“Sometimes I can’t remember nothing
Sometimes it shadows everything
Some Sundays it’s as loud as thunder
In the morning when the telephone rings
Clearer days in some distant forecast
Dark days in this present past
In the blur of some phantom widescreen
I’ll let go of what I never had”
– Matthew Ryan –
Some days, like today. It feels just getting through is enough.Just letting the hours go past without too much scarring or pain. Just hold your breath man. Just stay perfectly still. They can only see you if you move. And for safe measure make no sound, you can’t ever tell what you may say and if they’re listening anyway.
The ghosts are loud today. The chains. And rattling of doors I keep shut tight and piled against with anything I can push in front. Just stay out now you hear? I am not letting you in. They whisper out there. In the long and lonely hall “Come on boy, you’ve got to open up sometime, just you wait and see.” and I think maybe they laugh. A terrible death rattle sound. It’s the music of shame and sorrow.
See I remember standing in the middle that little street. Watching the big black car drive away. She turned to wave goodbye but I looked away so she couldn’t see me cry. And the days I spent walking, afraid to go home. Because it was so empty. So lonely. I never slept in that bed again. How could I, she was still there a faint scent on the pillow. Tea, some secret potion and raindrops.
And if I turn my eyes inside again, I can see a the sidewalk as I walked around the block just one more time. Just a few more minutes before I went home. Such a scared boy. Just a child. But carrying the weight of a thousand years. And when I got home he’d be there, angry and cruel. The explosion, the bruises and the hurting. Shame, a kid who knew shame before he ever knew love. Crawling away to hide. A corner that the light never quite reaches. Piles of books and a record player. And holding my breath. Waiting to see if that was all. No more tonight okay?
So many boxes and so many rooms. So often I have gone alone. The sadness and ache of letting go once again. The subsiding pain and the scarring, thick tissue growing where once there was flesh. Always knowing there will come again another wound, another fight or another heartache. Just healing enough to go back into it again and again. Like an old prize-fighter. Paying for his rent and booze with blood and skin.
Days like these I seem to lose my faith.
Well tomorrow comes. It always does. Good or bad. And the cluttered places inside me will still be there. Waiting. More patient than a stalking cat and with sharper teeth than a dragon.
Be well, be love.
“He was standin’ on the corner
A hundred dollar bill in his hand
Said I could feed a lot of these people with this
But that ain’t the business at hand
Ain’t but one reason for a white boy to be
Over on this side of town
He gave that money to the man and he
Bought a little mercy for now
Have mercy on me
Have mercy on me
I’m a sinner Lord can’t you see
Have mercy on me “
– Steve Earle –
Sometimes it feel like the burden of my whole life and all the wrong and right I have done all leans in on me. Some great balance tilting one way and then the other. And I try hard not see God and mercy as conditional on what kind of mood God is in today and if he’s got it to spare. He don’t work that way. Not like asking your buddy if they got ten to spare till you can make it up to them.
I searched out grace and mercy in a lot of places. In a song, a handful or prick of a drug. A bottle or a woman. In the chase of devils and the push toward God. Always a mile from heaven and just a foot out of hell. Maybe it wasn’t so wrong. The new psychological premise is that an addiction is simply a coping skill and not a right or wrong. Those who fall under it are simply trying to survive in most cases a life that is unbearable. Maybe that’s a good way of looking at it. I couldn’t ask for heavenly mercy or grace, but I could ask a bottle, it was there and I knew it would come.
But sometimes all that matters for nothing. I am lonesome, heartbroken and angry. I search and find nothing to ease my feelings some days. I miss people, I miss ghosts, I miss life. I am so damned poor right now that I often don’t know where my next meal will come from and things you call needs and expenses I call luxury. And I can’t help but wonder if maybe I forced the hand of fate and God and this is some strange penance. That I have to stand in a doorway and watch my little girl drive off or I can’t call my father when I need a hand. My family has scattered and I cannot find love inside me anymore. I wouldn’t even subject a woman feel like there is something in me that could be called romance and affection. I have no trust left and so little love to give, that I’d just feel like a thief. So I stay alone because to have a friend means knowing how to be a friend. I can’t even do that.
So here I am down on myself. I sometimes am grateful that I haven’t the means to end it all at hand because I have these impulse moments where I say to myself “Fuck it, what’s it matter anyhow?” and if it were easy enough…Well I guess I wouldn’t be here to write.
Does that make me a bad person, sick or unsuitable. I don’t think so. I think it’s just a heart that has hurt enough and lost enough that it wants nothing but relief. The pain of living sometimes outweighs the fear of dying.
But I got on. Frustrated and angry. Feeling rejected and unwanted and sometimes I ask myself ‘Is this how Joseph felt when he was looking for a manger? Before the miracle?’ Because I don’t feel holy, I just feel desperate and responsible to carry out some mission I have no real understanding of.
Time to shut my morose ass up. You folk don’t need to read it.
Be well, be love.
I thought I would take this place and use this time to write down what I am feeling and thinking and offer it for public consumption.
There’s a lot of things I am dealing with. The birth of my child, the death of my father, the end of my relationship, my search for God and some sense of holiness in my life. In the past while I have become a Christian and I am not sure what that means or how that fits my life. In fact in some ways it contradicts what feels real and right for me.
Day to day I am dealing with hunger, poverty and unemployment. Trying to remain in contact and have access to my daughter. I am struggling with depression and a tendency to be emotionally volatile. As an artistic person and one of high intelligence I feel things in some incredible and magnified way. I can be struck dumb by the way a shadow falls from a tree. Or I can be brought to tears by a memory triggered by a flash of colour. I am a strange animal. I feel like perhaps I am rare, there does not seem to be many like me out there. And that’s probably a good thing.
Whatever this all means I can’t say. I just really need a place to put down my thoughts, my words. That’s the great paradox. As a man who is so afraid of contact, I am in desperate need of it. To be understood. To be heard. To have someone see it from where I stand.
I always liked the imagery and sound of John the Baptist when he says “I am merely one crying out in the wilderness.” Can you hear my cry?