If wanting to be in an intimate relationship is your number one priority, then I think it’s essential that you reevaluate your life. I understand the want of having a boyfriend/girlfriend, but it’s important that you don’t forget the other, more vital things in your life, such as education, health and maybe even current close friendships. Think about what’s best for you. Take a minute out of your life, and look the big picture.
I was in my residence hall having an average day with the usual amount of much laughter. My oldest brother called me saying that our father had a heart attack. I think I broke down immediately. I know that I was unable to speak another word, which seemed entirely too real to me in the dream.
I called my mom in a panic, “Mom?….. h-hi…. hi!..”. She wouldn’t talk about his health, only tried to assure me that he was getting better, that he surely would be okay. Though, I still cried.
Then I went downstairs at, oh I don’t know, it had to have been hours later. My staff members were quiet around me. I asked Andre, “What’s wrong?”. "Uh um… James," and I cannot do this vision justice, "haven’t-… I thought you heard." "Andre?" "James, I don’t know how to say this right now or ever… Laura (our boss) got a call… It was about your father. James… I am so sorry-" he paused and bled a tear. There it was, my biggest fear. Something I’d feared all along about leaving home for college. As Andre stood in front of me in his mass that is double mine, complexion an exact contrast to mine, his usual steady and confident gaze now faltering, I could see that he was not collected; who can be prepared?
"I am so sorry. Your father passed away just- uh… just this afternoon after getting to the hospital. They did everything they can… I don’t know any more. But I am so sorry. I am ter-"
Was Andre still speaking?
The scraping hiss of his lisped speech with every word echoed in my mind like a gurney wheel in motion down a hospital ward.
All at once it hit me. I collapsed and I only recall my knees hitting the floor. My eyes were water filled and draining, my hands were clutching and grabbing muddy floors, and through my eyes it poured, I could not see, someone was pulling me, someone was stroking my hair, ding of the elevator, less dirt more mud on the floor, my stomach hurting, going to puke, I love him most. I love him most. I love my father, my idol, my hero most. Don’t take him now. Don’t ever take him. I meant to pray 365 days of the year for the past 12 years that I missed for you and Mom. Dad, I love you. I need you. Don’t you take him. Don’t You take him. This cannot be truth. Back against the floor, palms hurting, throat hurting, heart throbbing.
I attempted to stand once, but failed and my other staff member caught me under my arms. ”Do you wan’ stan’? You can sit, You’ … okay,” I was only catching fragments of what they were saying. All at once, I stood up and pressed the elevator call. I waited with my back to my staff members, my support. I didn’t hear them any longer. I stepped onto the elevator. Went to my room. Locked the door.
I fell again. This time I was not getting up. There I was crying in the most excruciating pain I’d ever felt.
I thought I heard knocks. I was not moving. It was dark and I was curled in a tight ball. It was wet; I started to believe in the river of tears. If we cried enough, couldn’t it reverse what caused our crying?
My boss opened the door slowly with a master key, “James? Are you there? Can I come in?”
My mind recalled our previous r.a. training where a similar scenario was presented. Then I remembered my Dad’s voice on the phone the night after we had practiced that scenario.
I couldn’t make words to Laura.
I had no idea what time it was.
"James… I talked to your mom and brothers, they’re all worried about you."
I coughed, “M-me? Dad is gone. Me? Worry ‘bout me?”
"They really are worried. All of your family is very upset about what happened, but they want to talk to you."
"None of them had with Dad what I had. He is my best friend," tears streamed more fluidly than ever in a solid stream down my cheeks and past my sore chapped lips.
She let out an endearing moan then spoke, “James I can’t imagine what it is that you are feeling. But will you speak to anyone else?”
I didn’t answer.
"What if I went with you to the counseling center?"
I didn’t answer, but I knew another resident hall director was formerly a psychiatrist. I’d talk to him. I didn’t know how to say that. I only wanted to think about my hero.
Her voice was shaky, she’d never seen me like this, “… Or I can get a counselor to come here if that’s okay with you” — hell, I’d never seen me like this.
"Okay? You want me to call over so that someone will talk to you here? Would you want a guy or a girl?"
