Sunday, September 02, 2007

Answer to a question asked by Evan on My Space

when i fell in love with poetry a question from copa

i have always loved words. they were a way to express my views my wants my needs. i abandoned them when it was clear i was expected to be like my parents. i went from writing everyday to not picking up a pen and acknowledging words that struggled to escape for years. the process added weight mentally and physically. i didn't know i was depressed that i was lacking something that resembled a sense of myself. the almost 300lbs should have been an indicator or the fact that i worked my job beyond expectations dotted on my children to the point of spoilage then retreated to dark spaces waking myself in the middle of the night dissolved in tears. the week before a massive stroke ripped my fathers brain in two and took him away i had a conversation with my father. the last real one.

he went off, told me how i was wasting my life, denying who i was, and not utilizing my talents. he accused me of being afraid of my own power and success. he told me my marriage wasn't right, i wasn't who i thought i was but i am who i know i am. society cannot dictate who you are to be and who you want to love unless you allow it. you are not happy and this man will not be there when you need him but you need to be there. you fight for the benefit of others when the fuck are you going to start fighting for yourself. stop disappearing he said because i see you.

the conversation left me empty and confused.

a week later my mother, sister and i take all the grand kids to a puppet show. we leave and mom suggest we go to her house. i said she should check with jikki, his mood had been off, when he didn't answer the phone we went our separate ways. 20 minutes later i get the call my mom walked in the house to his body broken and him semi conscious. at the hospital he on the gurney...he wasn't there he had disappeared the body there was empty. i called my husband, he was away at a meeting i explained that my father had a massive stroke and a decision had to be made by me. the kids didn't know please come home. he told me there was really nothing he could do he'd be home in a few days.

his response did two things

1st it echoed a reflection of my dad's final comment about him not being there when i needed him

2nd i could see me returning to my own body.

i made the decision to take him off life support my mother and siblings by my side. they gave this wonderful man a 13% chance of even being conscious he would never be him again and the percentages were dwindling every hour.

weeks later missing him like a tooth. i had lost over 150 lbs and given notice to my wasben that i was leaving with my children. i went through his closet finding the leather cowboy style jacket i'd bought him for his birthday and several shirts i liked. i took them. wearing one of the jackets one day the scent of him still there i plunged my hand in a pocket and found a strip of paper. it had been washed all i could read was "i love you straightforwardly". i googled it. this is what came up.

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

that this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep. Pablo Neruda

i took it as a sign. i knew this kind of love. i picked up a pen and i have been writing again ever since. i never stopped loving my art, i think i just lost myself and had to lose something more to find me again. rediscovery is a terrible beautiful thing. losing to gain a fucked up concept. but life goes on whether or not you chose to participate. on march 24th 2003 i lost a precious part of me and made the decision to be an active participant in my own life. and i know he's watching me like t.v.

buffalo soldier

dread lock rasta

my dad.

1 comment:

Lisa Allender said...

Theresa, WOW!
Your father was fortunate to have you as his daughter...
I am sorry for your loss, and you are a gift as a fellow-poet/artist... I am enjoying learning more about you, through your Blog...

Keep up the great work! Come see what I wrote about YOU--- a few days ago--- at My Blog...