Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Arrival As Departure: Going Home Again

“I am what I am and cannot be otherwise because of the shadows.” 
― Loren EiseleyThe Unexpected Universe

I came to my former home from my current home, along with my daughter in a journey toward a future past, the site of my son’s death, the damages caused by renters to be remediated by yours truly so Kara could begin a independent life freed from the confines of a childhood watched over by yours truly and my wife, Sue.

We found the house empty, filthy, damaged, and hermetically sealed in a sickening smell of decayed food, vomit, animal feces and all of these senses I occupy were akin to an association with death. Kara was visibly upset and overwhelmed and as a father, I found myself compelled to reset this scenario for her. The Maintenance Man.

This was to be a benchmark of a new stage in her life, one we had discussed as a family for some time as well as it being the home where Matthew had passed away in the night to be found by yours truly cold, lifeless..a corpse. Pausing for a moment on the nexus of this convergence I wondered if this gathering of a life’s work was like the encounters archeologists find themselves confronted with. Layers upon layers of dwellings, each buried and built atop one another, layered in strata that yet composed a singularity.

While repairing this damage, I stayed in my sister’s home, sleeping in what had been my mother’s bedroom on what had been her bed. In the midst of this flurry of reconstructing the past damage to that home, there was the interior reconstruction of loose and free floating suspended memories also associated with the past, as damaged and in need of repair as the physicality of broken windows, damaged appliances and soiled carpeting. One appeared to be the mirror of another in a cycle of organisation, deconstruction and inherent reconstruction as if one had occupied a station directly in the path of tornado alley.

A sort of ironic persistence in the face of lacking an exit.
As I settled into that bed for the night, I steered my mind toward the sleep of forgetting as rest in the silence of her former room, now strewn with her personal items stacked in boxes, the furniture pushed into the far corners of the room.  

During the passage of night, I found myself with a sense of arriving in a dark, crowded room of shadow figures moving within it as if I were in a bus or railway station while being afflicted with an obscured vision from a case of a proverbial glaucoma of my inner sight.
Matthew seemingly glided to face me as feelings of loss, a deeply penetrated sadness washed over me that heralded his communicated that he had a sense of never having accomplished anything worthwhile in the midst of life that could be remembered as leaving a legacy that would be remembered..I countered that this was not so, that he was an accomplishment in of himself not to be devalued by a lack of leaving material evidence of this behind. It was a highly emotional encounter. In this miasma of a scenario, all common sense I had vanished and asked if not begged for him to stay, to not leave this encounter. How foolish, how true.

Matt said that where he was had an accompaniment of like individuals who were positive in working through and assisting each other through this very issue of unfinished business as he faded back into the darkness…as I awoke in the light of early morning streaming through the windows as another passage of time would unravel itself.

I awoke and immediately disbelieved any of this had occurred in any real sense and yet the potency of the encounter in it’s essence had filled me as if I were the container of a transaction that was in of itself, a reconstruction, a path unfulfilled and yet busying itself with reinvention. Certainly an odd admixture of a continuum containing separation, closeness and lacking any definitive conclusion. Finding myself inside of this membrane of memory superimposed by the reinvention of a past narrative what came to mind several days later was once again the words of Thomas Wolfe in You Can’t Go Home Again.

“Something has spoken to me in the night...and told me that I shall die, I know not where. Saying: "[Death is] to lose the earth you know for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.”

Thomas Wolfe, You Can't Go Home Again

1 comment:

  1. Bruce, In reading this, I will not even try to grasp in desperation for my reflections on this very personal and subjective journey you experienced. I just want to thank you for sharing these indelible moments with us.