Saturday, March 26, 2005

yesterday's post was harsh. people gain from ceremonies, tho I think we have lost our main grasp of such determined expressions. not like the old days. and the ceremonial eulogy, I guess people find value in those. it's a certain writerly strictness on my part that keeps me from accepting such expressions. part of my training, if you will, as a writer, involves this sort of rigour. I think that's a reasonable thing. I am securely enough a writer to think that the craft exists at all times for me. one might, that is, need to write well in one's job, or for some organiazation's newsletter, or whatever. and one takes that seriously, but not in the way of one who declares writing as his or her craft. but why blithereth me so? I have been released from a duty that was hard, grew harder over the years, cost me, and yet gave me something I wish anyone to have as well. at least 3 emotions are actively affecting me at this time, yet I feel good. looking forward. and hwo are you?

Friday, March 25, 2005

still sans computer, and this library one has a view such as I can barely read my own blog, and I don't know how to rectify that. I'm scuffling now, it's just a time to scuffle. reading a lot of Jung and Nietzsche because that is what I'm studying. I miss the dailiness of this blog. I have to store up a day or more of stuff, for when I can get to an internet portal. it eats at me when I can't write. but life is life, live on. I would guess, can only guess, that my father's refusal of food and water was something of his right to death. the Schiavo story is just, as Stephen Vincent says, gothic. acceptance is at the end of everything, isn't it? religion is so unreasonable, just as science is. I'm sick of the pathology of these divisions. brazen definitions. burial of my father seemed a ceremony outside me, didn't touch me. certainly not like the burial of Beth's father on a green slope in West Virginia. just my 3 brothers, their wives, Beth, Erin, and 6 other grandchildren. I felt very emotional until each person (almost) said a few words. and tho the emotion was real in all cases, the expression just left me cool. standing in the cold before a silly little urn. dad? I didn't want to say platitudes. my father was a good man in a way I can be proud of. and I took worthy lessons from him. but I didn't want to dissolve him into such words, or eulogical extensions. Beth piped up a few remembrances of him, which stayed inside the human picture that we knew. I managed to say simply, mom was the light of our family, dad was the keel. we as a family lost our centre when she died. I feel, with my father's death, that the family no longer exists as such. religion in the sense of regulated orthodoxies is a poison. it has us speak of things outside our ken. it makes us assert what we don't know. I say religion, but I wouldn't want to exclude such affiliations as the Democratic and Republican parties. Beth regularly gets on the phone with the offices of our esteemed senators and representative, to indicate her dismay. Kennedy and Cave In Kerry go along with the Republican crunch as easy as kiss my hand. I had that problem during the presidential debates when Kerry started huffing like GW about chasing down terrorists. such a declaration didn't define him versus Bush (so why vote for him?), and maybe, hey maybe some alternative thinking could be offered. it's just machines running on their own. that's the orthodoxy I'm railing--yes, this is an example of railing--against. orthodoxy takes our poetry away.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

tomorrow a private (family only) burial of my father. his ashes. a week from saturday a memorial service. neither of these have much meaning for me. Beth, Erin and I will go to Provincetown this weekend, and say goodbye. neither Beth or Erin have been there before. a place where my father spent a lot of time, his mother grew up there, his grandfather owned a store and wharf there. and it seems like there is where he wished to go, when he said he wanted to go home. or Fresh Pond Parkway in Cambridge, the worlds of his childhood. so that's the best significance I can make. goodbye and hope you find your home. today I wrote an angry anti-church diatribe. I think some churches have social value beyond the crass commerce of people getting along. I mean they can be there in many moments of a life, not just those emotional apexes when people feel the duty. I did not see this in dad's church. it was just going thru the motions in 'thinking of dad'. a church he was part of for 60 years. I can't recall if I've written here of the funeral we gave Beth's father. who wanted truck with no such thing. but all we did was read from the Tibetan Book of the Dead. on the most beautiful hillside in West Virginia (that's saying something!), a family plot overlooking a farmstead that belonged to his family, on a bright autumn morning. the worn out patterns don't mean anything. I'm not looking for comfort in that sense. something spiritual not mere opiate. a sense of connection in some wider sense, a poetry amongst us.

Monday, March 21, 2005

having to write this. my father died saturday afternoon. Beth and I visited him about an hour before. he'd made a marked decline since the day before. he was aware but couldn't speak. a nurse (named Angel!) was shaving him. it occurred to me that it wasn't his electric razor. she said, oh that one's too loud, this one is mine. she finished and kissed his forehead. this is the same nurse, I mean aide, who hugged me. in fact I teared up and she hugged me again. we held his hand and talked to him. his breathing was terribly laboured. after a while, Beth left me to be alone with him. I said what I could, assuring him that his family was okay, that I loved him. thanking. all this stuff. I started to cry and he shook his head. a couple of times there were pauses in his breathing such as made me think he was dying. I might've stayed with him, but I remember that it seemed like my mother waited till she was alone to die. we went home and I called my brothers, telling them if they wanted to say goodbye they should do it soon. we had an end of winter party planned, something Erin wanted badly. he has been suffering in his teenage way, way inside. we went shopping for the party. soon after we came back, my brother called to say dad died. they were ready to give him morphine if he started to suffer but luckily that didn't happen. he died just before two of my brothers arrived. I don't know why I write of this here, except that it is part of whatever. and I couldn't do so sooner because my computer broke. it is still broke, but I managed to get to the library today, and with time. we cancelled the party, sent Erin off to some friends. Beth's cousin called and she invited him over. we talked Red Sox and West Virginia. of course my father's death wasn't a surprise. in caring for him, in growing up to that extent, I gained a lot. I am a little cut adrift now. yesterday a neighbour from across the street stopped by. Beth had told her recently that my father was failing. it was kind of shocking, telling her that he died. later she came back with a pot of tulips, and Beth and I talked with her. well I guess I am going too far. this is just like your story, only all the details are different. I'm calling it my story, but that in itself is a story.