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.