Swarthmore, PA

Notes to Dad

Conviction: the beheader of questionmarks

I believe we reach a state where knowledge blinds us, and understanding deafens us, and wisdom makes our touch leperous and insensitive. I believe there are heights of love which cut and maim our sense of dignity. That is not true love, but it turns colors so real and pales the things they mask so utterly that one must recover from the experience as from a night of excess.

There is so much hatred to be learnt. One must be a stupid and stubbornly indocile beast to come out of these nights with neither fear nor a burning hate. And the smartest of us conceal this fire and play like they know nothing whatsoever of it. They are the cunning ones, who leave their hate to skulk vulpine in their forests and faces. By this you shall know them – a hesitant laughter, a furtiveness towards embrace (warm or cold). The most hateful of us walk slowly down the street.

You taught me much – but does that teaching spill over and eclipse experience – or is experience the richer to stain what is taught? If my love, as ideal, was to be placed in some other-where, and not here, what if, by some perversity of fate, it happened to be found precicely where it “ought” not to be? Would the ideal of love not falter in the face of the actual, or else take revenge on me instead? Conscience really is not much more than a playground bully. It smites us for the sake of a Perfect. And like all ardent believers, it will not budge to doubt or revise itself, its stance.

It would be just as easy, just as difficult if I were to live out my life within that, within your particular faith, your particular love, than without. But no more true. I know that great pain and great disappointment await me either way, and the breaking away is no more invigorating than the inner affirmation. I know either way is vastly different, greatly similar. That is not where my why is, though. I am not out to prove wrong, or to be right, not in this manner, not in this Way. I need to speak the words within me, to secure a voice that may say them. I do not want to be an incompetent lover to my own prophesy, philosophy. Neither do I want to be a Don Juan of others'. My pursuit is not Truth in any capital form. And maybe what I want, am seeking, is a feminine truth – the supple, intimate, that which breathes and sleeps and is at the mercy of the elements while being in very fact the elements distilled...

What saintliness and leaping unleprously is the ‘being led astray’ – all the while with a strait face, a face undisfigured by conviction, fortified by ambivalent intoxiquence. I am afraid of Power. I do not think that I lust for it, but in my marrow there is a hunger rumbling ---

Really, I am speaking to (with!) a stark effigy of you. Prbly not stark, but engraved and worn and hardened by loneliness and secreted angers and passions. Where are you Dad? And Who?

If one looks upward to see only a god of indifferent and stark commandment – if this god is what’s called God – what other god would drive one to madness and bloodlust and the revelry in all that is pain and anguish? What other God could convert man into a bitter, leeching wretch, scuttling after himself, ever overwhelmed with lack? It would seem at times that we with our lives and our acts try to make up for what we believe our God lacks… sin, redemption, fear

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