Father’s Day: An Illusory Mourning

If you read here regularly, you know enough about me to know why “Father’s Day” is a very problematic day to me…for I was in the situation that a woman gets thrust into when she for whatever reason is required to be “father” to her children, whether it is due to death or divorce, or the joining of two women, and each of them trade off time in that role.

As I was not out to anyone, least of all myself, there was the expectation by everyone that I would simply “know” what being a father meant…but really the best I could do was follow the example of my own father, watch what other males did, and try as hard as I could to be present in the lives of our children.

Alas, there was the unfortunate cultural baggage to deal with as well…something each generation discovers when their children grow up and become all-knowing teenagers and rip you to shreds with their withering rejection and depths of knowledge that “obviously” exceed your own!!

I have watched, read…and mourned as my life and history has disappeared before my eyes as it is recounted for others thru the pen of writers who leave me agog in the distance between their claims and what I have lived.  I hold in my hands letters, cards, and other mementos that say one thing and links that cross the transom leading to “myth-making” and demythologizing that seem to suit the maker’s whim and need while utterly ignoring whoever might have been present, however unaccounted for…

…and certainly there is great territory that I now see which I could not see then…mourning and grieving is hard work, but real transformation/metamorphosis is even harder because it demands first and foremost accountability to some truth outside one’s self…and it is slow…3 steps forward and 2 back so often…

…believe me, you have not known horror until you devote yourself in the midst of deep pain and sorrow over the course of years to this transformation only to find it entirely dismissed because of the presence of a two step back moment!!

But this is the lot of a transperson…dissociated in childhood, high functioning and intelligent enough to hide it from everyone including herself, only to find everything shifts dizzyingly in middle age and a brand new person who was always there emerges to the surface offering life to everyone but bringing so much death in the process.

One is forced to know one’s self…or die.
One is forced to live one’s life…whether accompanied or abandoned.
And one is at last glad to find moments of authenticity stretching into entire days, becoming weeks and promising a solidness that may last for the few years left on this stage called life before my candle is blown out.

And that brings me full circle to “Father’s Day”…and an interesting unfolding of meaning and history and experience as writ in the poems from that day in 2014 and 2015…

…I will never write another one.

Never.

Any further writing on that subject is more than adequately covered by the ones whose memoirs cover the gamut from memory to gaslighting, to myth making and destruction…and telling the stories that make sense to them not only their past but their present…for what a joyous role it is to be present scapegoat for those unhappy and not realizing that many independent choices have led them to the place they are in and that of their own volition and doing…as long as I am there, that result can be shunted off onto me…and thus provide some measure of relief and comfort, and maybe even some space to grow and grow up…

for certainly this is the role of a parent if not a father…

I love no less than ever I loved…perhaps even more now than then…but I am far less invested in measuring my own self based on the things that are said to others about me…because I know myself now, better than I have ever known, and I accept the successes, the failures, all rolled into one and called “a life lived”.

I think that I get to some of these feelings, emotions, conclusions in the poems on this subject.

At any rate, it is clear to me that there are new puppies who eagerly drink, and a multitude of souls who have begun to call me mother, or spiritual parent…and my job is to be who I am, in joy and full participation…if those from the highways and byways come willingly to the table, I shall serve them what goods I have, and continue in my quest to be utterly emptied of anything left to give on my final breath’s exhalation.

I suspect there is much to be gleaned in these poems for any parent of adult children…but I cannot be the judge of that…only embrace the process of being a parent to those given to me…and rejoice as I see the tools I diligently sought to impart put to use…even if it is for my flaying, dissection, and repudiation.

God knows I love them…miss them…and wish that I could know and be known by them.  But that option is not mine to know or even demand, for it is wrapped and concealed in the illusions and fogs of times future…

but maybe Christmas principles, lessons…perhaps Christmas visitations will give all Mr. Scrooges that reprieve we all wish for, but so few will embrace due to the fires of taking responsibility for being a chooser of free will in a determinative world…

And so to the poems…oh, I’ve many poems written to my children individually and collectively…but these three specifically concern the horrid day known as “Father’s Day”, and they are my only answer I shall ever make to the long horror show letter received on this day, or the articles about me that so deeply and mortally wounded my heart…I await with longing the day of resurrection that shall come.

