“Art is the act of triggering deep memories, of what it means to be fully human.” – David Whyte
I’ve had a hard time writing lately (I promise, not all of my posts will start this way—but apparently I am really aware of the problem). A conversation with a friend last night got me all fired up again. I went to bed thinking about it, woke up with the same thoughts.
To this end I am taking up writing using SoulPancake as my writing aid. SoulPancake is a website that invites people to tackle life’s biggest questions through art and writing in community. Sounds promising ehh? I have no idea how I came across it—twitter or some damn thing. Probably because I follow Rainn Wilson (some people say from The Office, I like to think of him being from Six Feet Under) on twitter—its his project.
I imagine sometimes the posts will be long, perhaps stretch over a few posts. Other times, a few words. Either way I miss this: tapping away with coffee just over there, the feel of the click click click on the lapitty topitty, and moving some of what is in here (pointing to her heart) out there. So (dramatic pause) here goes.
From my father: Everything, in moderation.
From my mother: He is not the only one that will ever love you. There will be others, I promise.
From everywhere: This too shall pass.
Part of what I like about writing is that my memory is shit. Self preservation, laziness and just plain chemistry have kept me from myself for a big chunk of my life. Writing helps me remember.
What is funny about the reason why I chose this question, instead of say “What’s the most important thing that we, as a society, are NOT teaching our children?” is that I knew I had an answer. My fathers advice has been etched into my consciousness since his passing. My mothers advice, I was sure I blogged about it in the past. So. Very. Sure. However, the advice above is the only bit of advice I can remember right now, and that sucks. She was my best friend, one of the wisest women I have ever known. And time passes, moves ever on, and I can’t recall anything other than that night when I told my mom that Mike had just proposed marriage to me, after a huge fight in the driveway, in the pouring rain.
He was sure I was cheating on him. I wasn’t. He lost his temper, slammed his fist on the dashboard, screamed. I somehow broke through his jealous rage. He opened my car door, got down on one knee, offered me his class ring as a stand in for a real ring and asked me to marry him.
My mom loved Michael, so the above advice was certainly not about him. Was she speaking about her own life, perhaps alluding to when my father proposed marriage to her? “He is not the only one that will ever love you … promise.” Did she know my potential to love was bigger than his jealousy and longing for white picket fence, two and a half children suburban fantasies? Or perhaps she always knew I was meant for someone she would never meet on this side of the veil.
Wise words, just not the ones I wanted to remember.