Casual Photo Essay- notes I wanted to leave for the people who bought my parents house

When my father died it was very clear that everything had to be divided and what was left had to be sold. This was no small decision. It was not easy and has been the biggest weight of my year- overshadowing everything. It brought my family closer, opened a bit more honest communication, though contact is hard sometimes- a reminder of the smoke behind us. No one wants to be turned to salt. But also- It caused a lot of self-reflection and ushered in much forgiveness- for others as well as myself. I am cruel- but I am most cruel to me. It is Christmas. I've no scabs to pick at- just bruises to punch. Healing has taken its course because I had no choice. I was and still am ready to get on with it. I am the only surviving child my parents had who does not have his/her own family- and although my friends have made me feel free, safe, capable, and allowed me to be (when I wanted to) effective- it is not the same. We all know that. I see poets refer to the 1,000 strong slam community as "Fam" and I laugh and think, "I know you and your heart is not big enough to feel, forgive, or love that many people in that way." Fam? No. There are many in the community who I do consider as such but most of you wouldn't swap phone numbers an entire bottle in. Let alone put up with the underlying person that must be known to actually love someone. I get it- we've an important, beautiful common ground and yet many of us are jealous of others, talk smack about the work of others, resent others... that's about all we have in common with actual family. That is not to say there are not many of you I adore, love, idolize, or see the moon and think you hung it in the sky. If you do not understand then your definitions of loss and love are very different than mine. That is no one's fault. It's a hearts' vernacular.
So, no children, no property, I would be the only one who really could have uprooted myself and taken the house with any ease but I am the last one of us who would ever move back there--for the same reasons I am not rooted in a new blood. Art. Art and selfishness. The truth is- it is saddest because 2 lifetimes where spent for that house and us, those who grew up in it. It was not perfect but I believe they did the best they could and that is what it is. From them I learned an odd code of ethics- if you love and work hard at/for what you love, if you are capable and sardonic and a bit twisted, if you believe in science and a hint of God, if you carry the road as you walk it- you would have been welcome and spoken to at my parents table. Knocking on the door would have gotten you chastised. You are to walk in and take what food or drink you want and be a part of home. If you expect something from the world, if you believe you are owed... you would be welcome but you would never have really been let it.
I had a good year because I needed to and sought it out. I fought for it. I had a good Christmas because I needed to rest and spend some time posting this series of digitals, framing pictures, repotting things, typing up my Da's eulogy and the poem for his burial, and curling up with an old friend- me. I still have unpacking for the new digs to do but I don't care. I'm hoping that if I keep writing about my family and childhood on occasion (which is all I can handle with a day job--on occasion) and posting/making things like this, that it will be easier to practice piano and guitar more often, finish Dionysus, get a manuscript of poems to send out to publishers, sleep good and well... I'm real bad at that.
I had a good Christmas. I made an amazing meal that was almost no fuss- fresh duck sausage wrapped in puff pastry with red peppers, asparagus, whole garlic and shallots, capers, and a salty Spanish cheese... pics of that and more coming soon. I watched Home for the Holidays, cried, went for a run, took a nap on my couch, got laid, and went through photo's and compiled these many blog posts below. It is a series of pics and pics of notes I wanted to leave for the people who bought my parents' house. It is for my brothers and sisters and theirs and theirs- and my memories are different and there are many, many more post it notes that should have and could have been written and photographed but this is how I spent my last weekend in the house where I grew up. It's a bit messy and haphazard. It is not complete but it is something.

1 comment:

Chad Parenteau said...

Thanks for posting this and your other pictures. I'm glad you were able to move through this. I dread the day this happens to my own family home of nearly 40 years (I'll be the sole owner when my mother dies), but it's good to be reminded that this can be done with grace and love. And in your case, a little style.