Leave me alone already. I’m saying yes so that you will go away.
My voice wasn’t my voice: it was dry, higher toned, barely audible. ”I don’t care…”
* * *
At this point, I don’t remember much of my dream except that I was talking with a larger man much darker than me in complexion with black framed glasses and a green polo. He was gentle and knew just what to say to make the shaking in my body go away. I remember when he talked to me enough to get me to sit next to him on my bed. I felt an immediate enormous amount of trust in him.
* * *
From here my dream continued on to me getting to the point where I had to drive home. Only problem, I was not strong enough to drive home. What other option did I have?
I was uneasy entering the car, but I convinced myself I could do it after talking to my Mom on the phone. I had to do it for my Dad.
Once I reached the highway, I lost control of my emotions.
I remember pulling off on the side of the road… Then driving 2 miles to a service stop. I cried in the bathroom here for awhile. I got in the car and pulled over again.
Wouldn’t a trooper come along? No.
* * *
If today we muddle in love rather than lust, what is real? Why is it love? Who made it love? Love is the word for the relationship between my father and I. Love is that which can paralyze a person when the one you depend on is suddenly gone. Love is kinship. Kinship is everlasting. Kinship is mobile, and teachings travel with us no matter where we go. For amongst our kin are those who shape our lives in the most profound ways, as a sculptor works timelessly on his master work. The artist’s unfinished work needs the artist.
I am nineteen. I am not completed nor have I a job or career. Dad, you gave me everything I need. I am not yet ready to do without your editing pen.
Every single night, my father makes sure to tell me he loves me. My mother, too.
How could I go without that so suddenly?
Learning is easy. We learn our whole lives. Please, don’t make me learn these atrociously crippling lessons any time soon.
Machiavelli:So that its subjects will view it with admiration, as a chicken which has the daring and courage to boldly cross the road, but also with fear, for whom among them has the strength to contend with such a paragon of avian virtue? In such a manner is the princely chicken's dominion maintained.
Hippocrates:Because of an excess of light pink gooey stuff in its pancreas.
Jacques Derrida:Any number of contending discourses may be discovered within the act of the chicken crossing the road, and each interpretation is equally valid as the authorial intent can never be discerned, because structuralism is DEAD, DAMMIT, DEAD!
Thomas de Torquemada:Give me ten minutes with the chicken and I'll find out.
Timothy Leary:Because that's the only kind of trip the Establishment would let it take.
Nietzsche:Because if you gaze too long across the Road, the Road gazes also across you.
Oliver North:National Security was at stake.
B.F. Skinner:Because the external influences which had pervaded its sensorium from birth had caused it to develop in such a fashion that it would tend to cross roads, even while believing these actions to be of its own free will.
Carl Jung:The confluence of events in the cultural gestalt necessitated that individual chickens cross roads at this historical juncture, and therefore synchronicitously brought such occurrences into being.
Jean-Paul Sartre:In order to act in good faith and be true to itself, the chicken found it necessary to cross the road.
Ludwig Wittgenstein:The possibility of "crossing" was encoded into the objects "chicken" and "road", and circumstances came into being which caused the actualization of this potential occurrence.
Albert Einstein:Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road crossed the chicken depends upon your frame of reference.
Aristotle:To actualize its potential.
Buddha:If you ask this question, you deny your own chicken-nature.
Howard Cosell:It may very well have been one of the most astonishing events to grace the annals of history. An historic, unprecedented avian biped with the temerity to attempt such an herculean achievement formerly relegated to homo sapien pedestrians is truly a remarkable occurence.
Salvador Dali:The Fish.
Darwin:It was the logical next step after coming down from the trees.
Emily Dickinson:Because it could not stop for death.
Ralph Waldo Emerson:It didn't cross the road; it transcended it.
Johann von Goethe:The eternal hen-principle made it do it.
Ernest Hemingway:To die. In the rain.
Werner Heisenberg:We are not sure which side of the road the chicken was on, but it was moving very fast.
David Hume:Out of custom and habit.
Jack Nicholson:'Cause it [censored] wanted to. That's the [censored] reason.
