Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Displaced Person

When summer break began so did my spiral into delinquency.   I've become a serial graffitist; I graffiti comics on the walls of public restrooms.  I've been posting my scribblings on my IG account and by all accounts it's the first time in a long while that I've felt truly excited and inspired by something I've created.

I told MVOR about my new project after reminiscing about an old book I read as a teenager.   The book; Displaced Person by Lee Harding is the story about a boy who slowly started losing grip with reality to the point where he completely disappears from view and ceases to exist to all the people that once knew him in his life.  At first he finds it hard to get people's attention, then his parents start ignoring him and soon he slips through a crack in reality to find himself in a grey world where he can't engage at all with the life he once knew and wondering whether he was going mad or if this was some cruel joke being played on him by God.

MVOR was interested in the tale I told and immediately drew parallels between by own life of feeling invisible, undervalued and insignificant and the life of this fictional boy who was going through a displacement.

Then I told her about the graffiti.

Surprisingly, MVOR applauded me on this.  I was expecting her to question my reasons for doing so and to caution me against defacing public property but she didn't.  She laughed; of course you are doing this!  You are putting your hand up in the only way you know how.  You are making your mark.  You are asking people to see you, to notice you, to understand you.  You are reaching out and leaving a legacy.  You are validating yourself as a person worthy of being noticed.

Oh... well.  In that case...

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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Everybody Hurts, Sometimes.

I didn't intend on the hiatus.  No, really I didn't.  All I can think of by way of explanation is that it became hard to breathe again.  Not that I need an explanation of course, except perhaps to myself.

The beginning of October saw the 19th anniversary of my father's death.  It was the hardest milestone to live through that I can remember. Some years go by with barely a thought but last year was different.  I felt his absence, almost as badly as I felt it 19 years ago. I felt it in every pore and every thought.  I felt it with a deep, intense sadness that sticks around even today. I wish I could let it go.  I feel that by hanging on to it, I'm hanging on to his ghost somehow and stopping him somehow from finding peace.  It makes me feel even worse as I try to extract myself and to loosen this grip that seems to be so strong around him.

The thing is, I don't remember much about him; I've lived more than half of my life without him and time only ever moves forwards, not backwards.  I will never know more than what I know now and what does a 16 year old know about her father anyway?  I have been thinking a lot about the things I missed out on though and the things I learnt too early but wished I hadn't.  Things like; men leave.  I know it's not a truth, but it is my truth and it's something I learnt the hard way.  That notion has shaped my adulthood.  I can't change it.  I can't take it back.  I can't bring back the lost years either.  Time is difficult to deal with and though I am conscious of the ridiculousness of some of the notions I have they are also not without basis and therefore all the more difficult to let go.

I'm not even sure why, but I've thought about my father every day for the past 3 months since the anniversary of this death.  I've thought about the funny things he would say, or his smile or his advice... none of it is real.  It's all nostalgia - memories changed and I'm sure some made up completely.  The dead take on a ripe glow; all the past mistakes forgotten.  You forget the things you hated and you revere the things you loved until they become an object of only love.  It's not real and it's unfair for those left behind but this is what happens. Meanwhile, I didn't know grief could still feel this bad but it does.  It feels awful.  I wish I could go back for one last hug.  A real one.  It feels like a long, long time since I had a real hug from someone who really loved me.

I suppose the other reason I've been absent is the perpetual elephant in the room An awakening of sorts for me.  But what an awakening - every piece of my heart sings or sinks at any given moment.  On the one hand it's lovely to wake up to it but on the other hand - tear my heart out why dontcha?  I'd forgotten about this part... I'm reminded of John Hughes' movie 16 Candles.  The dad gives a newly 16 year old Molly Ringwald some fatherly advice:

Sam: "I know, but it hurts..."
Sam's Dad: "Thats why they call them crushes, if they were easy they'd call 'em something else."

And so from someone who lost their father at 16 and who never had the chance to have a bit of fatherly advice; thanks John Hughes.  I get it.  It hurts.  Everything at the moment hurts.

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