Writ in Water.

It seems that only those included in the number of human beings that are afflicted by “The Word”, that are also stained by the attached process. A love for words begins early in Life for those of us who harbor one; mine did, at least.

I recall noting many “adult” words that I overheard in “adult” conversations during my childhood; words such as: proverbial (I still over-use it, by default), harlequin (A word that I loved so much as a child, I chose it as a name for my first dog), hankering (a word that has a definition just as awesome as it is), overlord (a word that remains as fun to say today as it did when I was three), and most memorably: Tachyon (a word that I notoriously misused throughout my childhood because I simply loved to say and spell it). I was notorious for making statements that were made up of various idioms and adages I had heard my older male family members (my Papa, Dad, or any of my 5 older brothers) use. I am teased to this day over things I said in all earnestness, as a young girl trying to be super serious and to be taken seriously.

SOME EXAMPLES:

“Don’t put all of your eggs in a gift horse’s mouth before they hatch”

“Never kick a gift-horse you led to water in the mouth when he’s down”

“Give a man a fish, shame on you; teach him to fish, shame on me

 “Kicking the bowl”, instead of the bucket

 

I knew my ABC’s way too early as well; I can partially remember the day that I was in my Dad’s lap at the kitchen table and we were coloring together (so I must have been super young because I became “too old” to sit in his lap by the time I was 3.5 years, according to my Papa) and my Dad surprised me by asking me if I knew the alphabet yet. He was trying to mess with me, being certain that I didn’t – and that he would be able to give me shit for not knowing an answer – he was good like that. I can guarantee that he was the more shocked of the two of us when I belted out the entire song correctly without missing a beat; being the oldest of his own siblings, my Dad often overlooked the power that having a clan of older brothers gave me in such instances. I was (and still am) like a dried out sponge just waiting to absorb any information made available to me in any given context.

It was like I saw words as people spoke them, like a cartoon bubble over everyone’s heads, all the time. I was a naturally excellent speller as a child, something I have lost touch with in the time in between; I just LOVED words – there’s no other way to describe it. There is only one “wordsmith” in my immediate family, and it had been my Papa, who doubled as my daycare provider during my pre-school era. This became one of the most enriching and enlightening parts of my youth when it comes to words and my love for them; we often played word games together that loosely ran all day long and into dinner-time. My Papa gifted me very, very generously with his mind, heart and brain, indeed. In grade school, I was able to win over the others in my class every time through the shaping and molding of the words I chose to use on them; I took sweeping victories in my campaigns for the Student Union or Student Council positions I went after, because of the speeches I had written and the way I worded them. I was a peacemaker at home and on the playground – and my love of vocabulary never let me down in that context either. On the flip side, it has been the same love of words and literary expression that has wounded me deeply many times in Life, too, however. I am sensitive to the weight that words carry in an almost exquisite way; something that is tried and true: impossible to explain to a non-word-lover. When the weight of a word has been passed along to me, I have carried it no matter how heavy it may have been.

Most, if not all, people not afflicted by “The Word” have no appreciation for the burden attached to being a carrier of its weight, and behave accordingly. I have realized in the more recent years of my life: just how much I am affected by literature and the artistic use of words, as I find myself feeling the most emotions available to me during times that I have absorbed written content. There is just so much simplicity alongside of such intricacy in words and the beautiful combinations they can concisely make up. John Keats, my all-time favorite romance  poet, who was so perfected in his wordsmithing skills that he often made women cry and men shrink, left on his headstone, the most eloquent description of it all:

“Here lies one whose name was writ in water.”

You dig?

 

Listened VS Heard.

Me and Papa Joe Circa 1998

Me and Papa Joe
Circa 1998

My Papa Joe, as I have conveyed in previous posts, was a very exceptionally wise and wondrous human being; I still feel extremely blessed to have been born into his family, and have always considered the fact that I was to be a gift from the Gods. I say these things for a few reasons:

1) Had Papa Joe been absent from the scene of childhood days, the ever-heeded voice of reason would have been missing, as well;
2) Papa Joe was my lifetime’s most consistent and long-standing teacher and leader, even out-lasting my own father in Life to continue to impart his things on my being;
3) My grandfather was so much more than just the stiff-lipped, strange smelling, old dude that you had to visit begrudgingly as a child – he and I were friends – always, since my earliest memories of his presence, were we close because he not only heard me when I spoke: he listened.

