Monday, January 11, 2010

Where Dark And Light Meet

I hate my father. I hate all men and everything male. I do secretly wish to castrate them, to dominate and humiliate them. This secret hatred running under my skin ran rampant and was vented on my husband until his death, frightened my old teacher when we sat together under the trees.
In those early days, when it first boiled over the top and I grew out my arm pit hair and swore off the boys, I thought it was because a boy had broken my heart. A boy did hurt me, but even before then my heart had been broken, smashed into a thousand pieces by my father who crushed all of the life out of me, sought to dominate every aspect of me mercilessly, unintentionally. The hatred, the rage must have been growing, welling up inside of me long before that silly boy dealt his blow, also unintentionally.
I could not look at my father after puberty, because of the fear of being squashed, because of the hatred whose twin was desire. Now I know what Freud knew, that I have secretly and unconsciously wished to replace my mother. I have also looked for a man who would replace my father, the one who would be stronger than him and overcome him and become him.
I look at my biological father now knowing these things, and it is knowing them fully that allows me to look because I can be certain that those urges are not what is doing the looking and smiling. I am looking and smiling. The deepest me. The me that is nobody’s daughter, nobody’s wife, no man’s enemy, a wind in the doorway, an eternal notness.
I look at him and he smiles back. He said during a game of murder that he knew I was the murderer because I looked at him and I usually don’t look at him. From then on I made the effort to be awake and look at him. I do this for him, for me, for the eternal notness.
In the forest, with one who would replace him, I also look. I look until he is trembling, I look at the one I have known for 15 years and never looked at. We have inflicted emotional injuries upon one another both intentionally and unintentionally, always driven by those unconscious motives, acting out with each other the desires and resentment we harbor for our parents, always fearful of being crushed.
But now for an awakened moment we are free of those bonds. We are together, our grievances are gone, because I drop all of the barriers that I am aware off and let my heart burn bright and he responds by dropping his and glowing with me and we understand each other.
We are so happy together, like when we were lonely confused children who found solace in each other’s company, only far better because my heart is so much bigger now than it was then, so much braver, brave enough to swallow us both whole and carry us smiling over dusty trails, big enough that this one time, I can protect us both from the unconscious hatred that I have harbored, the hatred that had, from time to time, been vented on him in our youth.
Big and brave enough after a week of time with my biological father, that I know that whatever unconscious urges afflict and drive this other, he can’t hurt me. If he bites my bare pulsing heart with steely knives of rejection, or mischief, they will be baby bites compared to those made by my own flesh and blood.
But he does not bite, instead he hears me telling him something that I have tried to tell him before, something that could not be communicated until we were both made vulnerable by this torrent of love flowing between us. Now, because we finally truly have this understanding, he lets me collect a lost piece of myself that he had greedily and hungrily and achingly horded. He too collects a lost piece of himself in this fair and ecstatic exchange, and he tells me to go and collect the rest of the pieces of myself, all of the pieces that I can find in the darkness of the wasteland. He tells me to love the ones I am journeying with in that darkness, to love them as much as I love him and he loves me, as much as we could have ever loved, as much as we would have loved if we had only known how to do so.

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