- It’s time to do some writing.
- Fuck me.
- I’m serious.
- I can tell.
- You just –
- One word down, then another –
- And another, exactly.
- You know what gets me?
- It sounds so easy. Just sit down, or stand, whatever works, and then just start writing anything. Just set words down and pay attention and the words will just come of their own accord.
- That’s not so easy.
- What – ?
- “Words will just come of their own accord.” That’s an act of faith on your part. Faith that if you begin the words will follow. The weight’s on you to begin, then it’s pretty much stay the hell out of the way. It can’t be the same experience each time you write, is it?
- Now that you mention it, no.
“I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever,” said Chief Joseph (March 3, 1840 – September 21, 1904) of the Nez Perce Indians in 1877 after he and about 700 members of his tribe travelled 1,500 miles in an attempt to escape the pursuing United States Army and take refuge in Canada.
The words, I will fight no more forever, mean a great deal to me. They reflect how I feel about life in general, particularly when it comes to my private life. I think most understand there is a big difference between fighting and arguing different views and opinions.
I hate fighting. It’s violent and I am sick to death of violence, in any form. Other than protecting my life, or the life and safety of another (this includes animals, folks), I see no healthy reason for physical and emotional violence.
Fighting wounds. It damages. It’s scary. It’s sad. It causes pain which is exactly what it supposed to do, because it’s fighting – because it’s violence. Fighting makes healing and understanding impossible because it prevents healthy communication. Also, fighting takes no talent.
This is not a long missive. It doesn’t need to be. To quote Chief Joseph: “It does not require many words to speak the truth.”
This holiday season, as they call it, I am thinking and feeling about my family. For some reason knowing you’re likely in the home-stretch of things allows you a sharper awareness of the immense love you feel for family members, most all gone from life. I’m grateful for my instincts because I don’t mind being present in the experience.
Family life ended for me in December, 1969, two months after my 16th birthday; an essay for another time.
Of course there are tears, at times, and, of course, there are momentary flashes of fury. Fury at the loss, at how long its been, fists clenched, and, literally, nothing and no one deserving of a blow exists on this planet. The stone cold fact is, nothing and no one deserving of that blow has ever existed on this planet.
So I allow the feeling of fury until it passes. It always does.
These days I’m thinking of my mother and father, ,Grandma and Grandpa, Mommom and Poppop (my mother’s parents), Uncle Harry, Aunt Dorothy, Uncle Peter, Marjorie, my sister, Rebecca, my childhood friends, a number gone now. My brother, Bobby. I think of my other mother, Leona, my birth-mother — a better human being has never walked the earth. We were reunited on January 8, 1987. We were emotional and spiritual twins. She was an angel. I bet she still is!
Now, if there is something after this life, it damn well better include more time with these beautiful human beings or else I’m not interested. When I walk through the beautiful museum hallways in my mind, all the above are there, masterpieces all.
There’s never been a more beautiful place than family.
Whisper this day gently to me
Set my heart down in the quiet
Say nothing to the neighbors
They’re long gone away
Let me rest my weary head
On your memory’s shoulder
Beethoven sooths us both
You’re long gone away
My powered legs still striding
Hands cut the water churning
Memories way down deep
So many long gone away
Loss knocking on my door again
Tells me love and truth’s not enough
Life keeps coming whispers
Another’s long gone away
Shift rocking stumble knees sing sweet songs on the corner
Rusty acapella chains shackle hearts and the boys sing
Mama where’d you go to now so far away
Soft skin close Mama it’s so hard when you can’t see
Skipping stone ladies hopscotch blues bending string sounds
Wounded soul arias for millions and the boys sing
Papa’s all gone before curtain rise and back grown full
Son stands on corners lost and hungers gained
Powered thighs stride across fractured dreams
Words shuffle sweet sad peace and the boys sing