Sunday, September 27, 2009

Over the Rhine, one of my favorite bands of late, has a beautiful song called "Latter Days." If only I could project some meaning, understand what they're trying to say. I'm far too careful with that, if it's possible. I despise the idea of labeling things I have no business labeling. The chorus, though, of this beautiful song, says, "There is a me you would not recognize...Call it the shadow of myself." I love the line. Applying my own meaning, which is terribly unlike me, I must say, I come up with obvious parallels to my battle against determining who am, now that my dad is dead and life is no longer what it once was.
I feel terribly like this person I am today is a shadow of who I used to be, before my dad died, before I lost important bits of faith, before I changed my mind about my purpose, if there is one, to my existence. But at the same time, in the same instant, with the raging battle between rational and feeling, I feel more alive, more like "me" in these latter days, than I ever whole life.
I've picked up a smoking habit. I like to drink, sometimes in excess. I curse and I lie and I bare this general weight on my shoulders...something about, "What does it mean to be real?" Feeling all these things, while tragic, makes me feel more real than I have, maybe ever. Feeling doubts and angst and anger makes me feel like I'm finally feeling something of value, something beyond this eternal and optimistic hope in Christ. It's like now I have this reason to understand grace to its fullest.
To add more cliches, it's like a veil has been lifted and I'm finally experiencing life, in all its ugliness and tragedy. But instead of feeling hopeless, or instead of feeling overwhelmed and empty, I feel grateful. Grateful for this opportunity to understand.
I am a dualist. A double. A complex. I am in a constant, never-ending battle with myself over my mind and heart. Which should win? Which should sustain? I'm learning, slowly, neither must beat out the other. Mind nor heart must win this so-called battle, because one cannot do without the other. ...
I'm not good at endings. That's all I have for now.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My moments of missing my dad come and go in waves, as is expected, I suppose. Some days I think of him every minute of every hour, and others maybe only a few times a day. Sometimes I can go a few days without misery, sometimes a week, and other times I'd rather die than feel the crushing pain of such a loss.
Some days, like today, I find little ways of bringing him back, of feeling him, of making him more real. These days I do something tangible, like wear his shirts, or play his guitar, or, as in today's case, build things.
I strapped on his tool belt, filled it with nails and screws. I used his chop saw, his electric drill, his battery-powered drill, his hammer, and I listened to his favorite CD. I stood on his ladder in that tool belt, hammering nails into 2x6s, humming along to Bill Mallonee and the Vigilantes of Love. "Welcome all you suckers to Suckerville..." Working hard with my hands makes me feel like my dad. Feeling like my dad helps me feel my dad. The pit of my stomach twists and turns and like so many other times, I'm pounded by the incessant silence of his voice that he's really, truly, endlessly gone.
I hate to be so glum. I hate that I can't yet put a smile on my face and be glad for him, where he is, and that even though I had 24 perfect years by his side, I can't for a second be thankful while I'm perseverently wishing him back. I'm not there yet. I pray, pray, pray that someday soon I can banish the cloud of sadness and grow in the light of the Hope which exists as my dad's legacy and love.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


i stood there, today, looking at his back, at his cute little tush (not too little, just perfect), thinking "he's one of the good ones, i think." and still, i stood there wishing, from the depths of my heart, wildly unknown to me until it creeps into my late night thoughts, as it so often does, wishing, dreaming, pretending he was someone else. someone i know is so much "worse." someone who broke my heart once, has never apologized, and who, undoubtedly, i would let break my heart a million times more, if he would.
why is it that heartbreak from some people is so much more priceless, so much more sought after, than happiness with another? how can i even think about letting him break my heart again? and again and again and again until the day i die. is this love? that i sink so low, willing to break for someone who doesn't need me? that i'm willing to leave every good path i know and travel, to follow someone whose value for me doesn't extend beyond occasional sex, and some fun times?
love is so many things. it's sacrifice, dependence, loss, pain, need, and passion, and does not abandon for mistreatment, rejection, dishonesty, or betrayal. love is so beyond reason, i lay myself aside one thousand times a week to pour my soul into another being, whether he accepts my soul or not. and in this case, he does not. he only takes advantage, and takes for granted, and takes whatever i give him, absorbing what he chooses, and banishing the rest to be swallowed back, choked down, and regurgitated later--by me.
this is love. a very one-sided love, but marked with all the intensity and passion of a love so true. where does it end? when does it stop? at what point, do i say "enough," and choose to move forward? more importantly, can someone please, please take me to that point and throw me over the edge, that i might jumpstart this process called "getting over him"?
the process has begun. it began when i saw the glint in his eye. the glint that spoke a million rejections, a million betrayals. the day i got on a plane and left his arms, i began the process, the long, trying, immobilizing and paralyzing process, of doing this thing called moving on. who knows how long it will take. i just passed the two-month mark, and time is moving slowly. but time is like medicine, healing and soothing, and powerful. it will end, this pang, or "knife" as some say, stabbing through my heart when i wish one man were another. time is my mother, my best friend, my physician and my comforter. today, time is my ally.