The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Sunday, June 19, 2016

the pain of becoming unhooked

This morning as I sat on the back porch rocking and sipping coffee, watching the birds and listening to the river flow, I realized that today brings with it a strange confluence of events, rather the byproduct of those events.

Father's Day.  One naturally reflects on their own dad on Father's Day.  My dad liked to fish so, Father's Day usually found us at the coast or, when I was very young, along the river.  I've probably written this before, but even though my memory is full of adventures near  shorelines, I never remember my Dad "keeping" a fish.  We didn't cook them.  They aways survived for a do-over.  I have caught more then one errant fish hook in my day ... those crazy brothers competing on who could make the farthest cast ... so I know exactly what it felt like to have Daddy "unhook" me.  He'd take some pliers out of his tackle box, cut the hook, and slide it on through. Then he'd nudge my trembling lower lip with a knuckle, wipe away a tear with the backside of his hand (presumably cleaner) brushing it back with my bangs, and he'd say something like "All better".  My tetanus shots were always current.  I like the way he didn't make a big deal out of me getting unhooked.  He'd just stop what he was doing and help me out of my predicament. He never said I shoulda been more careful to stay out of the way.  He never said much about it to the boys 'cept maybe something like "look out for your sister" which was something we all heard often.  It was not big deal.  (I note that because my mom definitely woulda brought the drama had she witnessed something like that.)  Easily fixed ... moving on.
As soon as I read that Ray Bradbury excerpt I thought of my dad.  He was a gardener as I said.  He was also just amazingly gifted at leaving a lasting touch.

It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. ~RB

So ... so many life lessons I have  to thank my dad for ... like, whatever the pain of becoming unhooked might be, it's eventually gonna be all better.  As the years have accumulated shaping who I am, and who I am becoming, even I can see I'm like him.  I feel good about that.  I feel good about being able to pour my love into the people around me, my people.

Father's Day.  I used to be easily, and rightly, distracted from thinking of my own father on Father's Day because I was busy helping my children celebrate their dad.  Now that they are adults it's their responsibility to handle special acknowledgements as they best can.  They have a pretty stellar dad themselves.  I think of Tommy today - not in regards to his actual role as a dad, he died with regrets there - but as the way he and I shared memories of our dad over the years after Daddy died.  We probably should have gone fishing together.  I still don't fish, but I'm as good a fishing buddy as one could wish for.  My favorite picture of my younger brother is one taken from a distance where he was standing in the waves at the coast.  He looked exactly like himself and exactly like our dad all at the same instant.  I miss him today.

I guess he's helping Momma blow out some candles in Heaven today if they do such things there.  Today would be her birthday.

I thought of her birthday coming along with Father's Day while I sat out there where I could see the birds and hear the river flow.  I thought about how Tommy would call to tell me how Mom's day went so that when I talked to her I'd have the whole story.  (I put out a couple of new feeders today as a token gift for L ... he is beginning to enjoy seeing the birds on the two feeders I placed outside his home office windows.  He has time to pay attention to stuff like that now.)  As I sat in the rocker, I was thinking about how getting older necessarily brings with it lots of "goodbyes".

Goodbyes are hard on me.

I am thinking about how to make saying goodbye easier for myself.

I fired the Realtor yesterday.  She just wasn't putting any energy in to doing what she said she would do (very basic marketing of my house).  She had a lot of really great excuses, but it was apparent that what I needed her to do wasn't a priority. When you're at the bottom of some one's priority list, I've come to believe they are trying to let you know you don't matter to them and may be over-invested in whatever the relationship is supposed to be.  It was hard to make the decision to "cut her loose".   She was busy with probably legitimately more important things.  I could tell she felt bad about losing the opportunity, - no hard feelings, it just became unsustainable.  I felt bad about letting her know her contributions to getting the house sold weren't cutting it.  It interesting to observe that she was actually relieved, when people know they are letting you down it's a burden.  Life is too short for that, I want her to feel good about where she does and doesn't spend her time.

I've thought I should say "hello" to more people.  By that I mean, I say hello to people all the time, I'm very friendly with superficial relationships ... I just don't like superficial relationships very much.    I'm running out of "my people",  I can feel the vacancies.  

Ah, the interior life of an introvert.  I laugh at myself.  

 River roll on ... .


GretchenJoanna said...

What Ray Bradbury book?

DeAnn said...

Fahrenheit 451

Here's a better look at the context :

"Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there.

It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime." ~ Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451