Worked all morning, through lunch and into afternoon to complete a few projects, answer emails, and attend the usual assembly of disembodied voices thrashing through the air to reach the moment when I could cry out, "Done!" The workputer was shut down, the smart phone shut off, the office abandoned to my wife and cats, for I was done.
Tonight's meeting is still scheduled but I let my boss know I was bailing, passing responsibility on to our new team member, who is up to the task. So now I'm off on my writing break and I'll then head to the company of men's brains on beer.
Just two days of vacation were taken, to travel to San Antonio, Texas and celebrate my Dad's 80th birthday. My wife isn't going, a decision she made a month ago. She is 'friends' with my Father. My wife is doing poorly now, sadly predictable. She completed her projects last week. In that way, she was a balloon aloft. The air is gone, the balloon has collapsed and lays, tumbled over and spent, after its journey. This is her, tired, listless, coping with a burning stomach from her meds, pain in her joints, hands and feet stone cold. She doesn't sleep through the night, then sleeps through the morning.
On these days, I wonder if she's breached some ridge. How far down will she go? What awaits at the bottom? Those thoughts are shot with pitch. I close them off except for private inspection at very...still...moments.
How does she feel, I wonder, and I ask her. The sphinx is more forthcoming about its health. That's even more worrisome.
Dad's celebration was to be a surprise party, but his wife broke under testing and all has been revealed. It's good in a way, as Dad is now taking time off to visit with family coming in for the celebration, and I'll be able to spend some time with him outside of the party.
The family's dynamics are as certain as lake ice. My little sister didn't respond to any invitations. My Dad's wife wanted me to stay at her house, because I'm family, but I'm a broken member and prefer some solitude. I really wish I could just stay with others and visit with them but they usurp my energy. I've learned that my one weakness in life is that I need energy, and I have more energy when I'm allowed solitude and privacy.
Looking forward to seeing Pa and his collectibles? It's about a 53 on Rotten Tomatoes. There are good and bad moments, the characters are stale, most of the plot is predictable, and some of it will drag.
What is it, the wondering son and curious human asks me after I make my assessment. Why do you think this way?
Well, there's a great deal of hypocrisy in these gatherings, not water under the bridge, but a lack of acknowledgement there is water or a bridge, a pretend existence in the shadow of dammed, ignored waters, and the ignorance displayed is such bliss, causing me to wonder, is this an act or lack of depth? It doesn't confound me, it is that he is emotionally remote and facile, waters as shallow and thin as rain runoff on the asphalt after a brief shower. Painful to think of, painful to acknowledge and write.
On my end, I'm dismayed by how brutal and harsh my judgements are. Fair? How are judgements fair when emotions and family are engaged? I can't release some matters, though. Chief among them, since I married in 1975, Dad visited me once, for two hours. That happened the first month I was married. He's never stepped into my home since. Hearing of other fathers planning to visit their sons and daughters cements my hold on my resentment, sadness, even despair.
Yes, they're in me, but now distant, like a shoreline growing smaller and fainter as the ship moves out to sea. I know they're there, but they're no longer seen and felt. I launched myself away from those territories long ago.
I'll visit with Dad, but it's another land.
Reflecting on this post and the ride through thoughts and emotions, what do I think of myself and my state? I have emotions but they seep out more when I write, for that's when I drink from the chalice that holds the question, why? At other times, I don't think of them and don't challenge them. I exist, speaking as required, interacting, son, husband, man, friend, with goals and things to do! It's only when The Writer opens the door and tips back that chalice do these things all come out. Many who know me would be startled by these examinations and questions.
I'm startled by them, and then, I'm bemused.
These are the private thoughts of life. Most endure the same labyrinths. We go on as needed, not rocks or islands, but falling raindrops, running and pooling, evaporating, forming and falling again.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com