unreadable from this distance. She raised a hand in a quick wave, turned and opened the gate. My eyes followed as they walked up the path to the building just to the west of the pool and tennis court. Building D. They climbed all three flights of stairs. One of four apartments then, 305, 6, 7 or 8. I don’t know why it mattered that I know this.

Sunday found me at the pool once more. I watched for Kathie and ‘Rena but they didn’t show, although I thought I caught a glimpse of Kathie on the balcony of the corner apartment. 307 then. I turned over and dozed in the sun.

The rest of that summer was a blur of emotions, ultimately culminating in the hardest and most rewarding relationship I have ever been in. I had no idea at the time what a psychological basket-case Kathie was, and in the interest of total honesty, she was a basket-case. It didn’t matter because by the end of June I was in love. The rest doesn’t really need to be delved into at this point. I will, however, make the admission that my thought on that first day about Kathie’s lack of personality turned out to be completely erroneous. On the other hand, I was dead on about the scar and the name.

It seems like only yesterday something so beautiful as to defy description had begun.

Yesterday it all came to an end.

8-17-77 - 5-16-04

The Ravyn flies with white wings.

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thief of dreams
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Post by thief of dreams » Wed May 19, 2004 9:02 pm

this is a beautiful tale that i will forever remember, no matter how many tears sting my eyes as i read this, over and over again, with your permission i would like to print this out and keep it... i dont know of any words to say that will help in any way and i dont think there really are any... this place of poetry will mourn yet carry on, i only hope that we carry on with Jenn in our hearts and try as best we can to help people, maybe do something, anything really for a complete stranger... even if it is just giving them a moment of your time to listen to them and offer a kind smile...
i wanty so badly to cast flaming arrows into 'heaven' and dhout words of fury at God over this but i wont, for i would think that wouldnt be what would be wanted but rather, ill try an smile through tears and always remember a quiet Ravyn whos wings helped to beat renewed breath into so many lost souls... and who really did help me to survive through some of the most turbulent times of my life...
Thank you Jenn, and thank you Lisa for letting us know of something that can not even come close to being easy to say.. thank you... and if you or the girls ever need anything.. and i mean anything... please let us know...
"Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings - always darker, emptier and simpler."
Friedrich Nietzsche

Miyu
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Post by Miyu » Wed May 19, 2004 9:16 pm

i am speechless.. :crying: i think thief pretty much covered it all, and more. Ravyn you would always be missed and loved. rest in peace...
and thank you sharing this lisa.

miyu

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moonflower
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Post by moonflower » Wed May 19, 2004 9:30 pm

i feel just.. numb..dear raven you will live on in our hearts forever..
thank you for sharing this sad information Lisa.. :darn: :crying: :darn:
inside each soul there is music...let the music play..

visit my poets page

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heinzs
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Post by heinzs » Wed May 19, 2004 9:32 pm

There are no words to express my grief.

I thought there would be an empty spot in my heart once I heard this news, but I've looked and it is such a full and warm place, for she has left a part of herself there. I am only one of many her soul has touched and made more human.

Fly, Ravyn, fly!
Freedom's in the sky.

I am happy that she at least was able to see what her book would look like in print.

Thank you, Lisa, for letting us know in this most poignant and memorable fashion.

HeinzS

As Jenn would say, *s*
**************************************
An' it harm none, do what ye will. Blessed Be.
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the quiet poet
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Post by the quiet poet » Wed May 19, 2004 9:36 pm

Never has someone been such a small part of my life, yet had such a profound effect upon me. Words escape me at this time, so I cannot truly express my feelings properly. :cry:

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Ven
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Post by Ven » Wed May 19, 2004 11:49 pm

I'm lost for adequate words ... I simply bow my head in silent respect.
.


"Forever is short thought when your skipping this close to the edge".

Ven's MYSPACE
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Moongem
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Post by Moongem » Thu May 20, 2004 12:15 am

She flew then, Lisa? She's left? She's gone... I should have known, the violets, she knew she wouldn't see them bloom. But, she told me a year... Goddamn it all to hell! I thought she would be here a year.

Jenn...

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bags123
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Post by bags123 » Thu May 20, 2004 4:11 am

May she find the peace in heaven that often eluded her in life. I'll miss her wit and the compassion she shared so readily. God speed Rayvn!
I prefer to keep an open mind,....but not so much that my brains fall out.- Carl Sagan
Your brain is like an umbrella. It only works when it's open- Someone Smart


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Leysa
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Post by Leysa » Thu May 20, 2004 5:48 am

Fly free, dear heart.

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debab
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Post by debab » Thu May 20, 2004 11:21 am

I am saddened to hear. Lisa, thank you for sharing your words and memories. Ravyn came into the hearts and minds of people , who heard her words of joy and struggle, and we were made the better for the hearing and understanding of her voice and mind. I can think of no finer thing to be said of a person's life.
>><<:::>><<:::>><<:::>><<:::>><<:::>><<:::>><<:::>><<:::>><<:::>><<

...Yet the stones remain less real to those who cannot
name them, or read the mute syllables graven in silica.
To see a red stone is less than seeing it as jasper—
metamorphic quartz, cousin to the flint the Kiowa
carved as arrowheads.
To name is to know and remember
_____________'Words', Dana Gioia







~*~

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BrightMindDarkHeart
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Post by BrightMindDarkHeart » Thu May 20, 2004 11:22 am

Oh my God.. Sorry if that doesn't sound right, that's all that's going through my head.. :cry: :cry: :cry:
Love is what makes the world go down, as does it turn souls sour, hearts black, and you, yourself, to stone.

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jeannerené
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Post by jeannerené » Thu May 20, 2004 12:58 pm

Thank you Lisa for sharing . . . May God stand by you and the children at this hour....

Soar above us Sweet Jenn . . .
... and his words purge up and outward,
expelled and onward through desert dust swallowed,
sands he says that gorge on simple sensibilities.
And, now he spits fragments, grit, extended vowels and elongated syllables
over cracked lips. Their sounds fall
piling round his boots…
~ jeannerené

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~breathe~


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redline_r

Post by redline_r » Thu May 20, 2004 3:24 pm

I'd come upon her stories only two days ago, and read them all in one sitting, and I was going to send a PM to this great writer that i didn't yet know, letting her know i was looking forward to the "freedom" she hinted at in her prologue.
thanks lisa, for that account of how that last chapter begins. condolences.
and to jenn, peace.

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spanky2007
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Post by spanky2007 » Thu May 20, 2004 7:22 pm

I know this isn't really the thing that I should be asking,but I didn't know Ravyn. I was just wondering how she died? I am sorry that she is gone eventhough I didn't know her. Just remember to look back on the good times not the bad.
~*-Don't try so hard, the best things come when you least expect them to.-*~
~*-Who do you turn too when the only one who can dry your tears is the one who made you cry-*~~*-Why does a rose represent love, when a rose always dies?-*~
~*-Never regret something that once made you smile-*~
~*-In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends-*~~*-Live today, fight tomrrow-*~

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