I am as guilty of it as anyone. Its easier not to say stuff or worse to say fake, off-the-shelf ‘quoted’ stuff.
I got a text last night from my sister telling me my Uncle had a heart attack and was in intensive care in South Africa somewhere. I havent spoken to my uncle since I was 6. He seemed like a nice enough bloke back then I am sure he still is. I wanted to care that he was in intensive care, but in all honesty, it didnt really mean all that much to me. I actually wanted to text that back but thought better of it. I was more effected when Freddy Mercury died. I am not sure why, I am not gay, I just thought he was a sweet bloke.
My uncle , I dont think he is sweet, he seems tough and possibly a little too South African, he posts a lot of stuff on Facebook some of it funny, some of it too religious for my liking I just dont believe in Jesus the way he does and find it kind of weird when people post uber religious stuff.
I was in the middle of night sweats anyway as I had been ill for a few days. I wasnt annoyed at being woken up. The moon was full, I was glad to be getting better, but now I had to think about death for a bit.
I think I have thought about death most nights since I was about 6 years old. It is part of my day, it used to be impossible to make plans because I thought it unlikely I would survive the week. After 40 years I have learnt to make plans, I am still not convinced I will survive the week.
Things like Vipassana and Bhuddist techinques helped address my fears of that to some extent, I dont think we ever really can, but now I am kind of ok with getting on with it. Surviving is much more of a difficulty, dying is quite easy in comparison to surviving but I am seemingly starting to master that a bit better, finally.
And so it was, I rolled over and went back to sleep happy in the knowledge that I probably would not facebook him the next day with some off-the-shelf bullshit about how I wished he would get better soon. I just wouldnt say anything, that was fine with me. probably for the best. If he died tomorrow, maybe his blonde, blue-eyed Jesus in a white robe would be there to take him to a good place, possibly somewhere a lot easier going that South Africa is for white dudes. I just felt the things I might say if I was honest would not be so helpful or wanted, so silence would be my chosen form of communication. I wished him well. I certainly wished him well.
A text a short while later said it was all ok it was just a mild stroke.
That text did make me laugh a bit.
I knew better.
That was probably worse, now he was going to have time to think more about death, but no one would talk about it, not really, but a lot of praying I imagined.
Better it just tag you and get it over with than fuck about with you. Death is like that, it likes to fuck about with you. Killer-whales and seals. let you know it is coming and then just sit back and enjoy watching you squirm, boot you round the ocean a few times for kicks.
Generally the people who need to believe in God squirm a lot, is what I have tended to see to be the case. But I do wish him well.
This may seem like the emotionless reaction of a cold bastard and you would be wrong, I am an intensely emotional person, it is probably why I am not so flustered when people I dont feel wrapped up with, reach the line. I have also spent a lot of my time looking over the line, trying to figure out what is really there. I think it is ok. the nothingness. Feeling morbid about it is not for me. staring in the eyeballs of the nothingness, was for me. And I stared until I felt I knew as much as I could. Its just a small pop and we all go into that nothingness. to nothing. its not such a big deal if you spend effort trying to understand it rather than sticking pictures of blue eyed blonde jesus dudes on it, and praying that being good will make it all ok. There are other ways, not nice or easy, but more real and beneficial, and true. and painful yes. but I digress. You have to become intimate with your own death to really know it. I have become intimate with my own death, I know this. I still dont look forward to it with great relish but I get it.
Anyway this wasnt the point of my post, the point of my post was actually partly because of my other posts. Blogs. I have a lot of them most of which I do not share because I find my words cause….issues…. sometimes. People dont understand my words and take them at face value. Maybe they are right to do so, maybe they miss the point. I lost a few friends recently, apparently, because my posts are ‘angry’. ok I wanted to argue that and then I read one, they do read angry. weird coz I wasnt angry when I wrote it. but that is where I get lost in translation, even to myself, it turns out. Which is something I guess I need to look at to address.
The things people dont say…that they no longer wish to be friends of mine because my posts are angry…is one of them. ok. accepted. I understand.
it interests me though, the things people dont say, and why they dont say them.
