Thursday, July 26, 2007

I Would Drive All Night Just To Buy You a Pair of Shoes

Chris’s birthday party under the redwoods ended on Sunday and I packed up and hit the road about 10 p.m. John returned from Ireland on Saturday and opened an unsigned typed written letter from his birth mother which he read to me over the telephone. I pray for this woman who suffers, but the letter she wrote was spectacularly cruel. I understand the pitiable condition of the writer, hating herself so much she is doggedly determined to be hated in return. We are still deeply wounded but we will not relent in our love for her even though she implies that my husband's very existence has crushed and continues to crush her life and soul. My husband. My children. My self. We are innocents and we are wounded that you would will us not to even BE. I was not born of you but I cannot picture myself BEING without John and our sons. But we will BE and we will love and we will pay tribute to and glorify, with every second of our lives, your drunken fuck with the married architect. I hope one day, your shame will be assuaged somehow by our miracle.

Summer's road has been long and I have been so lonely and brought so low. My artifice of refinement was busted wide open and I was returned with a hard slap to feeling dirty and vulgar and coarse and ugly and deserving of hatred because I used words that hit raw nerve and resounded back to me with such a wallop that I feel sad and changed and sensing of loss. Irreparable damage, but with it the potential for boundless growth. Patience and love.

My love has returned and now I have returned to him and we eat the Spartan little meals of ancient couples and lie together in bed in air thicker and hotter than in Donegal or Felton. Sharing a pillow last night, ceiling fan humming and cooler air beginning to waft in, with bugs and flies and moths through the torn screen, my lungs filled with the scent of my husband and my recent conundrum about prayer (asking?) and meditation (listening?) seemed like so much fucking hot air. There was nothing else in the world.

1 comment:

Fionnchú said...

This was taken the Saturday morning that I left my fortnight in the Glen to depart Donegal's remote southwest (not even an ATM until An Cealla Beaga-- see sign for how far that is from the village crossroads from which all roads lead elsewhere and I waited for the bus that'd get me eventually to Belfast). The view leaving Glencolmcille up the road that took me away offered a magnificent vista from the glen to the sea, pathetic fallacy of Ruskin applied to the mist shrouding the hills around the glacially rounded ridges that sheltered the settlement from the barren summits surrounding it and the high boglands separating it from places nearer the coast, more heavily trafficked, less charming but with ATMs.

That letter from abroad was indeed devastating; although I had expected rejection after the preparation for such disdain early this month, I did not expect its tone to be so bitter about the temerity of my very attempt to make known to the woman who bore me in her own pain and in my premature danger that I in fact lived long past the incubator, and to a degree have well prospered.

However, as I was able to share the shock as I scanned the typed, unsigned letter-- this made my reunion all the more poignant with the more sensitive writer of this blog.

Both of us came back to an empty house separately. My one night apart here diminishes before the twenty-six lonely vigils of my wife here, but such introspective evenings for me in Ireland and here for her have intensified our realization that we must make our own happiness, and free ourselves from the baggage of our own unwitting progenitors we've carried for decades, genetically and geriatrically. I only hope our two sons treat us better and that we have treated them better too despite our own failings and frailty. Maybe they will even forgive our sending them to camp (see photo same day, different post). I recall a Laurie Anderson song title, and not even a fan of hers: "Born, Never Asked."

We returned from journeys hurt after we dared to be vulnerable with those to whom we sent bold love, needing comfort ourselves, and amidst mewling cats and nattering dogs, found healing respite despite the heat, the smog, and the dust of our hovel.

I unlike The Boss would not know which shoes to buy my beloved, but I do hope that unlike "Scott Baio is 45 and single," a purported reality show I read about in the NY Times today, I would not come to the door of my amour past or present bearing the gift of a bucket of chicken.