Friday, November 6, 2009

Searching for our song

You terrify me.
(Please don't break my heart.)

There is so much more I could show you; that I could give you.
(Please don't break my heart.)

But ...
... I am afraid.

Afraid of showing that much to you. Of giving that much to you. I want to. I do.
(And if I do? Please, don't break my heart.)

When I roll over and show you my most vulnerable parts, will you embrace them, or eviscerate them?
(Please don't break my heart.)

But ...
... I am afraid.


I wrote the above because I am feeling raw, and vulnerable. And that vulnerability draws me to write really bad poetry. (If you need an example, please read the above.)

Tonight I curled up on my bed with So You Think You Can Dance, Chinese food delivery, and IM conversations. Any one of the preceding would make me do a wigglesome dance of joy normally, but tonight? Even the combination of all three made me feel unsated. So … the show is over, food has been consumed, and conversations shut down. I still feel restless. What to do?

Oh, I know! Break out the notebook of a dead woman! Let’s see what she has to say …

So … here I sit, in a house that you helped buy, flipping through yellowed paper that was written on before the concept of this house was even realized, reading words that smell of thirty-year old smoke, written by a woman I can only hope to know. But never will.

Even though I am part her, and she is part me, I can only guess to her meaning.

All I have left are these faded words tossed on slips of paper (maybe haphazard, maybe intentional), saved in a chocolate covered, purse-sized notebook.

All I know is that those words, these words held in my hand, written a generation ago, and maybe written before I was even a thought, or a spark, speak to me.

“Though I must fight some battles alone,
I cannot live alone –
I am no longer a separate entity –

For I have come to know the joy of another.”

And …

“The most valuable gift we have to give is ourself. [sic]
And it is within the constant giving of ourself [sic] that happiness

as we desire it

evolves and becomes real.”


These are words, written down by a (now) dead woman. I think they are her own, but I cannot be sure. All I do know is that they touch me, deeply and movingly. And it makes me want her all the more, if just to vent to her. To babble at her. To reach out and touch her; to touch her arm or face or even hand. To grab that hand and bring her in to hug her to myself. To ask her what she meant, and what she was feeling, when she wrote those words down.

Since I can’t do that, I can only imagine, and construct, make-believe conversations. Conversations where I re-create puberty and do the whole, “but Moooooooooom! He said, and then I said, and then he said, and then SHE said, and then THEY said, and … *sob sob* … what does it mean?” (Insert the teenage angsty-voice of your choice here.)

And, since this is my fantasy, I pick up that chocolate notebook, brush off that asshole pubescent girl, and flip through the pages to figure out which question I am asking.

And then she answers with,

“As we listen to the music,
we learn and grow wiser
while searching for our own song
and the message it will sing.”

And then my (now no longer teenaged self) says, “Huh? What the hell are you talking about?” As I throw myself across that twin bed and beat my feet against that horrible flowered comforter, I will scream out, “you just don’t get it! You don’t understand!”

(My unknown question is still unknown. It’s just a feeling. And I still kinda hate that pubescent girl that I once was, once upon a time.)

As my teenaged self yells that invective, “you DON’T UNDERSTAND!” my adult self goes, “oh, shut it! I get it now.”

My adult self says, over the screaming meemies of my teenaged self, to my Mom, “oh, okay. I understand. I get it. You are telling me to listen to the music. Take what I hear and make it my own. March to the beat of my own drummer, right?”

The ghost mom tells the alive me, “yes, exactly.”

The ghost of the teenaged me says, “what the fuck are you talking about?”

But then ghost mom says, “if you see yourself as a rock, no one will touch you.”

The adult me just nods and grins, leaving the teenaged me rolling her eyes. And still kicking her heels in frustration. (Mom and I just giggle. I still kick my heels though.)

At some point Mom wrote down in that chocolate notebook,

“We feel, therefore we are.”

And to that? I say yes.

Nothing more than “yes” can I say in response.


It took me a long time to acknowledge feeling. And to even accept feeling. And to believe that feeling is … okay.

So. If we feel? (That is okay.)

If we feel, we are. (And that acceptance I’m still learning to embrace.)


“We are where love has come to live.”

Mom and Dad are both gone. When I grieve either one, without the other – when I miss Mom, without missing Dad; when I miss Dad, without missing Mom … – I feel guilt. I feel guilt that, at that moment; I am placing one above the other. But I’m not. Only now am I learning that I am grieving the passing of them both. The passing of them as Mom, as Dad. As a couple. And as my parents. And as individuals.

And through this weird fucked up process we call grief am I learning love. Learning love of family. Love of others. Love of this weird thing we call life. Most mostly?

I love Mom. I love Dad. Through them love has found a home within me; their love of each other, their love of me, and their love of … love.

Love lives within me, and therefore?

I love myself.

Otherwise known as “Love of self”.

The very first part that I wrote of, of terror … well, it could apply to friendships. Or to love. Or to my parents. Or yours. Or to yourself.

Actually, it applies to all. And to none.

Love can be terror.

“Reflection is the insight of tomorrow.”

When we reflect, mostly upon ourselves, we view the past. We fear the tomorrow. I say tear down the fear. Tear down the terror. Embrace the tomorrow, and all the weird reflection that comes of it.

As Mom would say …

“Life beats on”

“Live in the happiness with the knowledge that the world will grow a little better with you there.”


I say, “You terrify me.”

I think, “There is so much more I could show you; that I could give you.”

I say, think, and live, “But ... ... I am afraid.”

Taking a page from Mom and Dad, I say to myself, “deal”.

I answer, “But ... ... I am afraid.”


I embody not just Mom and Dad, but also Me, and I say this, and question this …

“What shall I do to love?

What shall I do to belive?

For once in my life I will listen to my parents. I will believe. And I will love.

I hope you can do the same.