I’m half sick of shadows.
– The Lady of Shallot by John Atkinson Grimshaw –
Who is this? And what is here?
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer;
And they cross’d themselves for fear,
All the knights at Camelot:
But Lancelot mused a little space;
He said, “She has a lovely face;
God in his mercy lend her grace,
The Lady of Shalott.”
– Alfred Lord Tennyson –
You know I love them old poets. Tennyson and his barely hidden lust and hand wringing. Coleridge and his opium fueled dream walks through time and space. The drunken ramblings and admonishings of Dylan Thomas. Rimbaud and his ancient wisdom forced into a young body that wanted nothing more than to be free. Yeats who always spoke so properly but beauty still flew through him. A legion of my teachers. All a member of some spiritual rabble in my heart and mind.
I am of course writing that flourishing and flakey crap to avoid writing about what I am really feeling. And that is a deep sadness and emptiness of this space. I gave my daughter over to her mother tonight. And every damned time it’s a heartbreaking experience. My Ruby is well cared for and loved by her mother and her brother and I have nothing to say bad about her mother, she does the best she can with what she can and makes out pretty good. Despite our differences and clashes I would never worry about Ruby in that way. But it’s a selfish heartbreak, I want to be with Ruby all the time. I cannot understand these men who create children then disappear or are impartial and non-committal. They just baffle me. I am the opposite. I feel like I hold my breath every time I send her back and only exhale the next time I see her. And I cry every time I say goodbye and am left sad and distant. I feel like I screwed up royally and if I was better, smarter or maybe luckier I’d never have to say goodbye. It stinks. And it’s just like my old man used to say “it’s a kick in the nuts with a frozen boot.” It hurts like that too.
Today was a good example of why I miss her so much. I put on a Cat Stevens album and Rubylove came on and she started singing along and then told me to play it again and then grabbed my hand and said “Come on Daddy, I want to dance!” and there alone just her and I in our socks in the kitchen I did what I wouldn’t do for anyone else…I danced and sang with my little girl and she laughed and I smiled and thought there is nothing on this planet that makes a man as strong and as brave as the sound of his little girl’s voice. I am far too shy and self-conscious to ever dance in public. But not for Ruby. Her desires and joys outweigh my insecurity and stubbornness every time.
The machine/man will rust tonight, sit alone and feel the squeaking gears and wish he was built different. Wish he wasn’t so strange and broken that alone is all he can feel. The tears and sadness are here already. It’s just another broken wire and stripped cog.
I am like a radio transmitting to the stars, because no one here seems to hear what is being said.
Be well, be love.