Love for cheapskates

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People who say ‘My love doesn’t cost a thing’, are ignorant of the currency used.
People who say ‘Love is free’, are cheapskates who offer a poor product, unrefined, poor in construction, bad quality.
People who say ‘All you need is love’, are peasants of the artistry of life.
People who ‘Bathe in love’, are stench ridden with hypocrisy and haven’t been blessed with the other fragrances of living.
People who sorrow and wallow in the ‘Throes of love’, are void of ever living through it. They have contained love to a being, to a finite mortal speck of flesh in the grand scheme of all things worldly, cosmic, spiritual.

-W.E.

Love is far removed from the prattling of poets.

It lives in the actions of the selfless.

It is a mothers rush to clean a dirty diaper.

It is in her sacrifice to milk her bosom dry, because the babies well being is more important than hers.

It is in a child’s reluctance to let their parent die without dignity.

It is their reciprocity in cleaning them when they are too elderly to notice their dysfunctional bowels.

It is in the fathers blood being spilled on the conveyor belt of labour, so his children can have buttons on their shirts, soles on their feet.

It is in his bowel cancer because he ate comfort food for forty years to curtail the stress hormones he didn’t know are swimming in his bloodstream.

It is in the students labour into the early hours when life forms are dead, just to understand one trigonometry question so he can present it the next day with pride.

It is in the teachers secret tears in the lunch room when the hurtful insults of her heedless students are not retaliated to because she feels their pain yet still wants to give them one idea to carry with them in their life.

It is in the employers oversight to your lacklustre performance for the last twenty years because they know you have five mouths to feed.

Most of all it is in the soil you’ll be buried in that doesn’t spit you back out for your vile arrogance and ignorance all your life.
Instead it embraces you, swallows you whole and makes you a part of it, allows you to fertilise the earth for a flower to grow, so that flower can be picked by an ignorant lover to present to his first heart throb, so we can one day tell him, that’s not fucking love.

 

Ode to father carries on

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Continued from: Here

 

Now that I’m drained, now that he’s drained, bare, naked and stripped of our attributes. Attributes that kept us upright, but here we find ourselves fallen, ironically towards each other, two towers leaning on each other and yet holding each other up. That’s what it took. A baring of our sacredness, a stripping of our egos, no fight left in us both, guards down, ready to cop it on the chin and embrace it, embrace each other, even so, chins exposed, none have the power to knock the other out, none have the power to even throw a one, two. The array of combinations we’d let loose before, and now, nothing, both satisfied not to hurt the other.

I can see his humanity, always have, I couldn’t admit it. He never saw mine, so how could he admit to something he knew not about? I had to write the first ode, I had to let him know I saw him. I had to let him know I saw that he thought that no one saw him. How many fathers are like him, toil away and none of what they do gets noticed, gets written about, gets exalted. Oh the station mothers have enjoyed, and the deprivation the fathers have endured, this is not fairness, this is short sightedness, this is human shortcoming.

The tears that don’t stream down their cheeks burn pathways in their hearts as they hold themselves together as forts. Sixty six years is enough, eventually it burned down into his bowel. The pain of not being seen. Not only by me, my family, but his direct family.

Now illness manifest, reality cannot lay dormant and like the lion that it is, it roars and wakens the jungle of ignorance up. His family can hear, can see, can feel. They all flock to him, his illness an expiation for all. We know man is expiated for his sins even if a thorn to afflict him. My fathers illness expiated everyone as they all flocked to him, eyes in hands, catching their tears as they acknowledged him.
His illness returned their sight, his illness broadened mine.

I made sure my mother read and translated the first ode to him. When I came home that day, he had tears in his eyes, he begged and asked me how I knew, how I saw. I later found out that he and my mother wept together as they read it.

Maybe my job as a son was to document some of his accomplishments. So many men are remembered with their life’s work when they pass. Artists, writers, gnostics and so. Superficially he is none of these. Hidden and un-manifest, he is all. His craftsmanship, his prose and his art, was sacrifice. It wasn’t relegated to a material thing, something bought and sold, marvelled at on the walls of the mundanely inspired, no his life work was – passing on life. Chiselling away at himself to give to me, to my brother, to my sister and now to our children, he continues a new generation. Bits and pieces falling from him, and into our bellies. We are fortunate to see it, we are fortunate to be aware.

So here I stand, attempting to put into words but failing, how do I write about being a human? I cannot, the only way is to do as he did, sacrifice, pass on the bits of myself, chisel away, chipping until someone grabs a remnant and keeps it alive.

I have a lineal record of all my ancestry. We’re of noble blood, but noble blood means nothing without action. It cannot save me, only sacrifice will save me. Letting go of all the unsightly traits, the soil that is not presentable before God. Perhaps that is why my father preferred the company of the earth rather than of men. A reminder of what soil is beneficial and what soils us.The life giving soil and the soil that is ugly and not fit to present in front of His Majesty.

