Tuesday, November 12, 2013

When I'm too close to start to fade

My dad was always one to do things without regard for consequences. I can probably think of at least a dozen things off the top of my head. But he is gone now. What's the good of that.

Pretty little thing did you feel something*
Did you always want me to be something
To mend a broken a heart
From a Devil of shallow nonsense
Turned your world upside down

I believe that anger is the longest stage of loss as it bobs and weaves its way through the traffic of days, always on your tail, appearing a inside or rearview mirror. The week I took myself up north for space and healing, I had been reading how anger has a ripple effect and that one should do what they could to work through it.

The trips I had been taking north in the weeks prior felt like time travel. I had ridden back into a nostalgia that felt like a bad dream. Everyone had high emotions, from the tiny vulnerable niece who lost her Grandfather, to the one we have not seen since she was a baby and never really knew him, to the one in the middle whose acquaintance with loss began at age five. No one knew exactly what to do and I felt my role thicken in the middle of it all. Family can be a heavy thing that one has to learn to wear lightly. All of your personal history is tied into their stories: the good, the bad and what your thought you were over a long time ago.

Whatever said that it'd mean something
Whatever said that it'd mean nothing
And did I look the part
When it's all said and done
When it's all said and done

The trauma of losing my dad hit me with questions. Why did he recede into the background of life? Why couldn't he have stuck around for me? Or for the grandchildren I haven't given him yet? One of the last times I spoke to him about this he told me that all of this would take too much time.

But I'm
No good next to Diamonds
When I'm too close to start to fade
Are you angry with me now
Are you angry cause I'm to blame

The pain was invasive. In a yoga class I had taken that week, I felt an excruciating tightness around my sternum. It seemed that no matter what I did to open that space, the narrowness was felt, causing tears to mingle with sweat in the steamy room. I quieted myself in child's pose and began to sob, breathing my way through ache inside. There was enough of talking. There was enough of seething and tears and feeling abandoned.

Never wanna hide the truth from you
Just hang my head what I put you through
I wasn't good enough
When what's done is done love
When it's all said and done

Cause I fall away
Further than I ever was
Further than I ever was
Further than I ever was

I had arrived in the bay town just before sundown, driving behind the grocery store to the lookout point. Climbing down the steep incline towards the water, I notice there was a jetty made of thousands of rocks, each gray and smooth. They had a tactile dissonance as walked over them, like handfuls of crushed chalk. Each spoke to me, saying that there will always be reasons to be angry at my father, yet it is important for them to be in my path. Let them be heard and observed, for me to pass over them and not linger picking the heavy things, to let them lead me to water. 

When I arrived at the water's edge, I put a cold handful of the ebbing lake Michigan into mouth. It was clean and sweet and pure. I looked up to see the evening sun cresting into it, orange and broad, witnessing the mystical, enveloping light. I felt its heat, a light-filled embrace from beyond.

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