Friday, April 24, 2015

gēargemynd at MLP


Later this morning I will work at my house. There is extensive clearing out to be done, the attic, some closets, my heart. Clothes, papers and files, pictures, memories. There are many, many pictures to bring, even more in history, memory, my own and family history that has become as much part of me as if I had lived here a hundred years. Pictures of children, grandchildren, grandparents, great-grandparents. And there is that I can not bring with, and even so, no place to store but a crevice of the mind with embers that won’t quench.

What's so special about this one,

I have wandered through vacated houses before, a California house in sight of far mountains, a house in Ohio where Tass came into my life, in Northern Virginia a house overlooking a stream where Civil War bullets could occasionally be found, a creekside house by the Conodoguinet in Pennsylvania, a century old rectory in Apalachicola where Tass grew up too soon; why such wracking grief this time, this house. My grandparents built this house in 1912. It left the family in 1923 and my parents bought it back in 1962. I've owned this house since 1993, twenty-two years. "Kristen was here," I raised and loved Kristen in this house, every room is filled with memories of her growing up with me. And oh! what to do with the garage out back hiding its couple of cars, that Oldsmobile Cutlass, and the yellow 1951 Cadillac I never got to drive; the window for peering in from time to time, door still ajar. And gēargemynd the corner of the back screen porch where I sat this moment a year ago, read news and wrote a blog post: only a madman conspires how to bring the corner of a back porch, but I can’t possibly leave that, can I, it has to come with, where’s my chain saw. No, the contract says leave it intact.

Yesterday morning I became Esau. After signing a contract to exchange my heritage for a bowl of red beans, I stood on the front porch of my grandparents house and watched my uncle Alfred walk by and down the front steps into eternity.  Snapped a picture of where I stood in 1962 as my father pointed to the fireplace in the living room 
 and said, “My brother’s casket stood right there,” winter 1918. 

My father’s memories are mine now, aren't they, he passed them on to me, or did he, maybe he took them, I’d rather believe that even if I don't. Here in the old kitchen at the table by the back door is where seventy-five years later I sat and held his box of ashes. And eighteen years on almost to the day, my mother’s. Sat right here, same identical spot while my brother mixed their ashes before we took them out in the boat to spread upon what Adam and the Priest called “the face of the deep”.

These azaleas I planted when I was twelve and thirteen, the pink ones, faintly fragrant. That White Empress that my mother grafted and I planted. And years later she had Anderson dig up and move here from the house on Massalina Bayou. You can't dig things up, it's not in the contract.

A mess of potage. My God, what have I done. Belt it out, Frank, sing it, Blue Eyes

The way your smile just beams.
The way you sing off-key.
The way you haunt my dreams.
No, no - they can't take that away from me.

T at My Laughing Place

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