His health improved, for a week. I couldn’t believe it. Slowly but surely he digressed back and other ailments took over. My fear of exposing him to the myriad of unnecessary tests and prodding, of poking around and enticing. I know what happens to the body when you push and push. I’ve been there, self inflicted I push until something goes pop. Something always goes pop. So a few weeks later he’s back in hospital, his body drained. God’s work, God’s way of reminding us all who we are. Pray dad, pray. Nothing else matters except your devotion. Stay devoted. Stay true. It’s hard though with your body and carnal self calling the opposite way. ‘Don’t worry’, they say, ‘God is forgiving, just indulge’. Oh the oft demanding self. It clings on to every opportunity of weakness to keep you abased. Our masters have taught us to talk to it, to demand of it, to command it, to whip it into submission and servitude to us so that as a whole we can remain in servitude to our Lord.

The next saga begins, trying to make sense of it all as a scientist sifts through real data and pseudo data, as an investigator skirmishes through every last bit of observable evidence and delves deeper into his gut. There’s that line. That line I have to cross where I tap into a different unobservable realm to make a decision for him, for me, for us all. I can feel the weight on my shoulders. This is not going to be easy.

 

Ode to father – part 1

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Scars are my tattoos, I pride myself in them but I don’t go out of my way to get them.
No ink and colour to express myself, feel comfortable in or beneath my skin. I learned this from a more exemplar man. I look at my father’s hands. He’s real bad ass, doesn’t need tats.
The fabric of the earth perfumed with his blood, yes, that olive tree still wails for him. Forty years after he traversed the earth away from it

Because his blood runs through the earth’s veins and when he gently prunes the roses twelve thousand kilometres away, the rose stems bend to him and becomes a bashful girl in the arms of her lover. The soil which nourishes that rose courses through from the olive tree beneath the Cedar Mountains of Lebanon and finds him in an Australian garden.
He treads lightly on the earth like God describes the believers in the Quran. Treading lightly meaning both literally, forward bent, head bowed in shame not of anything or anyone but in awe of God, nomadic movements without foot print and he moves spiritually by not burdening its resources and he is infatuated by Gods beauty made manifest through his creation, thus treating it kindly and with love as one does his maiden love on their first night.
His actions are gentle and loving but his hands have strength and power, the earth, winds, water and fire are summoned and rush to his aid in obedience to God’s promise, “When I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hands with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks…..”, simply because he practises what he knows and one need not know much to practise more.
No, he doesn’t have ink stained skin but he has a love stained and scarred heart. He has scars for tattoos and he taught me that they are tougher than ink tattoos, far more expressive, tell a thousand stories more and have oceans of character deeper than a cheap monetary exchange for a murial stabbed into your skin just because you chose so. You can’t decide to have character, you earn it. You can’t buy toughness, you suffer for it.

Want to be tough? Show me the fabric of your soul, the mettle of your make-up, not the bill for your ink.

My father is pure like the earth. A man of knowledge said of sages being like the earth, ‘Dung is flung on to the earth and flowers spring forth’, so too do sages get put through the worst of trials and tribulations, yet only beauty comes out of them. My father is purer, he is the earth embodiment, true to his nature, he knows the land, and it haunts him, always reminding him to come back. His love affair with it is not because of a leisurely hobby like fascination, it’s not on his Facebook likes, it’s because he knows where he came from and he knows where he is returning. He can take life’s blows because he’s already felt the earth’s cry, had the blood of saints and prophets beneath his feet and all he will do is continue to blossom until his time it is to re-join the elements.
My father doesn’t have tats, he has scars, he has soil beneath his nails and he sweats an earthly perfume from his brow. Those men, those women who know this way are few and far between. I implore you, find them, learn from them, eat a mouthful from their hand, lest their state may be passed on to you and you carry on this tradition.
I started by telling you about my scars, but I only have scars because I was allowed to enjoy myself by engaging in my passions, my leisurely activities and hobbies. My scars are lame compared to my fathers. My scars are from play, his scars are from life.

We are raised to believe that scars are ugly, they make perfect skin imperfect. They make handsome features grotesque or feminine soft skin tough and masculine, as if to stigmatise these at polar extremes to one another, unable to reconcile them as being able to exist with one another. Scars are the absolute distilled definition of beauty manifest. They tell stories of work, love and labour. They tell stories of struggle, pain and endurance. The scar on the heart of a person who has loved is not the same as the person who only speaks of love but never had their heart broken and had to mend it again. There is a reason why a scar is a physiological adaptation to stress, and forms the way it does. It makes the area more resilient, it toughens the area making it oblivious to further damage whilst at the same time increases its threshold. The body intelligently knows that to become stronger, it must change its basic structure. A scar is the beautiful and intelligent way the body naturally reforms itself. A scared heart is one that can now take more, love more, feel more, see more, share more, understand more, endure more, persevere more and be more patient. A heart devoid of scars is just an organ. But it takes incredible character and wisdom to allow a scarred heart to remain open and flexible, not closed and tight.

End: part one.
-ME