I'm reading Thunder and Lightning, by Natalie Goldberg, one of (in my mind) a series of incredible books that she writes, about writing.
Last night, reading in bed, later than I wanted to be up, I was deep into this book, the 'highest activity of the mind' (that is what the New York Times has classified reading as). I completely agree.
I was gone last night. Gone, into this book, like I haven't been anywhere in my mind except my dreams for the past few months. I'm going to talk more about this book in my next post.
My intense involvement in the book probably contributed to my odd dreams, too.
(Last night, I dreamt that it was mid-October--it is--and that I lived in my childhood home on Crockamhill Drive, our townhouse, with my mom, sister, and Mike--I don't---and we got a call from a distant hospital--(Annapolis--how did he get there?) It was unclear--that my father was dying. I thought, immediately, two things--One, we must get there, and Two, he's...already dead.)
Never the less, in my dream, we gamely tried to take directions down, and the four of us, myself, Mike, my sister, and my mom, all tried to get out the door to this distant place, where, we were informed on the phone that they were reviving my father. I remember shrieking into the phone "He has a DNR!" and then the doctor telling me that my aunt and cousin were there with him, insisting that he be revived and I remember feeling that old anger well up inside me again, absolute poison, and I rocketed out of the house to put a stop to this, having no idea where the hell Annapolis is.
I was telling my friend L. in an email today that in the last couple of days, feeling a little down because I was home, sick, and feeling my companion, grief, settle in a little more comfortably as the days shorten and get colder, that I hadn't 'felt' my Dad's spirit around in a while. I was sure he was busy, I think he's probably really enjoying his life as a spirit, my Dad always wanted to travel and do alot of things but didn't really get a chance to, having a family so young and all that that entailed.
So I was 'missing' not just his physical presence but also his spiritual one.
Cue today's crisis; My mother calling as we had missed a crucial bill payment and I had to rectify it, immediately, as it involved taxes and all that sort of stuff you just cannot mess around with after someone has died. Trust me on this.
I called the bank to get the situation looked at, and since I've had to do this by phone several times before, I knew the drill--they have to verify things like POA, dates of birth, etc., and the best way to get that done is by being as cooperative as possible--like the government, I try to appreciate the fraud that costs them so much on an annual basis, and appreciate the lengths they go to to prevent it and protect their customers.
I was on hold for the first little bit, idly doing some work at my desk while I held the phone, and then I noticed the song that was playing, a sad little instrumental version of Elton John's "Your Song" (I say sad instrumental version because it's a song that his voice lifts to a higher level). I immediately started to tear up a bit when this line (it wasn't sung but I knew it was coming) came on: "I hope you don't mind..that I put down in words...how wonderful life is, when you're in the world..." The bank lady came back on the phone for round 2 of my information just as that line went by. She put me on hold again, this time to "The Living Years" and by then I was glad my door was closed.
It's one of those songs that you hear while your parents are alive and think (well, I did, after my father's diagnosis), 'this is going to be a really upsetting song to hear one day'.
Well, it lived up to that today.
By the way, I still can't get it out of my head, oddly, although the Elton song is one I much prefer. The Living Years won't go away.
Oddly, I wikipedia'ed Annapolis (in my dream it had one N) and it's state motto is eerily similar to New Hampshire, the one I told my dad about gleefully last year when I first visited: "Live free or die" is NH; this is Annapolis:
Motto: "Vixi Liber Et Moriar" - "I have lived, and I shall die, free"
Spirit sometimes does come when it's called.
Thank you Dad.