Here are the links…if you are still here to click:

The Footprints Of Ghosts

Beside This Ring Of Ashes One Year Later

The Blossom of Memories of You (Father’s Day 2015)

Link To Last Year’s Father’s Day Poem

Oh Constance…it boggles my mind how much has changed.

How much has changed…

It’s good that I knew not what would happen…and yet, no way I would go back.

Back to the bondage of those days, back to discontents concealed and blame laid up yet hidden and at the ready to be doled out…back to that skin, that servitude to a virus that has infected this entire planet and its mammon-serving economic blood.

Bruce Cockburn said this…in his amazing song “Fascist Architecture”

“you tore me outta myself alive”.

Here is the link to last year’s poem written on Father’s Day…it makes me laugh ruefully…I was so proud of it.

The Footprints of Ghosts

I was so proud of us…thinking we would be different than…better than.

Pride was my downfall, as it is for every person prideful.

Praise our God of Grace and Humility, for Their Mighty Deliverance and Salvation from the Hell of ourselves!

Why don’t you click Play on Bruce below…listen to him tell the truth, and read of my naive optimism?
Thank God that though optimism fade in the heat, Faith remains unconquerable!

Beside This Ring Of Ashes One Year Later

One year later,
in this year of grace
I sit in stillness
ringside once again
but only with dead ashes,
no flame.

Instead, I warm myself within
with thoughts of fires long ago,
long gone out but flickering
strongly in this quiet night
of lonely memories.tumblr_nq9ngm71fg1qat5pio1_500

I know it has to happen, yes
this death of me, this death
of who I was, no…
what I was, or rather
what you thought I was
and what I wasn’t too.

You thought me as a god,
and just a little lower than a god.
Your “glorious glorious father”
shining strong and tall,
quick and certain, no one knew
that was but wooly curtains drawn
over a stage making the ready
for a play to become real-life…
finally…at last…
But…what’s a child to do when god betrays?

tumblr_nm8fo9zWD51tkr81jo1_1280When god is thus unfaithful and capricious…
that god must become monster,
and vicious harsh taskmaster,
when god must be revealed as sick pretender
(your words, love, not mine, those are your words)
as just the “other”, empty, just a mask?tumblr_nd6tstqbwz1sckob0o1_1280

Well, Nietzsche showed the way, now dint he?
He sussed the death of God and birth of crisis…
He understood the very underpinnings
of everything are quivering like liquid,
all foundations kicked asunder
and this hollow edifice
left floating in the shell-pink air.

Nietzsche called for total transformation,
he demanded blood, the death of God,
and also everything He stood for.

I get it…I do…the death of god
No really, I know it’s me, not you…
Problematic in my breathing
and offensive in my joy, well
this aggression will not stand, man!

And so it is that I must die…well,
he must die and be defamed
for every single gripe,
complaint or wound or sling
he must be destroyed
because he wasn’t He
and now it’s clear
that he would never be…
but I will be…me.tumblr_nneoshc0PX1sq00azo1_1280

Go ahead, beloveds,
it’s true that I must die
so you can be set free
and God at last can finally BE
that God of Wonder
far beyond the Galaxy,
high above and right beside us
bringing life again to you and me.

Use what silver knives you have
(I placed them in your hands so long ago,
carefully planned, bequeathed to you your
weapons of words, of music and of comprehension).
Use the ropes you find inside your packs,
laid lovingly from Lorien in wonder
and in sober long anticipation yes,
that someday your blood be required
of me and on my head as well
(but it’s in my heart forever).54606def315a3No crucifix for me, how gauche,
how gothic and old fashioned!
No…a shiny scaffold glittery
erected stainless steel there, gleaming
austere, so implacable
and one thin razor wire noose
with my neck’s name writ there

*Charissa Grace* tumblr_npuhk5h8PG1uru6h4o1_1280

(except it’s not so plain as all that)
no…the old name that speaks of

blood     and
the price     and all things made
white as snow again.tumblr_nq5pgxrQWz1qllucco2_1280

I have confidence in you
(this is not stupid or myopic,
this is love, Lovelies).
I see this execution
is but you living out
what I have taught you
that there is no god but God
(not even glorious father)

and all things that you love
descend from His Great Goodness
and Mama’s bag of richestumblr_nm27mtsR1i1qkevp7o1_1280

