Father

he said

‘my absence is strong and warm.

it will hold you.

it will teach you how to miss.

how to be without.

and how to survive anyway.’

-how my father raised me

–Nayyirah Waheed

I blinked and suddenly 6 months passed since my last writing. Not for lack of material per se, but rather lack of time. The reasons have been good, more than amazing, really. And to those who checked in to see what was going on, thank you! I didn’t realize I had more than a couple of people who actually read my writing, and it was really touching to receive your messages of concern. I soon plan on sharing, in more detail, with regards to all that I’ve worked on lately, but suffice it to say that I’ve been able to return to my roots of design and videography after over a decade of dormancy. I’ve also restarted the old farm at my homestead that my great-grandparents originally built, taking it back to the beginning. And most amazingly, journeyed alongside an incredible and indomitable little spirit contained in canine form. All of this too, with my most beloved partner in crime.

And motherhood marches on as well, my son growing and changing every day. And on this particular day, Father’s Day, I wrestle with so many emotions, every year. Even more so now that I am a mother. This writing has been kicking around my skull for the better part of three years now in some form, so I’ve finally decided to let it out.

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Something to Say, Something to Find

“Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go”

–Jamie Anderson

It has been said that the best ghost stories are the ones written with psychological twists and unexpected turns. I suppose that means the ghost story I am going to share isn’t a good one. In fact, it seems more of a love story than a ghost story at all. And yet, despite that, it is the most tangible evidence that I have ever experienced of there being proof of afterlife. More so than anything else I’ve witnessed on this earth, and I say that having previously lived in a very psychically active house. Perhaps this is why it has taken me over two years to finally share this story. As odd as it is, it is every bit the truth of what happened that night, and for that reason I have struggled with how to write it. There is much justice that I must serve to this ghost story in its first retelling since it happened.

So no, this tale won’t be full of eerie moans and footsteps. There will be no things that go bump in the night. Instead, this is a story of life and death, of love and grief. Of the people left behind, and those who didn’t want to leave. The proof of love everlasting and how we never truly leave the ones we love. And I can’t believe that I am saying this, but I believe that Marvel’s Vision said it best when he stated: “What is grief, if not love persevering?”

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Rebirth

“If eternal existence is altered, then it must become more beautiful; and if it disappears, it must return with more sublime image; and if it sleeps, it must dream of a better awakening, for it is ever greater upon its rebirth.”

–Khalil Gibran

Life has been busy, a pell-mell dash through seasons as summer is now fall, and I have neglected my writing for over 2 months somehow. My full-time career asked much of me over the last few months, and a breakdown of leadership above me lead to some very stressful moments and tense situations. We overcame, but it was touch and go for a moment. On the positive, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to write and design for something truly special, and to meet some wondrously creative folks. I only hope it’s something I can continue with as it’s a true passion for me. All the while, I’ve balanced the regular needs that go into motherhood of both human and furry children.

I’ve been a little blocked, too, to be honest. A little gun shy on writing, and feeling unworthy. But I’m finally determined to break that spell as my friend Edwin told me a few days ago: “if you’re a writer you’re never blocked, you just need to write through it”. So I suppose I have no more excuses, and better out than in. This dream came to me weeks ago and I have waffled on posting it, but for the spirit of writing, I present it, warts and all.

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Through the Eye

“He who has not been bitten by the serpents of light and snapped at by the wolves of darkness, will always be deceived by the days and the nights.”

–Khalil Gibran, The Broken Wings

Wild dreams, dark dreams, bright dreams. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? There’s so much to say, so much to write about, and yet I find nothing in words that can truly describe what has happened over the last few months. Some of it I can’t write about as it’s not mine to tell just yet, though perhaps one day I will. Lovely moments, wondrous and bright, and then heartbreaking ones, too. For a long time, I felt like I was holding onto threads and praying they wouldn’t fray too soon. Just a little longer, to hold onto so much. But good news has come now, and we’re taking it all day by day, driving miles and miles while the world seems to unravel around us. In the end, it will all have been worth it, if dreams can be believed. That’s why I even began writing this blog to begin with: because someone believed in my dreams.

So tonight, as I sit on my porch surrounded by beautiful strands of hammered-copper lights, I write of a few dreams I’ve had lately. Though they were all dreamt on different nights, they seemed to blur together over days into one message.

