I’ve had that damn Oasis song stuck in my head for at least 4 months. It used to just be the final line that goes, “Don’t look back in anger I heard her say”. That got me through a lot of heart break.
In the past few weeks though it’s just been, “Start a revolution from my bed”, and a visual image of John and Yoko in that iconic bed pic with the peace sign. It would just pop up a few times a day randomly. I brushed it off, strange. You see, I’ve been on a hedonistic binge of self-pity. For the last two weeks of my daughter being out of town I just laid on the couch a shell of my former self. Trying to find the motivation to do literally anything. I would just try to not think. And then I would try to override my self judgement with the notion that it’s good for me to really feel into this grief, sorrow and depression, it will make me a more empathetic counselor one day. I’m probably right.
Except that my depression dissolved the moment my daughter walked back through the door. I wish Merck could come up with a SSRI that could do that.
Maybe it’s that even though finding breathable air in the itty bitty bubble that is my existence has felt like a full time job most days, I still hold my vision for a better world. I’m not one of these head in the clouds, fantasy land hippies that genuinely believes that I can sprinkle fairy dust on this very animalistic world and turn it all to rainbows and sunshine. I’ve seen far too much reality for all of that. I just really think in my heart of hearts that we can all do better. That we can decide to invest less time in hatred and negativity and give love a chance.
Okay, so the first live theater that I ever saw as a child was Hair. My first concert was Three Dog Night and I listened to The White Album a few thousand times before I turned 16. I was not born into these things, I discovered them. Made them mine. Held them as sacred.
I buried my dreams for peace in my heart and built a little fence around it. I trained my mind to sound articulate car alarms when someone intruded. I’ve been fierce. I’ve been merciless. I’ve been distraught. But I’ve also been silent.
Relationship to yourself and your moral compass is simply fluid. It evolves, devolves, and shape shifts. That doesn’t make me or anyone else disingenuous, it just means that we’re human. Human. Can’t think of any thing more scary.
I intended to write this about how much I miss living with my best friend on days like today. Days where hate takes center stage and forces us to look around and see this American life for what it is, indescribably beautiful but pocked with greed in all of its most nasty manifestations. I miss following up a grim CNN read with an intellectual and culturally informed conversation with a wise black man. I miss being able to messily process my array of emotions, in all of their unrefined ways out loud in front of someone who knew me as more than part of the problem. I miss having the vulnerable space to exchange tears and what the fucks in the name of young black men, in the honor of strong black women, in the hope for the biracial children that we would only ever dream of.
I was going to say that at the end of the days heavy with the murder of Mike Brown, the murder of Sandra Bland, the murder of Terence Crutcher, the poisoning of Flint, the Cleveland riots, the election of a bigot, at the end of all of those days I tucked my head into the chest of a black man and felt a little like in our own tiny way that we were healing the mistrust inherent in his willingness to love a white woman. He was home and our love was important.
Today at the end of what will become Charlottesville or maybe just UVA, instead of seeking refuge in that man, I took my daughter on an extra long walk. We talked about everything. Her mixed emotions about J being gone. About the time that her family made fun of her this summer and she hid in the closet.
She said I really thought that one of them would have came up and apologized. But no one did. I said, well what did you do then. Well eventually I came out and went down stairs, they were all just talking like nothing happened. They didn’t even apologize she reiterated. I said, yeah, baby, some times people don’t respond in the way that we hope they do. It’s hard when our expectations don’t get met. But that’s life.
We spend a lot of time talking about managing disappointment. The necessity of resiliency. It’s the most important thing that a parent can teach their child. There’s no shortage of learning opportunities that’s for sure.
This life thing man.