Crazy-ass family

You just can't make this stuff up

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Tedium of Me

When I was little, I worshipped my father. I waited for him to be home, and when he was, I'd hang on his every word, I'd sit beside him and watch him read forever (no wonder I could read when I was three), I'd draw him pictures...
When he was manic, I'd sit on the back step and watch him run around the block...circling and circling...and I could see, even from a distance, the look of joy on his face. Of hope. Of being on the precipice of something great and knowing all he had to do was...keep going.
When he was depressed, I would tiptoe around him. I'd quietly ask him questions about planets and books and music and cherish each thing he taught me. I'd sit beside him and sit and sit and sit and wait for that look of joy.
I thought that if I was very good, he'd be okay. I so wanted him to be okay.
My father gave me gifts.
He gave me brains. And curiosity and the desire to learn. He gave me, I'm convinced, some of the gifts I used to talk about on here a lot. He taught me, in silence, to wait. He taught me, in his absence, to imagine and to anticipate. He taught me the power of will and decision. He taught me right and wrong.
Sometimes, I am depressed. Sometimes I am anxious. Mere shadows of the bipolar extremes that my father experiences, I'm sure, but shadows indeed.
I think that, in an effort to make sense of all of this as I grew up, I built a safe little wall around myself...with rules, and clear goals, and morals, and right and wrong. I made decisions very carefully...I watched, learned, and decided appropriately. Now, when things in my life are so very mixed up, I feel that wall crumble and wonder what will be left at the end of it.
Will I rebuild?
Will I tear down and start over?
All those rules I set out for myself - the clear lines of right and wrong and black and white - are blurred now with shades of grey and I wander through, confused and enlightened.
In the meantime, I go to work and I take care of my kids. I play my flute and I sing. I cry some, too. And I think way too much.
And my Father is writing again. Once again, I sit and listen and learn.
And I'm thankful.


At 9:16 PM, Blogger Laura_Rob said...

Dearest Tree,
It's the thinking that drives you nuts. All the 'what if's' and how will the future be? I think no matter what you will be a stronger and better person for everything. It is the lows and how you deal with things that really show your true colours - and yours are beautiful! :)

At 8:54 PM, Blogger deepoet said...

I once wrote a poem that, after interminable rewrites, turned out to be especially for my father. Somehow I'd finally told my Dad, on paper, how much I loved him. Though he'd been blunt in the past in disapproving my tendency to put "everything" down in words, Dad told me that this particular poem had brought a tear to his eye... and maybe for the first time ever, I had an inkling of my reason, everyone's reason, for writing. We seek to move another person, to become a small or large part of someone else's day.
Oh my good and shining Treesey, you have, once again and for the very best, moved me. Thanks, sweetie.

At 10:15 AM, Blogger The Mater said...

It's a dark wood, a rite of passage. You've come to a crossroads sooner than most, one of the crossroads. I believe there are many. Only you can choose the path to take but know that you are surrounded by love.

All life's best, dear Tree!

At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

tree, i haven't been around much lately--busy with life, running away from things i don't feel like looking at sometimes too, i guess.

i just wanted to thank you for this post. on so many levels it means something to me and the way you wrote it and showed us to your dad was stunning.

my husband is bipolar and you just opened so many doors and windows for me to walk and look through. i know it isn't easy for either you or your father, but the fact that he's present and you're a part of his life has given me a lot of hope for my husband and children's futures.

thank you, thank you, thank you.


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