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April Song Challenge

For this month’s song challenge, I had to pick up the guitar as my piano is on the mend from a freak incident involving naughty cats. I chose to play “Tonite Reprise” by Smashing Pumpkins, as it is one of my favorite songs by one of my most favorite artists. The lyrics are so lovely and encouraging and I hope you all like it as much as I do, and I hope I did it at least a little justice. And I know, I need a new microphone badly! Any suggestions on a decent microphone setup would be seriously appreciated!

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March Song Challenge

This month’s song challenge was quite the challenge in and of itself! Seasonal allergies made singing very difficult, which was disappointing to me as I really wanted to knock this song out of the park. Overall, my voice is deeper in parts than I wanted it to be, and flat in others, but I tried my best given my mild laryngitis. Also, I managed to get a new microphone, but it broke mid-play while I was practicing. I think I can fix it, but for now I had to go back to using my phone’s microphone, which isn’t the best. Despite these shortcomings, I figured I couldn’t just back down on my challenge, so I pressed onward.

The song, Mitski’s “Square”, is one that I have long wanted to play because of its complexity. I really enjoy the slow build in the difficulty, even though it makes for a challenging song for someone who is still very much a novice. The words too, have in the past meant a lot to me. But now? Especially now, I think there are rare circumstances where waiting is worth it….

It’s not perfect at all, but I hope you enjoy my cover of Mitski’s “Square”.

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Dreams Darkly Dreamt

“They’ve promised that dreams can come true- but forgot to mention that nightmares are dreams, too.

–Oscar Wilde

As the world locks down around me, so too does it seem that I am running into a bit of trouble in the dream world as well.

Most nights, nightmares have replaced my normal dreams.

Dark dreams of despair and hopelessness.

Sometimes they are vague. Many dreams of inky black, sharply shaped creatures, tearing at me with their terrible black claws as they visit me in the night. They tear away my clothes and scratch at me until I am raked over with fine red lines on my pale white skin. No matter how bare I am, it’s never enough for them.

Other nights are worse, as I witness terrible things happen to those I love, most painful of all being dreams of Liam being wounded.

I relish the nights that these malevolent visions leave me be, as rare as they are right now. They do shine through like sunlight in a dark forest, giving me hope.

One sequence in particular keeps replaying. The dream usually starts off as something innocuous, like being at work or going to a movie. Something totally mundane…

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A Known Stranger

“All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.”

–Kahlil Gibran

Everyone is a dreamer. To what extent, depends on the individual. I’ve learned over time that, just as every person is different, so too is every person’s dreaming. Some people dream in sounds and colors only, with no detailed visuals. Others dream scenes from real life, but in black and white instead of color. I am fortunate enough to have extremely vivid and life-like dreams in living colors and sounds, but no one method of dreaming is better than the other.

I dream every night, and remember my dreams nearly every night. It is extremely rare for me to have a night without dreams, and usually if that happens, it is because I have been sick. I would wager that probably 80% of the time, my dreams are just background replays of my day or week, with a dash of the normal tropes of showing up to school naked, or a dream of being chased with the horrible feeling of treading water instead of running away.

Then there’s the other 20%. The dreams with messages I sometimes seem to receive in the dreaming realm. Sometimes they are of something happening in real time to a friend. Other times, they are events yet to come, such as dreaming of my cancer, or even something as innocuous as pulling an over-sized white envelope out of my mailbox 10 months before it actually arrived. Sometimes, they are symbolic, such as my kundalini snake dream, while other times, they are quite direct. Either way, I always know, while I’m actually in the dream, that it is different somehow from normal dreams. I become lucid in the dream and suddenly it’s like I’m not really sleeping anymore. My brain is cognizant as well to take heed of whatever information I’m about to be given. Sometimes that information is more symbolism, sometimes I am given dates and names and places. I cannot control my movements or actions in the dream, I am still passive to whatever will happen, so I don’t know if it can be called truly “lucid”, but I take notes as it plays out in front of me. It has taken years of practice to be able to do this, but really, I think anyone could, with time.

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Hopeful, the Spirit

“If someone does not want me it is not the end of the world. But if I do not want me, the world is nothing but endings.”

— Nayyirah Waheed

And so the year has turned to its close, and as I heal from wounds of my own choosing, I find myself turning introspective again. Not only of the year, but of the decade. I admit that I started this writing before Christmas, but found the words sticky and unwilling to lend themselves to exactly what I have been feeling. I hope that tonight, I may do them justice.

I suppose it’s a tad cliche to write an introspection. Everyone is doing it, right? I’ve heard grumbles here and there, but for me, it’s an important process. I have to sit and think on things past, so that I may move forward in peace, and with purpose. And to the oak tree, what are the caws of crows but mere distraction in its reaching for the sun?

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