This is taking longer than I thought it would … but the new site for my current posts has been up for a while. I’m moving most of the posts from this site to another, invitation-only blog, which is also up and running. A third site, my poetry blog, also up.
Please email me at bord3rlin3 @ live . com for addresses and other access information.
I have decided to shut the blog down. Suffice it to say, I think my old sponsor was right. Need to move on from parts of my past, lest I be stuck in the melancholy Slough of Despond between life as I wish it was and life on life’s terms. Can’t do this without letting go of my last remaining medium of regular communication with the past, which is this right here.
Giving it one week, more or less, so I can wrap some things up and preserve on my hard drive the bits most important to me. My friends and readers, I have most of your URLs and/or emails, and I will let you know when I pop up elsewhere. Thank you for your attention and intention these past many months.
is what i’d say. and that’s all.
Can’t seem to wake up the past couple of days, no matter how much caffeine I drink. Falling asleep early enough, 7-8 hrs of sleep, but my eyes feel like they are full of sand, dunes cut below by a wind that would be a relief, if it continued to blow. But the whole thing is desert stillness now, sun beating down and driving everything underground, inside. My head is a broken cement mixer. This is a familiar feeling, although I don’t know where it comes from. I’ve been thinking about things too much lately, about you. I’ve taken cautious steps forward, and then I’ve drug myself back. I’m just tired, is all. Just tired. I’ll rest, now.
It was Sunday, and I hadn’t set my alarm clocks. I thought I’d sleep in a little, although I hadn’t intended to sleep as late as I did. A sharp rapping at my bedroom door and an impatient bark of my name roused me out of my dream (which, unfortunately, I can’t recall–unless it was the one in which a group of older women were being forced to receive anal sex from a battery of well-hung young men, like something out of Dante’s Inferno, which seems to me related to my fear of my own monstrous sexuality–but this is another story).
My father had been holding in his complaints, for the most part, and now the valve blew open with an angry burst of steam and smoke. My cat had been screaming for breakfast for three hours, in her most desperate, most demanding, scratchiest voice. (My cat is a little hoarse, or at least she eats like one. Haha.) Dad was concerned that I was not looking for a job. He would have to lock up his stock of candy, as it kept disappearing. I was allowing my daughter to languish in an extended adolescence.
She needs a father, BD, he said.
So did I, I replied under my breath, thankfully too low for him to hear.
Here is the crux: my father makes many assumptions, always has, and always has worked himself up over these assumptions without first checking his facts. My path right now is to tolerate, bear the burden of, keep compassion for, and love my father, regardless of what he does. Not just because he is dying of cancer. Because making peace with him is making peace with myself. My serenity, my recovery, my mental health depends absolutely on my relationship with my father. (Speaking of this relationship on a psychic plane now, my relationship to the father I have incorporated into my psyche over the past 40 years, the one who mirrors my physical, biological, sociocultural father in the warped silver of my subjectivity.)
My father has cause to be disappointed in me: At 40, I am dependent upon him and mom financially. I have had more than one false start at a career. I at least appear to neglect my daughter’s education (in the broad sense) at times, although some of this stems from legitimate philosophical differences between dad and me. I have on one hand never taken seriously the stuff of adult life that my father takes seriously (much of which deserves a great deal of respect), and on the other taken too seriously–at times to a life-threatening degree–aspects of life which he gives a low priority (much of which is best made “not so big a deal”). Does he think he failed me? I don’t know. But at this point, I know the responsibility to correct my shortcomings is mine, not his.
Like many mythic heroes and Faulknerian protagonists and so on, my task in returning to the father is to reintegrate and then transcend. As a child and an adolescent, I formed my personality in reaction to dad. I attempted to escape him several times, cultivating artistic uselessness and impracticality, getting married (to someone very much like him), moving away from Hometown for 13 years … but I kept coming back–like some inverse Frank-Starling law (the more I filled my psychic ventricles, the more I was sucked back toward the eternal venous return of the same)–needing help to navigate the big bad real world. The only way I can fully emerge as myself is to move through the relationship in which I have for so long remained stuck.
Does this make any sense? Over the past few days, things have gotten better between dad and me, as I have remained conscious of the amends I owe him, become more accountable to him, communicated more clearly with him. I think I’m on the right path, but I walk best when I don’t think. So.
There are things we have to let go not because they are toxic or futile, but because of some glitch in the transmission that interrupts the arc for a time, just long enough so that the thing’s time has passed, and even though the damage could perhaps or theoretically be undone in ideal circumstances, events and people have moved on so that there is no place for the thing to land and look around and adjust.
And this is not fair. And it’s no better to think But it shouldn’t have happened that way than it is to think Well, we couldn’t have done anything about it anyway. And it’s no comfort to think Well, that’s the way it is. And it’s not possible to always avoid thinking about it at all. The in-jokes and the songs pop up on their own, and there is just enough energy to think Oh, it’s that thing. I don’t know what to say about that.