En le rêve de pére je fait une illusion de ... I have forgotten the word in French for forgiveness. Actuallement, je pense, c’est une mot je jamais savoir.
God dammit. It’s impossible to write in French with spellcheck on. Qu’est-que la raisin?! Rien, bien-sûr.
The other day I yelled at Tyler. He was frying on mushrooms and had forgotten to check-in. I was livid. It’s a simple story. Tonight he sleeps beneath my leg (I could post a picture but my scabbed mosquito bitten legs are unfit for the webs). Forgiveness was swift and easy. He appeared the day after having tracked my GPS location via my ever-present celluar device and requested forgiveness. I obliged and we’ve only spatted about it here and there since.
The point in which I intend to convey, is the moment in which I channeled my father in the where-the-fuck-have-you-been?! lecture I presented over the phone at midnight when he indeed, did check-in.
Reflecting one the lecture, it checked some (but not all) points my father would use to address us.
- included the phrase, “these are terrible choices.”
- rhetorical questions such as "did you consider that you have to work in the morning?"
- centered around my feelings.
What it didn’t include to compete a Gale Carman lecture was:
- a colorful and extended allegory
- repetition of lecture talking points (my strength of argument is my abrupt and unnatural conclusiveness)
- tough-love/immutable consequence and revoked privileges (we’re adults, our punishment is just in disappointing one another).
What I couldn’t believe, after delivering this sermon, was the feeling of possessiveness coursing throughout my body. Certainly this self-righteous state was something my father too had felt. The rage stemming from a loved-ones lack of accountability. The stress of the unknown. The grief of unanswered phone-calls. It’s so silly, all of it, and so obnoxiously real. All centering around power and control.
My father, the Gemini. Split between two opposing forces. Firstly, his hyper-masculine, which desired discipline, respect. The side that objectified women and saw me as a perpetrator of some evil.
And, secondly - always second, the hyper-feminine, the nurturer - the one who considers with great stress, the way in which women must function in the world to survive.
It came to my understanding I was also exposing this dichotomy. In my speech I expressed all the angst of fear and worry while leaning on the anger of lack-of-control which escaped my grasp. I could not will Tyler to be more in-line with my wishes. He was safe. But the feelings of mistrust still persisted.
The lecture, though brief, played upon all the tropes of my father. And digging into myself, I found many ridiculous motivations, but one of them was love.
It disturbed me to find love there. Where I thought there would only be obsession and insecurity, I found my motivation was also love.
My friend Hailey talks a lot on the concept of nuance.
I fail at conceptualizing nuance most of the time. It evades me with its complicated, colorful nature.
What I am learning to accept is my father was potentially a man of nuance. Like me, his emotions were based in love, though they also conveyed fear, anger, and other shitty emotions. I have to check myself.
In checking myself, I can improve. I know I can do better. Express myself more clearly. Let the love seep in. Let the concern override the fear. Be present for his emotions while honest with my own.
But, in that moment, I did realize, while I love Tyler, my father loved me. It’s a rare development in what is otherwise an angry year of processing my father’s passing. I also realized, early on, he’s not exactly gone. I dream of him constantly and through his delicate strands of passed DNA and ancestral knowledge, he lives in me and my siblings. We are the stars of his life’s constellation ultimately.
I’m still processing. I need more time. But here’s a thought today. That might change tomorrow. That exists in barely acceptable nuance.