Papa Joe introduced poetry to me as a very little kid; he used to read to me daily no matter what; he encouraged me to create my own stories and song lyrics – and would patiently and attentively listen to my finished products, without fail. He is embedded into the core of my first recollections and remains throughout my entire life through the age of twenty-one. When I say that I hung out with him regularly until the day he died, I am not exaggerating at all: he was literally one of my very favorite people to spend my time with; he never got old or boring. Papa Joe hardly ever told the same story twice unless he was asked to, he was very intelligent as well as deeply spiritual and magickal. He was a WWII pilot and POW, he was the father of four sons and the loving husband to a superbly insane, sawed-off and dangerous Norwegian Sami (my paternal grandma, Lisbett) for half a century. He was a Rosicrucian, a Mason, and a self-taught Egyptologist. He was an avid reader and wrote as well; he was a die-hard lover of ancient lore and craft.
One of his favorite books to reads to me was Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, a solid bond between he and I that led to the collectively used nickname he went by of “CHIANG”. I would go to him with a “secret loose tooth” that I hadn’t told any of my older set of brothers about because they were brutal string-to-door-knobbers; he would reach in my mouth and wiggle it gently and grunt and huff and puff under his breath with a vanilla pipe ember-red stuffed in his teeth, eventually declaring quietly that it wasn’t quite time yet to try to pull the loose tooth.
“Come up on my lap and let’s read some Richard Bach, instead of me pulling your tooth, eh?”
His eyes would wrinkle with the tops of his cheeks when he smiles, and he smiled at me often, I recall. It was always at least ten minutes before I would taste the blood or try and wiggle my loose tooth with my tongue only to find a tender hole where it had been when I showed him. I fell for this over and over – likely every tooth that I lost as a child was taken safely from my mouth in this exact fashion – by my Papa Joe. He was something else.

VETERAN’S DAY REPOST: The Wise of The Skies

My Papa (age 20). Already a pilot headed to War...

My Papa (age 20). Already a pilot headed to War…

 

It seems as though my very genetic sequencing was created on a battlefield somewhere back in time.
On the one hand (my father’s side, and the side of the family in which I was exposed to daily), my Old School Yankee blood hammers a foothold of ingenuity and aggression embedded in my very DNA. My Danish Emigrant family is littered with highly decorated American War Heroes in each and every generation that I know of, including my daughter’s generation. This side of my heritage historically and willingly puts up a well-organized and strategic fight for the glories it claims, no doubt. This side of my family tree is dwarfed in numbers by my mother’s side; and unfortunately, I believe that is because I have lost too many relatives, both distant and close, to warfare.
My Papa (my Dad’s father, who was my Partner in Crime until the day he died about a decade ago) doubled as my daycare provider since I can remember. This was a guy who was, indeed, a War Hero of at least two major wars in world history, a pilot (and it takes a certain kind for this), a Rosicrucian, a Mason, a self-taught Ancient Egyptologist (because he was compelled to explore alchemy, physics, astronomy, astrology, medicinal tincturing and ancient mysticism since his youth), but most notably and memorably for me: he was a magically wise soul. He was a genuine human being. He was one of my favorite people to hang out with for the entirety of my young life, even when I was a shithead teenager with a pierced face and old English block lettering Tattoos that said distasteful things – he never got boring or became too demanding of my time; my time was something that I always had more than enough for him.
I can write this, because he is dead and I am grown now;
During my teen years, he once rendezvoused with me at my car on the side of a dirt road during the wee hours of the morning (during a period in my life when I was swirling around life’s drain amidst teen angst, the shock and trauma of my Dad’s very sudden death, and in turn – the absolute demolition of my family unit as I had always before, and never again – known it; and was out of control in behavior and illegal activities) to offload armfuls of (totally illegal and extremely questionable in his perception) firearms with a stiff lip and stoic expression on his face the entire time. He drove away with at least ten felonies in his hatchback Celica without saying a fucking word to me about it.
I could never tell anyone about it growing up – couldn’t brag about it to my friends or brothers – because the fact that he never said anything taught me the lesson I’m sure he was shooting for: shame in grace, wrong against right, and dedication to those we love. I held it in for about five years before finally breaking one day over a Scrabble match and blurting out something like, “Papa, you know I’d NEVER ask you to do anything bad for me again EVER, right?…”
My Papa and I have the exact, same mischievously set eyes; upon meeting his gaze, I was always instantly triggered to smile, laugh, or giggle. This time though, when his eyes met mine, they spoke volumes of the disapproval and disappointment that he had been holding in all that time. Also quite noticeably though, was a weight that seemed to lift from his frame almost tangibly…and it came straight into my heart and has been with me ever since that moment.

For Veteran’s Day, I bow my head to any and all who have served my country in my place for whatever reasons.

This gratefulness that I feel runs deeply through the tangling roots of dead soldiers grown from my own family tree, and any other tree on Yankee/ Native soil. It most certainly takes someone with heart to be a soldier; thank you to all of the Veterans out there who may happen to read this post. Seriously…THANK YOU.