My Life Goes On Without Me

At some point I lost my life but didn’t die. My life walked out on me in the middle of the night.

If there were a term for my condition, it would be a combination of the phrases here and there and neither here nor there. In the end, I’m left without my life, yet “alive” enough to watch my life go on without me.

At some point either my life will fall back to me or I will catch up to my life. At some point I will question my life. Is my life happier without me? Who’s in charge of my life?

This infernal monologue, this self-inflicted doom: this is depression. This is me.

The Child Is Father Of The Man

Eight years ago today my father died.

It’s always tough, but with each anniversary my sense of loss has changed. The other night I looked at his picture and cried, but the heartache, vast for a moment, passed.

I remember pushing my toy chest into his room as a child. I’d sell him a stuffed animal or Matchbox car and he’d pay me in hugs. The chest was heavy and the wheels were thin, but I forged ahead.

My father, I like to think, is asleep behind a series of doors in the middle of an endless hallway. Perhaps one day he’ll wake from a dream to find I’ve arrived, and recognize the child in me.

Still Here In Many Ways

On this date four years ago, my father passed away.  Even though he’s gone, he’s still here in many ways.

POP PSYCHOLOGY

You made me in your image,
fashioned me after great thought
and saw that I was good.

What drives a man
to create such a fuss–
share an ear for words,

those dashing looks–
my voice laced
with hints of yours?

We mastered two-wheel balance,
shoe-tying for the hopelessly
all-thumbed, the grammar behind

who and whom, lie and lay
suffered soul-searching
breaks from reality.

Like a child, I make believe
the fullness of your shadow
bears no weight upon me.

A Beautiful Quote From “Mad Men”

The following is a quote from one of the best shows on television today, Mad Men.  It comes from Peggy, who is played by Elisabeth Moss, and she is speaking to Pete, who is played by Vincent Kartheiser.  Peggy has just told Pete how she gave up their baby for adoption.  She opines about loss in general when she declares that:

Well, one day you’re there, and then all of a sudden, there’s less of you.  And you wonder where that part went, if it’s living somewhere outside of you, and you keep thinking maybe you’ll get it back.  And then you realize, it’s just gone.

–Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss)
Mad Men, “Meditations in an Emergency”
Original Air Date: 10-26-08 on AMC

Is this passage a reference merely to loss in general, or something more specific?  Is she lamenting the loss of her child via adoption, the loss of her innocence/virginity, the loss of a potential relationship with the married Pete, or the loss of part of her soul?

Perhaps it alludes to all of these.  Either way, it makes for some powerful and entertaining television.

A Poem About Loss

RECOVERY

it’s like wearing a hat all day
and then taking it off at night
something in me is missing

I feel the brim just above my eyes
the tightness clinging to my head
my hair curling up along the sides

but my head is bare now
it lies alone upon the pillow
sensing a lack it cannot grasp

we take comfort in the forms we assume
they get us here and there
but are you really comfortable in your skin

when I reach for what’s known
I encounter vague amputations
as if my legs have disappeared

disengaging from my battered torso
walking out the back door
a ghostly figment of my mind

I’m left with the odd reality
that my life will now require
days upon days of painful crawling

we take comfort in the forms we assume
they gets us here and there
but are you really comfortable in your skin

hatless leg-less how shall we continue
beyond our broken selves
how do we recover from loss