I recently came to the possible conclusion that the basic motivating force behind most of our pain and actions, is grief. Grief is a really big thing. We grief the living, we grieve the dead, we grieve things that we dont even know about or remember, maybe stuff we brought to this life from other places and times, or something our DNA or cells has memory of that we do not. Grief is soooo undealt with that I started to think about it in ways beyond the obvious death grief and realised we are probably grieving each moment that passes to some degree as well as things that havent even happened yet. Our unconscious is clever like that. And we have so much grief locked down inside us by the time we reach adulthood that even though we are masters at hiding, we are actually stuffed up tight with the stuff. All of us. seriously. Its a good theory and I have spent a lot longer than one post working on it. And if you can see where I am going with this, you will know that what I am thinking is that the reason we dont say stuff to each other, real stuff, is because we are scared of that grief coming up, showing, being revealed because it will get loose and overwhelm us. We wont be able to put it back. We could do it, but there is no where safe to let it out and get it out. Right down to the bottom core of it. So we are stuck and we know it. All of us know it. our personal root of grief scares the shit out of us. its a fucker.
I thought again about my Uncle. I thought about my friends I have left behind and probably will never see again. I thought about the loves I have known and lost or let go, I thought about pets that died, school friends I lost touch with, songs I have forgotten and dont sing anymore, places I will never be again, times I will never have again. Lives I may have lived and died in. It all welled up into a massive energy of grief. in my throat, in my gut, it wanted to get out, and I didnt even understand its root. its oldness. older than me. that scared me too. what did that mean. who was I?
Was I angry? Was I fucking Angry? Of course I was fucking angry with a Capital Arrggh!. No one ever talks about this stuff !!!!! We dont. And my friends all want to hide it and then deny me when I start to dig at it. We all talk about stuff that seems relevant but really it isnt. We all struggle in the ‘here and now’ trying to make it work and feel good all the time, and hiding all the bits of ourselves that hurt or dont feel right. pushing them down fast as we can. Its a constant battle to feel good and cover over the grief. To be ok is essential, no breaking down allowed, rush it to get it over. When stuff really isnt ok, er…. where do you go to let that out? I mean when stuff gets really serious and shitty. Like pains you have no way of explaining start bursting out of you with no point of reference. Where do you go to offload this stuff. No one is going to understand it. Its got to come out somewhere. It reveals itself in weird ways.
I stick pins in that. With blogs. It’s what I do. I am rather good at it sometimes. It hurts me too, by the way, I am not immune. I lose friends over it. and uncles for that matter.
For the record, to put it a bit straight, I am angry, yet I am not. Its all about whether I get into it. I can choose either. I have found peace yet I will always be at war. Always be what it is that I am. A creature of war, of sorts. I will always seem angry when I write cutting words that I think need to scissor a blade through the veneer of some falseness I have been presented with by people I value higher than what they are presenting to me at that moment. I may be wrong, but I know there is a truth in the energy that drives it, and that is genuine, and that genuine-ness is important not to be glossed over or made pretty. it isnt pretty for a good reason. Sometimes it is my ability to do that, which is all I have to feel worthy of being here. it is real. In the end. One day I hope I can find a way to have it makes some kind of sense. and wrap it in fluffy love stuff. maybe.
In the mean time I am going to try to find a place where grief can be given its rightful time. not just for me, but for anyone, everyone who needs that. Dont think you have gotten rid of yours, I can assure you that you havent. I know very few people who have. I havent. Society hasnt. If you ask your own grief to show itself, and took the time to listen, I wonder what strange depths you would start to uncover, and what it might show you about the true nature of your being, and your journey through this place and all the other places, lives, journeys. I am going to find a place where it is safe to let that out. Its important because I think the truth lies behind that someplace. a freedom of emotion too. freedom of being. I have felt it. briefly. And it wasnt in a church crying or begging for abosolution. It was a whole other long drawn out process, it ran for days because it had to. that was what it needed.
no one gets out alive, but enjoying the journey while seeing the true nature of things are the two most important things I believe we should honor and strive for in equal measure in this life. anything else is usually just bullshit.
Of course I wish my uncle well but if he goes and makes himself an ancestor before I do, then I will also spend some time to grieve him and honor the journey he had through this life and onto whatever is his next bit. This is one of those things we have forgotten how to do and why to do it. The things people dont say…and dont know what to say…I guess that’s what is important. We just knew how to say it when we were kids, which is why kids say it. I havent forgotten that, but the only place it can come out is in blogs.