Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ashes to Ashes

So I say, “I have to pick up my Dad,”
and I know it sounds casual
and normal
as though I were picking him up from the airport,
or from some perfectly mundane place across town.
But that’s not where he is.
He is on a windy hilltop,
in a building designed to be comforting in its serene beauty,
its halls plush
meant for hush-
ed tones.
He is not exactly a “he” anymore, or a person at all,
but has been reduced to his essence,
the stuff not eaten by the flames.
There, he awaits his last trip home.
His last flight…
“I don't EVER want to fly again,” he proclaimed
last month
upon returning from far across the ocean,
        from that island 
where we thought he was already lost to us.

Home we’ll go.
So that he may,
at long last,
rest with the peace that he has earned--
impatiently sought, in these last days, 
but earned, nonetheless.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Today is a Bob Dylan Radio Kinda Day

Or, at least, this morning is.
I better get something written so I can squeeze in a trip to the gym before my lunch date.
Yes, that's right!
I have friends!
Two friends in Iowa...how about THAT?

I have too much to do so I'll just leave it all for tomorrow...again.
I keep leaving things for tomorrow, and soon I'll run out of time.

I have emails to write, emails to reply to, and so much more,
yet somehow, trips to the gym and lunch dates are all I can seem to accomplish in a day........

But I'm happy.
I feel.

Nope, it's not a Bob Dylan kind of  morning.
I need.......something else....

Pearl Jam radio is always the answer; why did I even try for something else?

Ok, I'm off to fiction-writing land. Wish me luck and proliferation...

Have a great day--

Friday, January 04, 2013


We arrive,
on the cusp of being late.
"Run like the wind," I say
and turn to see if their backs will fade
quickly toward the large brick building.
they trudge as though moving through ankle-deep sludge.
Slow-motion versions of the lightening-fast boys I pictured when the doors slammed in unison.
I sigh,
turn on NPR and move back out into traffic.


The start of my day was in the still-dark hours as my Love readied himself for work.
I lay, snuggled beneath the down,
stretching and purring, like his favorite pet.
I worked out my life, my future, in those dark, half-awake hours,
and when I finally rose,
I felt renewed and lighter than I have in weeks...months?
You see,
I have been depressed.
I am loathe to admit it...
not because I look down on depressed persons,
but because of my father and his genes.
My father, who slipped through a rip in the fabric of time, or space, really
to live with me--
with no pre-planning,
no asking or even telling.
Just desperately, frantically discarding the life he had begun to build in the Philippines for the past year,
emailing to ask if he could "visit for a while."
Was I stupid to not realize that he had no where else to go, so a visit would be far more permanent than any visit has a right to be?
--any father has a right to be, after deserting one's angelic mother despite the amazingly thorough and kind way she cared for him and his every whim for 38 years???
Oh yes, I have some unresolved anger, did you notice?
Could you see it there, dripping down my sleeve, leaking from the heart I wear there?
His choice to leave her is still nonsensical,
it is discordant,
it is unrhyming, unrhythmed
So, not to mention a lifetime of having nothing in common
(except my broken genes and my worst character traits),
I now have unexpressed anger for this cute little man.
And moments before my son went in for BRAIN SURGERY,
I read the words, "I can't stay here any longer. Could I come visit you for a while?"
And I primally screamed,
for my emotions were already entirely used up by the 3 weeks in the pediatric ICU and my baby boy, my tall, lanky, incredibly creative, tough and delicate little (taller-than-me) boy.
I wanted to throw a tantrum, because
that my father was asking me for a bucket full of emotions
when he should have known I had not even a drop to spare.
I was wrung-out, exhausted, worried.
And then I had to shift and worry about all the ways it would suck
to have my father in my house,
desperately trying to conjure positive memories and potential goodness.
Gruffly ignoring the memories of all the self-less, kind things he has done for me.

And he didn't arrive calmly and joyously;
he didn't arrive after careful planning,
and by bringing with him all that he needed.
He arrived broken and whimpering,
as though he had literally dragged himself across the entire Pacific Ocean and fully half of the United States.
Well, maybe.
But it just wasn't good timing, you know?
And when he was in the sorry state he was in directly due to his own poor choices,
could I brim over with pity, or whatever??
I couldn't.
I can't.
I'm still too angry about his desertion of my mother,
and too tired from living in a place I'm resisting,
and too depressed from having had to give up half of my dream in order to keep the other half...
but that's a different rant for a different day,
or maybe not at all,
because today
I feel
like I can breath deeply of the crisp Iowa air
and accept change.
Oh, sure, it has been one whole, entire, complete, extra-long-due-to-leap-year year.
So, giving me any accolades whatsoever for reaching the point where I'm ready to accept that I don't get to live in Maine anymore (oh, god, can I really accept it, when every time I say/think/hear that line, it feels like the winds of a Nor'Easter are churning through me, leaving me hollow and shaky?)
But, yeah. I guess I have to.
I am ready to embrace this place, and the changes that come with it.
But that, apparently, is separate from my clingy love affair with Maine.
I can let go a little...

Because it is
Perhaps sliiiiightly past time, you know, technically....
But I'll take it.
I'll get my shit together and go to the gym and the grocery store,
and be home in time to pick up my Boy for his MRI and check-up with the neurosurgeon.
Because life is beautiful and I have a lot to be grateful for.
Thanks to facebook and a former classmate for the random reminder:
Accept Change and Live in Gratitude.
It caught my attention because she's not someone I knew well in school,
but she wasn't very nice most of the time,
and when another classmate linked to something she painted, 
I was intrigued and when I read that quote on another painting of hers,
it jarred me.
I didn't see those words as coming from her, so I rejected them and thought of the person I had known, and let the words trickle through as I wrestled with allowing myself to accept the person she has become...you could see the light in her eyes, the calm joy spreading across her face.
So...people do change.
And that gives me hope.
And it was perfectly timed, with my emergence from a shallow, but long-lasting situational depression that has lain over me like a mo(u)rning dew since I arrived here in Iowa...
Time to shuck that shit off, my friends!!!!
Seize the motha-fuckin' day!!!
Because this is TWENTY-THIRTEEN, my friends, and it will be a great year, with or without my participation. And I would rather benefit from the awesomeness than sulk in a corner all year, steeped in self-pity and inertia.

So there.

Happy Friday, World!
Time to carpe the hell out of this diem, eh??