The Context May Be Misconstrued

 

My father and I have had a rocky relationship, to say the least. As I was growing up, he was not really a person who I could look at as a constant. I always felt as if I was borrowing his time.

There are many things that I would love to remove from the compartments of my heart that involve the man I would have loved to call ‘my dad.’ It is not something that I wish to do; speak unjustly of him for very long. It is something that I struggle with. The emotions of the past and present are not something that I can just shut off. He is a very difficult man, and the only way to remain humble and at peace is to stay away from him, and pray.

I don’t know what goes on within his heart and mind, and if I were to dig for an answer, it would likely be shut down with his harsh words and a retreat. The bottled-up pain within him has been witnessed. That is between him and the Lord. I love the guy, and would love to be his son.

There is a book of his poems and writings that was given to me by an old friend of his. I have thumbed through it on several occasions. I pulled this writing out of the collection several years ago…

WE ARE WHAT WE’RE NOT

TODAY IS A DAY
JUST LIKE THE REST
WE’RE OFF IN THE RUNNING
TO GIVE IT OUR BEST

WE MOVE ALL SO QUICKLY
IN OUR OWN SEPARATE WAYS
AND JUST TRY TO MAKE IT
PERHAPS THROUGH THE DAY

WE LAVISH OURSELVES
WITHOUT SWEET SURRENDER
COLLECTING THE THINGS
WE THINK OF AS SPLENDOR

WE USE OUR FRIENDS FREELY
AND LIE QUITE A LOT
AS WE PLAY ALL THE PARTS
WE KNOW WE ARE NOT

WE FOOL OURSELVES OFTEN
IN MORE THAN ONE WAY
LIKE KIDS ACTING OUT
THE GAMES THAT THEY PLAY

WE SMOKE AND WE DRINK
AND WE MIGHT TAKE A PILL
WHILE CONVINCING OURSELVES
LIFE IS A RAW DEAL

WE GO TO BED LONELY
CONFUSED, BUT IT’S TRUE,
IT’S ALL BROUGHT ABOUT
BY THE THINGS THAT WE DO

AT DAWNS EARLY WARNING
WE’RE BACK ON OUR WAY…
AND JUT TRY TO MAKE IT
PERHAPS THROUGH THE DAY

I really have no idea what the context of his poem is? I could speculate, but as distant and unfamiliar as I am with his character, my observation would most likely be incorrect.

There is something within myself that I can gather from his words. There are a lot of words within this writing that illuminate when I read it. Words that were always a part of my thinking throughout my younger years. The title itself speaks in its own way, and it describes who I once was. The words within the poem; “lie,” “fool,” “games,” “convincing,” “lonely” and “confused” are all words that have described a broken man. I was that man. Was he? Is he?

I would lie, cheat and play games, all the while trying to convince myself that it was someone else who was causing me to be lonely, and confused. I don’t know what my dad meant when writing this? He would blame my mother for many things that were relative to these descriptive words, and the phrases within the writing also paint that picture. I have read this many times, wondering just what he means?

It is sad. I read a word or two from a poem that was written decades ago, by a man who was right there most of the time, yet so distant. I try to get blood from a turnip through some short writings, and do it because I needed a father. I wanted his presence. Yet, I see the pain within these words, and see the pain of the past within myself through them, and somehow, I am thankful? Maybe I didn’t need his pain growing up? Maybe the pain without him was better than the pain that would have been amplified with his internal unease rubbing its heartaches into my youthful mind?

My dad hurts, but from what I understand, today he has the Lord. Maybe he will be healed through His love? Maybe he will be able to observe a broken past, and lean on the present peace that the Lord provides, as I do? Maybe someday my father and I will be able to write a new story together? I just pray.

 

 

 

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