Friday, June 23, 2006

i have been taking advantage of my girls' excellent behavior around me as of late, selfishly neglecting them at times to focus on my own problems.

But is it neglect if they are sitting playing together, totally entertained for several hours and I do other things or merely sit, observing through the window? Regardless I need to back-burner some of my more egocentric ambitions and get back to the comfortable regularity of kids books, of which I have read too few these past troubled weeks.

but the sun is on the field and soon the hawks will build their nest, a new home for a new era, a larger family than mere feathers can afford. remember these days, the quality of light at evening time like cinnamon, the emptiness, the fresh starts in the garden, the rotting bulbs tucked away beneath a bed of earth anyway, watered with tears and hope.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Snuggle my girls back to sleep-in an extra stretch from 7 to 8:30 then up to greet Al Jones delivering a picture snapped on the girls' birthday. We talk wood a bit and he destines out my day with the idea of work well done, ducking home up the hill with promises of a tractor and chains in half an hour. Change diapers, load girls into car bound for Bremerton ferry, Seattle, aquarium, adventure land with mama for the day. Quick smoke then out to guide in tractor, wave arms like I know something an 87 year old farmer doesn't about backing up a tractor but it seems to please him. We spend the next half hour fixing chains 'round large logs and winching them out of the tall grass and into the driveway. Chat a bit about war and oil. I like his style. Caught him pissing in his yard once, fuh-getta 'bout it.

Tractor and old hound dog up the hill. I spark the saw and cut off and on for the remainder of the day, filling the odd chunks here and there with sweat and tiny tasks. Plant a dozen and a half bulbs. Weed. Water. Package up books. Nice old 9 volume Melville set going down to some school or institute in Portland. A few of the *ahem* more clandestine titles that pay my bills scattered across the rural midwest. Box of highly specific advanced chemistry books to Australia disguised as old picture books of London. Back outside to split some wood. Enjoy a beer and some smoke, book in the hammock for a short spell before a turkey-spinach sandwich and more chainsawing. Like an ant I work away the summer days, thinking of winter. Then, under winter's spell I sit huddled and dreaming of summer.

Check on Rietta, our injured lonely hen. She was just out and around the yard for the first time in weeks the other day. Feed her some scratch by hand, her nervous clucking filling the small room. Ivy and blackberry creeping through the cracks. Nature reclaiming the unnatural. Cosmic compost. At a loss I start raking leaves in the one part of the yard shaded by our house. After a few predictable minutes Steph and the girls pull into the driveway. We share a few fast words, I shoot off for charcoal and chips, little sugar fix. Then she shoots off for work and a night in Olympia, our fair city. The girls and I say hi, settle in, an easy comfortable routine for us now.

Under this waning pacific silver dome i grill a steak soaked in St. Peter's ale, raspberry mustard, black pepper, apple juice and thyme, throw an onion, and a mushroom on there for variety's spice for my daughters and i to share over a light salad, telling them to chew, chew, chew and make sure to eat some greens. Then a quick swing, scarleht in the chair, lyli cuddling with me, papa, in our hammock beneath the ancient apple tree I have named "Given." Swap spots and cuddle Scarleht for a bit, giggles in the June air. Some talk of mama's house and papa's house, our transition into this new jungle, how to be strong and different and whole despite the distance and troubles. Hopefully once we rip this thing up we can maybe do some of that foundation laying that never got done happened. shit. cheers. sullen and silent and strong. just like always. and damn it if it doesn't work for you.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"Your loneliness, your anger towards the status quo, and your relationship are unremarkable."

Thanks to all the folks who make a compassionate point of contacting me with advice or criticism... well, let's just call them what they are: words. Words have always been the best medicine in/for my book and hell, even the nasty comments and letters stroke my multi-egos. I only hope I can return all these small favors before I lose them or they crowd me out of house and home. Sorry I have been absent for a spell, I have many things to think about before I can share my soul any more.


I don't know if you removed the name of that letter's pen, or if it was sent to you as anonymous, or really what you thought of it (other than that it was kind). Is your blog a journal or a forum? (That is, is it single-ego driven, or multi-ego?) I don't know, that's why I wrote you an email.

Your loneliness, your anger towards the status quo, and your relationship with Stephanie (whether or not as lovers, whether or not "successful") are unremarkable. I would go so far as to think of this set as... the human condition (or at least part of it). If you wear them on your sleave and others are turned off by this, well, that is their choice. Feeling what you feel won't harden your heart or cause you despair. I have those feelings; I think of them as 'ripening' over time. To dismiss them simply as negative is stupid. And I could go into a bunch of duality bullshit here, but we don't need that just to savor loneliness.

