Tuesday, December 6, 2011

three years

what i can remember

is the fullness of presence

in my mother’s voice

caught in the unreality of a phone call

so subtly enunciating the words


the flying away of my father

the man

who first dragged me into this world

lost me in the process of his own becoming

and then thrust me forcefully

into the mire and glory

of all that he knew and had subsumed

into his becoming self

later, our trajectories

separated sufficiently

that we could see each other

through the fog of our histories

so clearly

that respect

and an acknowledgement of all that had passed

and all that might be

entered into the hugs

we bracketed our meetings with

perhaps most painful

and most daunting -

were my mother’s words

(and later her eyes)

full of the empty wonder and ripe sorrow

of the loss of all that she had known

all that she had worked for and with

despite and against


my mother and my father -

so very like the most unlikely dance partners

seeing each other across a crowded dance-floor

and drawing together to bring concordance

to the music of two orchestras

and in the worlds i had collected to that point . . .

well, with his flying away

a world ended

in the slow dying

of the knowing of him

contained in my own children

whose lives lost all at once

an open doorway

and a containment

in my father’s flying away


The Weaver of Grass said...

A lovely descriptive piece Steven/ Losing our parents is always sad - i lost both of mine in the same year many years ago - but it is inevitable - part of life's rich pattern, as they say. You have written a fine tribute.

Ruth said...

Perhaps a world ended, but if you are like me, other worlds began. The photographs are incredibly potent with your fine tribute, Steven.

steven said...

weaver your words are - as always - entirely true and clear. thankyou. steven

steven said...

ruth - i know that what you write here is true in my own experiencing. other worlds have opened up . . . oh yes they have!!! thankyou. steven

Valerianna said...

I haven't lost a parent yet.... can't imagine it yet and, of course, dread it. I know that other worlds open up, then.

erin said...

wow. not.one.thing.static.here. and not one thing is but we so often mistake things to be.

i LOVE that you recognize the process of his becoming. here is the essential point around which we can all understand and accept one another, and unfortunately, perhaps the point around which your mother can not understand your father and his choices. but sometimes it is difficult to get through to a rightful philosophy when we live in these, our ever present egos. i understand this too. i am so often restrained.


Anonymous said...

So richly moving, so bittersweet.

aguja said...

Steven, this is so very moving and has a tragic beauty. It is painful to conjure up the past and the ensuing emotions, but you have done so and in the process have drawn us in to share in your innermost thoughts; this is true poetry.

May your healing be complete and your soul filled with tranquility as time and thought work within you.

Linda Sue said...

Getting used to death (flying away) is sobering. It's so for keeps! No more real conversations on the phone or across the table. They really are GONE! DANG!
Good that you got to really know your father in such a deep true sense before he became no more. Very lucky.

Kay said...

wonderful tribute steven, you managed to see each other as men as well as father and son and you each knew it..you are blessed..xx

hope said...

That first photo says so much: like two men standing side by side, content with each other's company even when they might not have had the words.

Your kids are lucky...and your words make me miss my Dad, who left this earth too soon.

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

We have sat on that bench before, haven't we? And each time I find myself choked up with a silence full of gratitude and admiration for the beauty of this tribute.

steven said...

yes lorenzo - that bench holds significance for my dad and i. the words are different each year. distance from his physical presence has a powerful effect on my perceptions. i wish i knew what he came back as and why . . . as a buddhist he believed in reincarnation of course . . . . steven