Monday, September 27, 2010

For Mum


How many times have I betrayed you? There are betrayals in battle that are infinitesimal compared to my betrayals of you.
I pushed off, away, and against. What was not broken, I destroyed. What you did not care to know, I found out.

You let me. Other times you didn’t let me go easily and I would fight. Sometimes I would get so angry I wouldn’t be able to remember what I said. Then I would leave. Sometimes I wouldn’t come back.

One time, I left and got really lost, in more ways than one. I couldn’t get out of bed. I stayed there in the dark for days. Was it the third day that you opened my door and sat down on my bed? I couldn’t get the words out from inside (I’m lost).

I filled the aching void with tears instead. You cried too.

Get up, you said softly, tears running down your cheeks and wetting my hands. This isn’t you. It’s time to get up.

You didn’t open the window, and you closed the door when you left a minute later.
I lay there, in the darkness. All my darkness.

I was lost, too close to that precipice.

I came upstairs a few hours later, still lost. I think you knew that.

That day you came down into my room, I realized that down in my room, the only one who remembered me was you. That was the year I didn’t know my own reflection in a mirror. That was the year only you found what I had lost.

I remember the day the fog lifted. I was back. I was also almost eight thousand miles away, living in an ancient English castle. I had fled there to find myself, and when I did I realized you’d never once lost me. You were just waiting until I found what you’d known all along. Thank you for waiting, for guarding, for keeping.

I quit running to the unknown after that day. The problem with running towards the void is that it’s incredibly likely you’ll get consumed by all of the uncertainty of the unknown.
I realize that now.

It’s your birthday today. I sat down intending to write something that could somehow express just how much I love you. Instead, I ended up overwhelmed by just how much you love me.

This is the first part of what I know.
Love is a species of flame.

And although all the rest of what I do not know cries out to me (and I must go and know it) I need you to understand—you are my North star. My touchstone. The origin from which I run.

Ultimately, I am always journeying back to you.