I can't offer you sage advise, because I'm young like you. But I disagree with the paradigm that age equals wisdom, or that wise advise is better advice (or that a heart filled with joy isn't also filled with sorrow). In my opinion your daughters will grow up to be successful confident women irregardless of you and Stephanie staying "together"; ones most important relationship is that to one's self, that is the foundation for and what ultimately informs our offspring. Consequently, I think you should base your decisions on your feelings.

Perhaps this is just where I'll differ in opinion from the 'sage', perhaps it is a generational separation, or an individual one, but I don't think it's critical for a child's parents to stay together - especially if they don't want to. While it is certainly my feeling that children deserve a relationship with both of their parents (and other adults), the parents themselves don't have to live, sleep or fuck together.

You and I may differ when it comes to spiritual interpretation, but we are talking about a practical and corporeal matter here, and I find any talk of Spirit, spirit or anything worded 'God' a total diversion from 'the real', and an abstraction in any case ( i.e., God is irrelevant to this topic). Anybody can think of this view as nihilistic or narcissistic, or think me a typical victim of postmodernity, but again - that's their choice. For me, all of this is an affirmation.

Gavin S.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

a kind letter in rough waters

Dear Sky,
Because you choose to bare your inner life on Pirate Papa, I, who love you more than you know, am writing to tell you…

Your loneliness, your failing relationship, your anger toward the status quo will eventually harden into a heart of bitterness and despair.

Do you want to have a successful relationship with Stephanie? Make a commitment and keep it. You seem to be committed to many aspects of your life… living an independent life style, setting an example of responsibility toward the environment, writing, operating your store, and caring for your daughters. But when you speak of your relationship with the most important person in your life your attitude seems to be fatalistic and out of control.

You will never be able to give you daughters the hope and security they require to become successful confident women if they see the man in their life show so little commitment to the most important relationship they will ever need.

You and Stephanie have gone down a path by deciding to become parents. Get a plan
that will result in a successful effort. The areas in which you are failing are directly related to unwillingness to communicate and basing your bond to each other on feelings.

Your bond must be based on commitment and trust. This bond is developed in the Spirit. The Living Spirit Who will counsel, forgive and comfort. The Living Spirit to whom you and Stephanie can make a vow and become accountable. With commitment and guidance your relationship can be joyful and worth the effort.

Deciding to sleep apart is not going to bring you together. All of the areas to which you are now committed are dust and stuff compared to the relationships you have the opportunity to build for a lifetime. Give your relationships the value they deserve.

I am writing to you from experience. When you were 2 years old, my daughter, XXXXXXX, died in an accident. The divorce rate for couples with dead children is 85%. We were healed of our black despair after three years of horrible suffering and damage to our relationship. We were made new by the Holy Spirit of the Living God.

The Spirit can make you new. Your heart can be open and joyful. Do not think I am writing to you about religion or Religion. Do not think that I am judging the life you have chosen or the commitments you have made. I am writing because I read of your loneliness and want you to know that I care.

We are praying for you, Stephanie, Lyli and Scarleht to find peace and hope.

With Agape Love,

Saturday, June 3, 2006

trying to shelve my resentment and anger and hurt. donning the mask i have to wear today for lyli and scarleht's party, to pretend steph and my's relationship is doing better than it is. but this day is about them, not us. they are two years and two days old today and i cannot believe it is true. 732 days have passed since that strange time in the hospital in Tacoma when you entered this world and we were still fooling ourselves.

i love you both more than words or time can tell. i express it in little doses each day, unseen by any eyes save yours. it's always the real workers that don't get any credit, toiling away under cover of darkness or blindness or ignorance while the world goes on its merry tragic way. blink and two months are gone. just gone. and you have too few memories of it all. and next year's tears will wash away our sins of today and tomorrow we won't even remember the pain or the love or the lessons we tried to teach.

you soak up my lessons, exhausting me at times but always pushing to learn more, absorb more, say more, try ten new things before some noontime hits for nap and snack time. sometime i hope you can look back and be grateful for this breath of fresh air I am trying to start you off with, this break frmo it all before the real world sets in and screws everything up. but for now we have the trees, we feed the birds, we clean the house, read books, talk about the world and what is in it. for now we try to simply be by being simple and hope the world will leave us alone for a spell.