Pyrrho the Skeptic:What road?
Ronald Reagan:I forget.
John Sununu:The Air Force was only too happy to provide the transportation, so quite understandably the chicken availed himself of the opportunity.
The Sphinx:You tell me.
Mr. T.:If you saw me coming you'd cross the road too!
Henry David Thoreau:To live deliberately ... and suck all the marrow out of life.
Mark Twain:The news of its crossing has been greatly exaggerated.
Molly Yard:It was a hen!
Zeno of Elea:To prove it could never reach the other side.
Chaucer:So priketh hem nature in hir corages.
Wordsworth:To wander lonely as a cloud.
The Godfather:I didn't want its mother to see it like that.
Keats:Philosophy will clip a chicken's wings.
Blake:To see heaven in a wild fowl.
Dr. Johnson:Sir, had you known the Chicken for as long as I have, you would not so readily enquire, but feel rather the Need to resist such a public Display of your own lamentable and incorrigible Ignorance.
Mrs. Thatcher:This chicken's not for turning.
Supreme Soviet:There has never been a chicken in this photograph.
Oscar Wilde:Why, indeed? One's social engagements whilst in town ought never expose one to such barbarous inconvenience - although, perhaps, if one must cross a road, one may do far worse than to cross it as the chicken in question.
Kafka:Hardly the most urgent enquiry to make of a low-grade insurance clerk who woke up that morning as a hen.
Swift:It is, of course, inevitable that such a loathsome, filth-ridden and degraded creature as Man should assume to question the actions of one in all respects his superior.
Macbeth:To have turned back were as tedious as to go o'er.
Whitehead:Clearly, having fallen victim to the fallacy of misplaced concreteness.
Freud:An die andere Seite zu kommen. (Much laughter.)
Hamlet:That is not the question.
Donne:It crosseth for thee.
Pope:It was mimicking my Lord Hervey.
Constable:To get a better view.
Yeats:She was following the Faeries that sang to her to come away with them from the dull, bucolic comfort of the farmyard to the waters and the wild.
Shelley:'Tis a metaphor for the pursuits of man: though 'twas deemed an extraordinary occurrence at the time, still it brought little to bear on the great scheme of time and history, and was ultimately fruitless and forgotten.
Tolkien:Chickens are respectable folk, and well thought of. They never go on any adventures or do anything unexpected. One fine spring day, as the chicken wandered contentedly around the farmyard, clucking and pecking and enjoying herself immensely, there appeared a Wizard and thirteen Dwarves who were in need of a chicken to share in their adventure. Reluctantly she joined their party, and with them crossed the road into the great Unknown, muttering about how rude the Dwarves were to take her away on such short notice, without even giving her time to brush her feathers or fetch her hat.
“do you think that maybe the moon is the mother of the stars birthed across the sky and that maybe she is mourning her falling babies and grows weary and thin with age, until she pokes the sky open with her tip, her mother’s fury, crescent moon and…”
“and then what?”
“and then we all…
Something about this reminds me of Anne Bradstreet (who I’ve been studying in American Lit. class lately). Absolutely gorgeous poem. I recommend for everyone to follow this blog if you’re not already.
They’re only worth it if they have a meaning. I think tattoos often taint natural beauty. I like small ones and I admire extensive aesthetics on the human flesh. I even have drawn up a few sketches of my own for tattoo ideas for myself. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get one, but it is a thought nonetheless. I generally believe that tattoos are something that should be able to be covered up and revealed to those who matter. This way, the tattoo is there because it has deep personal meaning and connection, and you would be showing that piece of yourself to someone who matters very much — a hidden bit, I suppose. I also appreciate memorial tattoos. Since we carry those lost with us all the time, I think it is just to display it modestly.
We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.
First — if you are in love — that’s a good thing — that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.
Second — There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you — of kindness and consideration and respect — not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.
You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply — of course it isn’t puppy love.
But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it — and that I can tell you.
Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.
The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.
If you love someone — there is no possible harm in saying so — only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.
Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.
It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another — but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.
Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I’m glad you have it.
We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.
And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.
“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.”—F. Scott Fitzgerald (via honeyforthehomeless)