Saturday, July 12, 2008

To Be the Heir Apparent, to the Kingdom of the Invisible

Try as we may, try as we might, despite Lennon's eloquence to the contrary, we can change so much of our world and even more of ourselves and yet, it's the past we cannot change and that, even though it's the past, always seems to shape who we are and whom we will be.

I used to explain to people who fell in love with rosy-red scenarios that required so many variables that if you removed all the moving parts from their premises, there'd be no parts, that if my mother had married a Kennedy, I'd be living in the White House, but she didn't. So I'm not--and that was why I never sent my mom a Mother's Day card, because she had ruined my life.

Many people felt they saw my point (this was in the days before I wore a hat)-and were saddened I didn't send Mom a Mother's Day card. No amount of protestation to the contrary could get them to understand that that wasn't the point of my story at all-and it wasn't even true. Of course, that I would lie about not sending my mother a card for mother's day was even more distressing if not heinous and eventually I shared Clevinger's fate about being punished, or not, for marching in the Sunday parades under the direction of LT Scheisskopf.

We are everyone we've ever known, through blood or birth or chance and by extension, so is everyone else. I struggle and fail everyday to understand why knuckleheads (and that's what I call them because I'm the soul of generosity) with whom I'm supposedly working are, in reality, working at cross-purposes to me and everything I'm trying to do. It's true with with you as well, we just pretend we don't know it.

There comes a point every day or in every interaction where you pause, perhaps on the landing between the second and third floor, and say to Bob or John or Nina or Mary, "I don't think we'll ever get this piano up to the third floor!" To which they respond with surprise and irritation, "Up to the third floor, I thought we were trying to get it down to the second floor!"

And the here we are:
"And the doors swing back and forward, from the past into the present
And the bedside crucifixion turns from wood to phosphorescent.
And they're moving problem families from the South up to the North,
Mother's crying over some soft soap opera divorce,
And you say you didn't do it, but you know you did of course,
And they'll soon be pulling down the little palaces."
-bill kenny

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