I was invited to go to Divas halloween thing. I thought I would go, only to see my friends. But I didn’t really feel up to going out in public. Tonight was a night for being alone. I watched couple groups of people cross the parking lot through the night and before sunset I took a walk around a few blocks. I got a bit teary eyed when I saw some adults walking their kids who were dressed in costume. I had no other thought on my mind, no greater yearning at that moment than to likewise be with my nephew, him in his scary goblin costume, as he went from house to house to scare adults into giving him large amounts of candy. He is 8 years old. I’ve not seen him since he was five. Oh how my heart aches to see him again and to also see his brother who is a year old and I’ve never lain eyes on him. Will they become young men and know their uncle only as a voice? My father also, I’ve not seen him since Thanksgiving of what was it… 98… 99? I miss my family. I have no family here and I feel it all too acutely when I see friends with their families. A friend of mine is throwing a birthday party for her mother tomorrow. I cannot go, though I’ve been invited. It is a painful reminder of what I left. I could have easily stayed in Arkansas, even if only transferring to the University of Arkansas. I’d see my family much more often, maybe even for holidays. Yet so strongly have I followed my heart’s desire that I’ve given up seeing my family, given up a dear love, given up accomplishments, so that I could come to Oregon. It pains me very much. When I am asked why the fear in commiting, the hesitancy in action, the half effort… I turn away my heart. Has the payment thus far been so cheaply valued? I’ve given up, more than at times I wished I’ve had. This place that I live in, it is all that I had hoped for it to be and more. I may not be the president of the Sierra Club, in a platform in an old growth tree, or working in an organic co-op… and god knows that I have made more mistakes than perhaps I should be allowed. But the one thanks that I am able to give constantly throughout is for my questioning nature. Yet it is at times heart-rending that I must choose between the following where that questioning leads me, or to be with those that I love.
My dad has since quit smoking and gained weight. All my life he has been thin and now he’s grown a belly. Its been two years since he’s quit. His hair continues to leave him, he gets greyer and greyer. The time will soon be here when he will be an old man and my opportunities to do the things we always talked about are gone. The last time we went floating a river was the summer of 89.
My sister has changed jobs many times. Has had two kids and the newest one I’ve not seen. She is a soccer mom and takes the oldest one to games and karate. He loves to compete and once got a broken collar bone but didn’t tell anyone because he didn’t want to leave the game. He was six. He is often bored in class and can sometimes be a troublemaker. He scores in the top 1% of his class on I.Q. tests and is now placed in advanced placement classes.
I try not to cry right now… the sobs are held back and are… breaking, shaking, gasping. I was once asked what is it that whispers to me in the dark. How dark do you want to get? …. …. …. I used to be afraid of the dark. I used to be afraid. But the dark allowed me to hide my self, my fears, my shortcommings… the dark became my ally. In the dark I put my trust. In the dark still lived my fear. Rarely are things that dark now, for often my mind is occupied in a thought, an emotion, a feeling and the fingers do not come. But they are still there, they are always there. Did Dante ever think of the planes of Hell while sitting in his morning garden? Likely he did. I’ve always questioned why. The route of those questions have changed, but the essence of the question has remained the same. Why? I wanted an answer. I remember prayers, deep in the night when I was a child. Several religions and other isms and I’m still going.
I’ve calmed a bit. The candles in my window give a pleasant aroma to the room. The temperature has dropped considerably in the last two hours. I can feel the change. Providence… there is none. At least not that I’ve seen. I see no other rhyme or reason to suffering than what the person percieves there to be. Meaning, like stress, is self created. I keep searching for it but I need more to hang my hat on than simply a belief. No… I’ve flung my heart out to the wind before and I cherish not the taste of cold steel to my lips. Yes, Kierkegaard was right in his wanting a truth that he could live and die for… and thus far I’ve not found it… but I’ve not found any stark naked truths that he mentioned either. Every truth is a twisting of a lie to suit a person’s needs, whether they are physical or emotional. How easy it is to see the small little worlds that the conservative radio show hosts, the dreadlocked hippy, the cocky sports jock in the club, the snob socialist… how small all of these little worlds are. How frail their gods are to a large hammer. What truth is there? The pause that I get, the distant look in my eye and the welling of tears when I think of what my nephew might be doing, how his costume might look, what he might say as he walks along the gravel edge of the roads in smalltown Mississippi going from house to house with the deepest conviction that his costume is so scary that the adults are literally frightened out of their wits and will give him lots of candy. The joy and sadness, both intimate lovers, that I feel when I think of him. That is the only truth that I know.
It has long been tradition for me to draw tarot cards on Halloween. My deck sits in a cloth bag inside a chest. They’ve not seen the light of day in over a year and were infrequently used before that. I have not the heart or belief anylonger that the universe gives a rats ass, nor that it is so much as set up that way, for any matter at all within one’s life. The only meaning that is in life is what we put into it, and day in and day out I put joy into my life. Tonight, however, joy is to be put on the nightstand and I will take to the bed with my mistress of sadness and we shall make love all night long.
Sorrow too is a human emotion.