For over three months, I worked on planning Kara's celebration of life. Every morning, in my bullet journal, I wrote down my latest assignments under the words "Sparkle Show" with a line drawn beneath them. Now that the show is over, that section has a lot more white space in it. Last week, I even looked at my bullet journal and wondered if the Sparkle heading has become at this point a symptom of my inability to let go of Kara. After all, didn't we say goodbye to her on Saturday, January 20th? Isn't it time to move on to my own projects?
Then I realized: Screw that. This world will never not need more SPARKLE!
Often I wonder why I have suffered so much loss. A scientist would say there is no answer to that. A Buddhist would point to some esoteric condition of cyclic existence. A Catholic would say... I don't even know what a Catholic would say, and I am one (what is technically known as a "lapsed one"). By contrast, I know people who have barely lost any loved ones. And yeah, at the same time there are those who have suffered loss on a greater scale than I have. It makes no sense. So I have to make it make sense. Or anyway, that is what I want. Therefore, I will never stop practicing being the husband of Kara Muir.: Whatever that means for the time I remain on this plane of existence. And being her husband means keeping her sparkle going.
Anyway, Kara and I are so entwined that no matter what I come up with, she will be all over it, sparkling it up and glittering it down. No matter the theme. The medium. The genre.
I just found a letter she wrote to a friend back in 2021, speaking of herself and some friends getting fairy hair: "I love to be sparkly."
This is my path. My mission. Not because I am in denial that I have lost a spouse. But because the practice can help a lot of people. I'm not sentimentalizing when I call my wife a unicorn: Born to effervesce ("true, true," she once told me, deep into her illness), born to light up the dark forest, untamable and indomitable, and stronger than ever in her disembodied state. I see that in so many who knew her and in those who barely knew her but were changed by her for the better. To wax philosophical a moment, in a life that Thomas Hobbes called "nasty, brutish, and short," we need more fucking unicorns!
I have photos and videos from the Sparkle show that I will soon share. If you came to the event, I regret that I missed seeing you. Thank you for braving the icy roads to take the journey.
So then... deeper we go into the Sparkleverse!
I hope you will join me.
Until next time.
--Charles Austin Muir
Photo by Lenny Gotter