Got a hole in your heart? I do. It’s a fixing, but not by itself. It’s healing to write and so I write. Usually I get a whole page of what “they” shorten manure down to, and then it starts to settle in for the roots to show. The surface stuff that sounds so “talk show” is just that, a surface conversation like the kind you have in the grocery store with someone you haven’t run into for a long time, and maybe really didn’t want to run into anyway. But with me, even after the surface stuff is spilled out all over the floor or the page, the thoughts linger like an echo in a canyon, until my prayers follow, I go deeper and this time write with insight.
“What was I trying to say?” I ask myself as I meander through the word clouds that hang low enough to tickle my brow, like navigating through a forest of velvet covered willow branches. I want to talk about the absence of love, but maybe it isn’t absent. Maybe, it’s dormant. I carefully reach up and pluck the word “love” from an invisible thread and bring it in tight – to my chest. I embrace it like a child in my arms and run my fingers over the letters. Do I really think I’m going to raise the letters from the dead? Do I really think writing about my sister’s “family” sabbatical is going to change anything?
Why do we strive so, to reach someone, when in actuality they may not want to be found? I think we do it for our self and tell ourselves we do it for them. We do it because others do it. We do it because we think that’s what family does, but for whom? And it’s just like every other area in our lives, the same people reach while the other people watch. Sometimes we do it because God tells us to.
Family’s different for everybody. I’m tired of thinking mine should be like the Partridge Family, or Brady Bunch, God forbid. But either one of those options would have been tamer than the one I lived through. But that’s the strange thing, she remembers our childhood completely different, as if recalling the truth is an insult to our Father’s character. But anything short of the truth is a lie. Besides, even if the truth is ugly, it doesn’t have to be wasted. We can learn from people’s mistakes as well as their triumphs.
Is it any surprise I’m thinking about “family” with Thanksgiving around the corner? The Canadian Thanksgiving, that is. The U.S. has their celebration in November, really close to Christmas so the shopping has a chance to blur out any meaning. I’m sure there’s a reason, but I wasn’t any good at memorizing historical dates in Social Studies.
I’m not going to memorize the date she decided to go “off the reservation” either. I’m not going to memorize the date she decided to stop picking up the phone. I might memorize the date she resurfaces if I’m still alive – kidding.
I’m going to breath and once in a while I’m going to listen for the sound of my lover’s words. He and he alone knows how to sew the grand canyon back together, like there never was a crack in the first place. And if by chance he calls me to be part of the mending, I’ll jump up and grab a needle. But until then I think I’m suppose to wait.
And if I have to cook and have Thanksgiving without her, I will. I’m thankful her dropping off the face of the earth doesn’t mean her face gets erased from my heart.