These things I know:
- In the book Necessary Losses, Judith Viorst describes the very first loss as the realization by a baby that they and their mother aren't one. She describes the rest of one's life as spent in trying to regain that natal oneness. She is wrong. The baby was right all along. When you have a child, whether you like it or not, you are one with them forever and probably beyond - there is no separateness. The idea that you could be OK if something happened to your child is ludicrous, no different than if you woke to find your kidneys had been stolen. And the whole tough love thing, rolling the dice, putting your kid in harm's way and hoping for the best? Whose awful idea was that? Like walking drunk in traffic, hoping the cars swerve and miss you. There has to be a better way. Because if anything happens to her I know this - I will not survive it. You say I would, but I say I wouldn't. I know me better than you know me. Last night, bad behavior in my house, her final day. Really awful stuff. A mother with her back to the wall. Bad feelings. But as she left, she begged for a hug and that was when I was destroyed. I held her little unhealthy sparrow body in my arms, and begged her to get better. She held my face in her hands and kissed it over and over, every part of my face, even my lips. Her skin is parchment thin and dry and her hair, dull and unhealthy. She is dying before my eyes.
- Another thing I'm struggling with - this virtual world we find ourselves in - it's not right. We need to turn it around - you and me. Last night, heartbroken I went to Mark's gig to sing. I had no business being out, such a mess. I should have taken a long bath and gone to bed, but I needed an escape, knowing there was no where to escape to. Singing, mostly good but as the evening progressed and when the bartender gave me a third drink in gratitude for my singing, I fell apart. And I'm not being high drama here - what's happening is not a fabrication of a bored mind who needs a fix. This shit is real. I am losing my daughter - I will lose my daughter. It's almost a certainty. A slow motion train wreck. And my body already knows this and has started the grieving process - it doesn't need to wait for the final verdict, the inevitable phone call. I found myself crying like an Iraqi mother, the ones you see wailing at their loss. Strange gutteral, non-crying sounds poured out of me, shrieks, gasps, growls, you name it - every kind of loss sound you can imagine - ugly sounds that I had zero control over. And I needed to be held at that moment. I needed someone. I need someone now. But all we have these days are our smart phones and computers. I drunk texted two people I shouldn't have, begging for help, getting no response. Today I sit at a box with light coming out of it and have a relationship with a screen when I should be feeling flesh. This is not OK. We are becoming less human as we surrender to the pull of technology. I don't want to relate to all of you through this medium, wondering if you are reading this, wishing for your touch, the warmth of your voice, the comfort of your presence. I don't want to love a man and only experience his "touch" through the phone or on the screen. We need to be worried when our most important sharing is done electronically.
- The final thing I know is that I don't want to use my family and friends for art. Victor chastised me recently on a post comment and said something like, "We're people, not characters." I walk a line on this blog of trying to be real and share my experiences and sometimes experiences of my friends but not violating anyone's privacy. I'm sure my efforts in this regard are spotty, that I overstep myself from time to time and share something that should have remained private or characterized someone in a way that seems callous, an effort to entertain at someone's expense. I hope that is rarely the case, but if I do this - use my friends and family to further my creativity - at their expense, then that is reprehensible. I am no different than the parents in that book I just read, The Family Fang. My relationships are more important than my art.
You probably suspect where I'm going with all of this. I think this is my last post. I want to inhabit my real world better, my flesh world with real people. I don't want to hurt anyone by using them to further a creative agenda. If I write, it should be fiction. Finally if I have extra hours in my day, I should be figuring out how I can save my child. There has to be a way.
Your challenge today - and this is a big one - could be giving some real soul searching thought to your use of technology. Just as therapy is to live, versus living for therapy, technology should support your flesh life, it should not supplant it. If you find yourself on the computer or your phone when you have flesh and blood people all around you, what is going on? Are all your hopes and dreams pouring out your fingertips into the electronic ether while your flesh relationships are withering for lack of attention? Are you giving your life away to a keyboard? We can say, "no".