This day only is ours,
we are dead to yesterday,
and we are not yet born to the morrow.
But, if we look abroad and bring into one day’s
thoughts the evil of many, certain and uncertain,
what will be and what will never be, our load will be
as intolerable as it is unreasonable.
theologian, 1613 -1667
From Brutality Beauty May Arise.
It’s strange for me to realise that deception, deceit, and dishonesty have been swept from what remains of my life. It happened in an heartbeat.
Yesterday I visited my dying father in his nursing home. I have never seen the face of a living person look so horrific. All I can compare him to are the bare survivors of a Nazi Death Camp. There was nothing nice, caring, or spiritual about the instant experience. There was the bare husk of a man in an hospital bed, and nothing passed between us. I don’t even know if he was aware of my existence.
I tried to read from the poetry of Rudyard Kipling, just to let him hear my voice. I am uncertain if I am proud or ashamed that I was too choked to read more than a verse or two.
What happened to me? A lifetime was swept away. All the compromises, illusions, disillusionments, self-deceptions, and self-loathing were picked up and turned to a fine dust that was blown away in a dying man’s hoarse breath. What was left to me was the very essence of a man, and I am that man.
This was not what I expected or wanted.
I will be there when my father dies, maybe in a day or so, or maybe between 0100 and 0200 on Wednesday. As he passes I will celebrate his life and his dying. Unless something passes between us in his last moments, I will not understand the change in me.
How can a man ever understand the fire, the hammer, and the anvil from which the core of steel in his soul has emerged?
Please understand that I am happy it took the horrific face of my dying father to reveal the true man within my soul.
My inner child,
It was not your fault that you were taken from your mother and put in an incubator, just after you were born. You were not well when you were a newborn, and they had to put you in an incubator to keep you alive.
I know you loved your nanna, and that she loved you too. It was not your fault that she went away and left you . She was an old lady, and she just died.
It was not your fault that she died. It was not your fault that your parents did not explain that nanna had died. It was not your fault that nobody told you why she had to go away and leave you all alone.
Your parents did not know how to show you their love for you, and that was not your fault either.
I know you felt abandoned and unloved when you were a very young boy, but you were not to blame.
Please let yourself grieve for your nanna, and let her go to heaven to be in peace with the angels. Please forgive your nanna for dying and leaving you. Please accept that she loved you, but now she has gone.
Please forgive yourself, the blame was not yours to take.
Forgive yourself, and live in peace, happiness, and serenity from now on.
All my love,
your older self.
glimpsed accomplished dreams
overcomes surrounded memories
intermittent tragic vulnerabilities
words and pictures by jack collier firstname.lastname@example.org