Happy Father's Day...
and some gratitude.
I WOKE UP THIS MORNING and got back on the computer intending to acknowledge everyone who commented on my recent post about my mom’s passing. (Isn’t that an odd term? Passing. I remember George Carlin once did a killer routine on our culture’s euphemisms about death, and well, it is fucking hysterical).
But along with your comments on the post, there’s also been an avalanche of emails from other readers and friends and family—who wanted to send a confidential note.
All of the correspondence is a lot for me presently. So rather than write to everyone individually I’m addressing this post to each of you. Please turn the volume up on:
Since my mom’s lift-off I’ve traversed a flurry of reactions. Except for crying. But reading the individual revelations from each of you allowed me to, finally, move into the ‘watery’ realm.
Initially, I hesitated about writing and posting so quickly after my mom’s death. It seemed tacky. But I’m a writer and as other writers will attest, it’s through writing that we figure things out.
A lot of the subjects I write about on my Substack, no matter the angle or approach, are subjects I have only a small degree of understanding about.
Writing and research is how I learn. Or if something confounds me, it’s how I figure it out (or, conversely, see that some topics are best not ‘figured out’).
Last night it took two Valium to allow my mind to unplug from compulsively studying the fact that I won’t be able to talk to my mom again. That barrier, the finality, and the cut-off—I can’t comprehend.
When I mentioned this in a text to my friend John, he immediately—the pragmatically poetic Capricorn that he is—responded with this from Emily Dickinson.
And like any genius chunk of poetry can do, it silenced my mind and let me shift back into my breath. Back into the mystery of the ‘is.’
After great pain, a formal feeling comes—
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs—
The stiff Heart questions 'was it He, that bore,'
And 'Yesterday, or Centuries before?
The Feet, mechanical, go round—
A Wooden way
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought—
A Quartz contentment, like a stone—
This is the Hour of Lead—
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow—
First Chill then Stupor then the letting go—
Thank you again, dear readers and friends!
PS: And Happy Father’s Day to all of you daddies out there.
Someday, I’ll do a post about my Aries father. To garner even more compassion for a Cancer child bookended between two fire sign parents. 😂 “Can I get a witness!?”