*beauty of the Leaves of Grass
haunting grace of purity ring
simple joy in eyes of beloved boys
furious flow of men and balls and love*

I wish you all good always
and hope that someday your mouth won’t be cursed
with this burnt aftertaste of death,
and me just acrid curse to you…
if my death expiate your soul
and bring release and freedom to you all
then quick, oh Hangman, let the black bell toll
and pull your lever that I may hard fall

and snap…snuff…pooftumblr_na3un4PrG41r1arpmo1_1280

and on you live, free
building brave new worlds
but I will still be like those flickering fires
that linger in my mind while I sit here
beside this ring of ashes never warm
and those seats empty in this quiet storm

of memory, of love, of sorrow held so dear
God knows I gladly die and wish you near
and trust that I will rise and know no fear
forever, just Love’s Fires always here.tumblr_nq3ucoBZSl1qat5pio1_400

“The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. ‘Whither is God,’ he cried; ‘I will tell you. We have killed him—you and I! All of us are his murderers…Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder?…Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.'”
Friedrich Nietzsche 
tumblr_n9r92oy73M1s3tosqo1_r1_1280

The Blossom of Memories of You (Father’s Day 2015)

There’s a stone in your body
where heart used to be
there’s a hurt in my heart
where your smile ran so free
there’s an echo of you
deep within, here in me
but your voice trails off
and disappears.

You have wandered so far afield
into the satin night
while I am touching
the circle of golden light
shed by the memories
of what we shared,
what we might share again,
if you’d stayed within sight
and let love be our shield,
let love be our shield…

But I wear your flowers in my tresses, braided
in my hair the scent of your laughter, it lingers
longing for you to return and to claim
those words that you uttered then, sitting so empty,
forlorn, blurred and muttered without clarity
and without true commitment
to something beyond the grave,
waiting to rise again,
new…rise again, new…

I wear
the blossom
of memories
of you…tumblr_nq5mvr5QL21qllucco2_1280

The Footprints of Ghosts (commemorating my first Father’s Day as myself)

The fire crackles and pops
its diphthongs and phonemes
in that hot and feisty
rapid-snap delivery.

Dad!  Dad!  Daddy!  Father!”
It says this in living
letters of merry blazing
iterations of what,
repetitions of who,
and smoky, hazy eye-burning
questions of…
how?

I shiver and draw close,
grateful for warmth
this late spring day.
It is still early, and summer
slumbers in the dawn,
as I sit shiva with spring …

and the fire sings, keens,
quests, warms and shows us
the way of all things,
fading natural-like, and
giving up its ghost.

Ashes drift lazily,
footprints of wandering ghosts
free at last from their entombment,
in limbs of wood and sap,
and finally I see ashes
are ghostly release,
are seeds, promises of Phoenix,
gathering, bunching,
heaving and inevitable.

Smoke gets in my eyes,
clears my eyes, blurry and stinging
and stirs my memory pools
as I think back on 31 spectral years,
as a ghost encased in a word,
in a role, entombed
in limbs of alien thick
coarse wooly flesh.

Those long years of walking on water and anxious,
with no idea
what was a daddy
and inherent universal
knowing of love so deep it makes
the shores of the galaxy seem shallow.

Love was my fire,
my ghost, my ash-seeds,
and I my own Phoenix
sleeping, waiting,
looming, wanting.

I gave myself, my blood and sweat,
my upturned nose to fear and downturned face to them…
I threw me on the fire
and I screamed silent,
solitary inside no-one-else-here land.

I popped and hissed
and seethed and whistled
and snapped as I
gave up the ghost each day,
turned to ash each day,
diminished, but growing…
disappearing and becoming

until I walked
free and disembodied
and covered with ashy afterbirth
and filled with knowing
I could do nothing more
than give the love of one called father
even if I could not bear the
name of man.

Summer stirs, and my reverie is snapped
by the sharp chirp of robins
wanting to scritch thru the fire remnants for sowbugs.
Spring has closed her eyes,
her breath has slowed
even as mine has quickened
and I stand to face
my first father’s day of
fully knowing me.

Love calls 4 times.
And I know that somewhere,
somehow, someway
that feisty fire-voice
was naming and liberating
and I have been reborn
from all ash,
a ghost no more
but bodied, present,

and turning in my joy.

 

tumblr_n5rsyii6WR1qzcapfo1_500