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.

 

Loneliness and Solitude

I live in a house full of people but I have always felt alone. Is there a word for that? Is there a condition that the DSM has concocted to be able to monopolise a share of the economy? I don’t know and I don’t care. What I do know is what I feel and coming to grips with that is my journey.

Whilst some may tumble into a catastrophic affair of despair and depression and this by no means is looking down upon their dilemmas, I revel in the loneliness.

I enjoy being alone with my thoughts and am comfortable enough to hear them over and over, voluntarily and involuntarily. Yes we all hear our thoughts and voices, it’s not abnormal and you don’t have a condition. The issue is being able to deal with those voices or thoughts effectively.

Like any learned skill, you need practise and an atmosphere conducive to it. You cannot learn to appreciate, understand, contemplate debate, revel, reject, agree with or change your thoughts if all you ever do is hear the thoughts of others. If all you do is surround yourself with incessant jabber, with never ending mindless drivel and gossip, with a blaring screen beaming alpha rays deep into your subconscious, pretty soon you will forget that the voices and thoughts you hear are actually yours.

They become alien to you and you subject yourself to a myriad of societal presumptions simply based on the fact that what was once an intimate friend or friends, have been away for so long that you barely recognise them.

That is the trickery behind media. It is meant to numb you and place thumbtacks of reminder notes all over your mind map. Reminder notes to cue you into action, action that is not in essence yours truly, but yours artificially.

It’s 2013 and loneliness and solitude are the missing ingredients in a growing person’s arsenal of skills. It didn’t happen overnight. Not even in the last decade but it has been carefully and deliberately orchestrated for over one hundred years. It’s actually been longer than that but technology has seen the advances it needed most in this period and data is now such a king that it has markedly taken effect. Like a fine wine which lays dormant for years on end and then in one fine year alone comes to maturity that makes one believe it happened overnight.

So how does one practise comfort with hearing voices, listening to regurgitating thoughts and piece it all together to live sanely (whatever that means) and without the need for interference from pharmaceuticals or psychotic psychiatrists trying to force a pill down your throat for a condition you don’t have and one that doesn’t exist? (You don’t want to get me started on psychiatry) I don’t know and cannot pretend to be an expert in the area. I do know myself though and how I deal with it. Perhaps I will divulge at a later time but what I do know is that you need skills and practise to get better at anything.

Repetition is the master of skill and mental, emotional, spiritual and social skills are not privy to a different set of rules. In order to get better at dealing with those voices and being comfortable with your thoughts, personally I believe a lot more solitude is in order. How can you deal with your thoughts if you’re being bombarded by thoughts of others? It doesn’t make any logical sense.

 Although the area of neuroplasticity is one of the foremost researched fields in the world of academe, skills learned later in life are not like those etched into our wiring from an early age.  One has to appropriate quiet time and solitude for children. Solitude that doesn’t mean you prop a child in front of a television and leave them alone for 3 hours. Solitude is not that, nor is it mindless swiping on a phone, tablet or computer screen.

Once upon a time solitude carried with it the connotations of wisdom, understanding, learning, peace, tranquillity, enlightenment and self-knowledge. It was not a word that entailed one was alone. Rather it meant that one was engaging at a much deeper near spiritual like level, learning things about themselves and their surroundings through a socialisation with one’s own thoughts, engaging with the characters inside one’s mind and soul, embracing them, visiting them and asking them for their own opinions. Solitude meant that you had created your own inner social circle of friends who could critique you, agree with you, ask you to remain patient if the answers weren’t clear yet or prompt you to action and immediacy if it warranted.

One word, but not as empty and barren in meaning as we now have relegated it. Time in solitude produced artists, poets, scientists, doctors and literary geniuses. It produces scholars and sages, saints and Gnostics. It was the pre-requisite for every single Prophet.

Solitude was the Alchemy of wisdom and achievement. Let the above roll around in your mind, ponder over it but more importantly, make an honest assessment of how much time in solitude you afford yourself for personal growth. If you cannot be bothered for your own sake then bare it in mind for the future generations.