Tuesday, September 03, 2013

This will require that you do some research while I try to figure out how to gather the strength to do the writing ... .

Look at the top left side of the screen, above my photo and the banner -- for that little white search bar.  Enter the name of my late son, Dale Richard Reid.  Relevant posts will be displayed -- but you'll need to scroll down to the one dated Wednesday, October 6, 2004.

It's all there; the haunting background to these last three weeks of depression.  Today, September 3rd is the anniversary of the day that his body was discovered on the bathroom floor.  He'd been dead (it was estimated) about 3 weeks.

If you'll note the dates, I place his death with confidence at August 17th for reasons given in that post.

In an unrelated series of acts, about 3 weeks ago I'd received a message from a best friend from his childhood, John Marshall, now living in Arizona -- saying that he was planning to visit the Bay Area soon to attend their high school class reunion, and would love to see me and to learn more about Rick.  I'd not seen John since they were both children.  I answered, inviting him to come to the Visitors Center while he and his Ana were in town, and that I'd love to talk about Rick.  Told him that the pain of the loss was now firmly in the past and that I was comfortable with it now.  On Saturday, John and Ana and I visited for perhaps an hour.  He'd brought class pictures in which he and Rick had shared life from perhaps fourth grade on through high school.  I so enjoyed their visit, and the chance to reminisce about life in Walnut Creek -- a childhood that had been so painful for my son for so many reasons -- and not all of them racial.

Then Barbara, another former student friend from Del Valle High got in touch through my blog and asked about Rick just a few days after John's initial contact.  She was not someone I remembered, but appeared to have been acquainted through high school with Rick.  She was working on the class reunion dinner (held last Saturday evening,  8/31) and was sure that others would want to know and that -- though she'd heard that he'd died -- didn't want to pass that along until confirmed.

I told both these voices from the past that the entire story was available on my blog, and gave them the dates to look up.  Secret-keeping could bring no consolation at this point, and these two young people seem to care.

... all the while the darkness was building, and in my mind's obvious attempts to layer over the pain of those memories -- the Supreme Court decision that gutted the Voters Rights Act, seeing The Butler film; being aware that the 50th anniversary of the bus burnings at Anniston, Alabama; and this past week's anniversary of the Great March in Washington, D.C.; all became an incomprehensible ball of disembodied angst, and they all happened over the same 3 weeks -- the anniversary of that tragedy of the fateful 3 weeks that Rick lay dead and undiscovered.   I'd simply never made the connection with current developments and those underlying awful memories.  I was being protected from myself, I suppose.

Today, September 3, 2013, is the anniversary of that discovery -- and the realization of the pall that fell over my life exactly 3 weeks ago has visibly lifted.

The sadness left as unceremoniously as it came.  I simply needed to understand what was happening to me, and whether the feelings were appropriate to the causes.  Not sure that makes sense to anyone but me, but being able to explain myself to myself tends to bring serenity, eventually -- even in the throes of such devastating memories.

I'm free again.

I can breathe freely ... and, though I do miss him still .... I'm secure in the knowledge that the deep depression was an appropriate response to living events and past trauma.

That it was.
comes the dawn
It's almost over now, "The Blues" ... .

Finally figured it out and by so doing am almost free of the darkness ...

... and writing it into the open surely is demanded before this miserable feeling of suspension in space and time is behind me ...

but for the moment -- having cried it out into consciousness -- giving it a voice must wait until the immediacy of life in the now has been satisfied.

Perhaps over the weekend, and after Mary's memorial service on Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, know that my rhythm has returned and all is well, considering, that is ... .

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Just returned after three days of rest on the scenic north coast of Mendocino ... 

... but I'm still feeling "coiled," and tense, and the rest I was seeking failed to kick in as anticipated.  Maybe it had to do with the fact that -- instead of driving up Route 128 through the scenic Anderson Valley which ends with a burst of ocean breakers at the merge with Coast Highway 1 -- at the crest -- I'd decided at Cloverdale to continue on the faster and less curvy inland Highway 101 past Ukiah to Willits.  The dramatic first sight of the Pacific where the Navarro river bed widens as it empties into the sea -- and which gives such a burst of whatever it is that happens at that point on the drive where you suddenly move beyond the redwood forest and meet the wisps of fog carrying the scent of sea foam ... the roar of breakers against those monstrous rocks ... I missed it all this time.

... and for all his loving effort, poor Tom's gracious attempts at satisfying my every need went unrewarded.  The usual drive to Fort Bragg accompanied by his running commentary about the history; the current economic conditions; the small businesses now gone; the beautiful homes in the historic districts where the lumber barons once reigned; all reduced this time to little more than inevitable change produced by time ... and all met with my silence -- something I was increasingly aware of. 

Maybe how I enter Highway 1 is an essential element in this particular journey, and perhaps it was lost and therefore something in my imagination went unfulfilled.  I just don't know ... but something of importance was missing and never recovered.

I did meet two new friends, a writer and her husband, a woodworker artisan/photographer with whom I experienced similar feelings on January 20 of 2009 at the presidential inauguration.  It was on the Capitol Mall that I met over 2 million new best friends, any one of whom I could begin a conversation in the middle of the sixth paragraph.  Norma and Les make that 2 million and two, I think.  And I'm not certain how I know that, but I'd been reading Norma Watkins' online journal for months now as the result of Tom's sending the link, and have developed the trust that one feels when you encounter someone whose great questions match yours; and Norma is a white southerner whose history should have been antithetical to all that I believe in.  She hails from Mississippi, and lived for a significant time in Florida.  Unlikely?  Right.  But there you have it.  In her written words there is harmony with my thoughts and life lessons learned over decades.  And -- that feeling that our first conversation could start in the middle of the fourteenth paragraph!

Still not "uncoiled," but today is Sunday and tomorrow is a holiday so I still have 48 hours to try to recapture a sense of serenity that -- at least over the past weeks -- has been lost ...

... but next Sunday, September 7th, holds another memorial service, this time for Mary Towns Adams, a lifelong friend, and with it a deepening sense of urgency that may be becoming terminal now ... .

Could this be the answer for the general feeling of restiveness?