Selections From the Life of an Old Woman by Allison Kohn

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Allison Kohn

Coriolis was my best friend. She loved the music of the trees and grasses, and the soft songs of nature. She understood the music of the violin when I played it. She heard the wind sing through the strings, and the beautiful classical music touched her soul. In the last few months when she couldn’t sleep she would listen to me play the old hymns on the piano and it would sooth her into a peaceful slumber. She saw the deep beauty in things and touched it softly with her gentle soul. Everything Coriolis did, she did thoroughly. Everything she felt, she felt intensely.

Coriolis liked to go with me to the top of the mountain and feel the gentle wind blow through her hair and clothes. The wind is blowing now, through the leaves of the trees and bushes just as she moved my life with her gentle motion.

One evening when I went to the house Matthew said that Coriolis died at six o’clock that morning. Now I didn’t see how I could live. He said it was for the best. I thought, how can it be for the best? If it’s best for her to die, than please god, show me how to die too!

Then I sat on a bench in the woods and cried quietly. I began to question how she could be dead. Death is separation. When one is separated from something it only stands to reason the separation must be unto something else. Where is she? Why didn’t she love me enough to take me with her? How can I survive without her? I came here to be near her. How can I survive without her? I don’t want to be here anymore. I don’t want to go to a doctor who will make me well. Without Coriolis it’s not nice here anymore.

The woods are still and lonely, but intensely beautiful. I desperately want Coriolis to be here with me – to understand. Then I hear the wind sing softly through the trees and I look up. The wind slides down the back of my neck and kisses the hair on my back. Then it comes softly around and rustles quietly beside me.

Then I knew that Coriolis was not dead and I could “hold tight to the sound of the music of living” (Bill Gather) no matter what the future held.

Years later I can feel Coriolis’ gentle touch and hear her beautiful song blowing through canyons or trees. I hear her in the hurricane and see her rustle across the waters of the lake – separated from me but always near. 

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