© 2019 Drew T. Noll

Monday, November 11, 2019

Live Spelled Backwards

The Gathering - D.Noll, July 2013 © 

I watched my father slip away over the course of a year. He had a tumor in his brain sucking at his life daily, growing like a molding sponge that didn’t know it was doomed to crumble once its host detached from the world they shared. There are moments when I can identify with that tumor, just wanting to exist, wanting to mean something to an ever increasingly indifferent reality. “Why even try” became the ranting question bearing down upon an as-of-yet non existent future. I’ve toyed with suicidal tendencies, the band and the psychology, and I’ve experimented with alterations to my mind, in lesser or greater degrees during past lives, but none of it has ever prepared me for the chaos that I perceive tormenting life now. There is living galore, with all of the trimmings, spewing forth ever-more layers of growth-cycles-in-decay, depending upon perspectives. They often become pits to sink into to swim and drown, or clouds with which to soar and to fall. The array is vast and becoming more so each day. The young ones are birthed into it, flailing about, with not a pad to perch upon, without even a piece of ground. Yes, I grew up this way too, but in hindsight I didn’t know. I thought all along that it was to be determined, to be sanctioned by another higher than I. I grew up wanting and knowing; I grew up with everything, but with nothing to stand upon. My dad hadn’t known, but when he passed on, a gift was bestowed, a knowing I knew from that point on. My eyes awoke when his became closed. He dwelt upon reality while I delved into self. The world was not seen, as he had taught me from before, but was known from in-built mechanisms needed to explore. My dad died the next day, at least that is what they said.

I listened to my mother as she spoke on the phone. My dad had died years before this, and I tried to be him for her from afar. She wanted it, or so my instinct had said. She lived many lives, in personalities galore. Diagnosed with illness, mental or not, she raised them all up to be upstanding in each’s time-slot. I never knew who would be there, on the other end of the phone, the line stretching across oceans all around the globe. Dreading to answer, I picked up anyways, knowing that I would be in for a long haul. Was I speaking to Ann, Margaret, or Tim? It was difficult to say, for each separate person sounded mostly the same. Maybe eighteen in all, but not truly known, her personalities would venture out and only then would maybe tell. She said my dad loved me, which I already knew, and she said he was proud of me, which I didn’t know at all. How could he be? was all I could think, having diverted my life-force to another place, another parcel to stand upon, and in the process deserting my dad. I moved away from them as soon as I could, the people that spawned me, and I lived in the city with a big-screen flashing my future, like manifest-destiny in full color toting forward everything and all. At least that is what I thought at the time; I would be bringing them with me, my spawn-source, I would take them along…

My dad called me too, which was rare and sincere, to tell me about falling only to find out after. He told me of an awakening, with the happiest place on earth laughing all about, with paramedics circled around and a blurry memory of something happening before. Somewhere on Main Street it happened, the eminent decline of my dad into the next world. I recently thought of this moment at a shiva-call, a mourning for the recently dead. A shoe painted and placed upon a white pedestal, laughing and crying while singing of a lost soul staring out at me. He was an artist also, but ended his life. I knew him so briefly, and feel so bad … really bad, with nothing to say, nothing to feel, just nothing. I met his father there, at the shiva-call, and being a man of similar age, we locked eyes in a strange way. I just didn’t know what to say. He smiled a lot, it seemed to me at the time, as he recounted, in inspired by the moment bursts, the life of his son. I have to go back there, I have to talk to him more. My dad had told me over the phone that a tumor had grown inside his head. It was the cause of his fall, not him, not his footing, not him. I remember my dad laughing as he told me, like the father of the son gone, reassuring me all along. He would be fine and had the best doctors that private insurance could buy. A year later he died.

Sometime a bit later, my mom lived on a farm of her own design, with a petting zoo and a pond to paddle-boat in. Her carpet-bagger husband lent his kids to gather me from the airport when I arrived. She was ill, her womb having been collecting cancer from the stars. The boys she tried to grow up must have been confused, having their wombs causing it all, but the others must always have known. Her freeload family gathered at her demise, all bunching around, wavering about with questions clouding above. I was one of them, along with the carpenter who drank, the plumber that didn’t, the agent of real-estate, and the carpet-bag threads on the take. We tattered about, me praying with tefillin, a life to live, and them saying nothing at all. My mom spent her time pod-casting in thought, on the couch with her pets. The last time I saw her was in a hospital bed, trying hard to hold reigns she had invented to corral them all, unraveling then knitting again. Bouncing from personality to places between, I listened to her stories Ahasuerus-like unfold. Circus animals and stages, nights with crowds cheering, sneering with kavod, all of her stories unfolded each to its own. I tried to stay and to listen, to honor my spawn-source, but the echoes that evolved, to this day, still bounce off the surface of my heart and grow death. This seems a path we all ride, from beginning to end, the bumps along the way only served up to the path as it bends.

I now live far from home. I can still feel the place from before, but it’s elusive and more; much more. I ask myself and study. I look for light and live. With one venture to the next, my living is challenged and my source-force is revealed. Gathering together causes disruption and rapture, not in that order, so as sparks can coalesce our worlds will inevitably one-day collide. Why shouldn’t it be that an inspirational youth could experiment, could ascend? The moon is white as it reflects us all. It rises up and descends, reflecting the sunlight and mirroring it all. We see ourselves there, each and every night, but by day the light extinguishes itself. She’s alive, of course, and we listen for word of rising—each and every day. But I retract. What can I say? What can be believed? What will I kill, only wanting to live? Gathering together builds worlds, but can also destroy. Splitting cells into others can be splitting atoms that extinguish then explode! The signpost beckons to turn, but if we do will we burn? How do we know when enough has been said, enough has become? How do we know when we can be One?

Love and healing goes out to our white moon rising and its reflection upon us all. The gathering is eminent and becoming. The world soon shall anchor, and with all of this upon us, we shall find the art of our own faith and in it shall dwell.

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