Posts tagged ‘parallel writing’
“If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.” Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol
The lights decorating the houses blurred through tears, were wished away. No Christmas cards were opened as they lay on the mat intermingled with sympathy cards- my mother became the keeper of the cards . I wished the merriment over, I wished it all to go away. I had lost hope , my son, my belief in kindness in death (thanks to Tim and Sue Lombardi, their daughter and their “priest” , their “will of control”- that wickedness not forgiven.
What faith I had was taken with his Chris’ last breath and as I saw the faces of his church- going holier than thou in-laws , the look on his brides face, no grief there just a relief there would be no long term dealing with his illness. The haunting of a Christmas past not forgotten as lights twinkle and candles burn.
And yet Christmas comes again and again and once more I am caught up in its intrusiveness . I still “visit” Christmas – how do you deny the children, my grand children, their excitement, their belief in goodness , the love for all the trappings- they refuse to “tone down” Christmas. Christmas for them explodes with laughter and happiness- as it should be.
Christmas has been “managed in this house” – no tree adorns the living room, my mother sends and receives cards decorated her Christmas grotto in her little living room. Gone are the Christmas Past, Christmas present but the world of children’s wonder is visited.
Still the cry – Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, fought over as to the “greeting- the dogma of belief that your “holiday of religion” is the “real one” and Christian or not you should be caught up in Merry Christmas continues to wreak havoc around the world. .
I shop for little ones on line- and venture out only to get my daughter her special present , the children will receive their over the top present from Chris- the “Chris-miss- present”
On this latest trip to “holiday” as I waited in the line of ” holiday traffic” the radio started playing the “holiday happy music” as I reached to turn it off I realized this wasn’t one I had heard before ( maybe I had and had just forgotten). The song fitted my mood. I listened for a bit then traffic and horns of a different kind were blaring. I came home and went to the computer pulled up the song ( now forty years old )- another decade indeed another century – Vietnam- the Middle East the death and dying continuing. The song topped the UK charts – maybe it didn’t get played here in Lorain – it was controversial- this “Christmas Song” was one that struck home .
“I Believe in Father Christmas” is a song by English musician Greg Lake with lyrics by Peter Sinfield. Although it is often categorized as a Christmas song, this was not Lake’s intention. He said that he wrote the song in protest at the commercialization of Christmas. Sinfield, however, said that the words are about a loss of innocence and childhood belief. Released in 1975, the song reached number two on the UK Singles Chart.
They said there’ll be snow at Christmas
They said there’ll be peace on earth
But instead it just kept on raining
A veil of tears for the virgin’s birth
I remember one Christmas morning
A winters light and a distant choir
And the peal of a bell and that Christmas tree smell
And their eyes full of tinsel and fire
They sold me a dream of Christmas
They sold me a silent night
And they told me a fairy story
’till I believed in the Israelite
And I believed in father Christmas
And I looked to the sky with excited eyes
’till I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn
And I saw him and through his disguise…………………
And so another Christmas comes and the questions linger along with the pain…..
The air – warm ,not too humid, not too hot- a summer’s afternoon. My eyes are heavy- I can barely keep them open – any other time -it would be a good thing to fall into sleep -for sleep heals – but sleep does not come easily now. This day, there is no noise from the street, all is quiet – the windows open – a small, lake kissed breeze, finds its way in – cooling the room, the lace curtains stir and wake, caressed by the breeze, adding a movement gentle and relaxing , hypnotic.
There are “little” sounds creeping around the edges of consciousness, a rustling of leaves from the Birch tree as they help the breeze on its journey , a bird splashing in the flower fountain under the window – a languid lullaby beckoning me away from a weary world. The plump couch cushions invite me into repose – I feel myself sinking into that healing sleep, without meaning to- probably further induced by re-occurring pain from the night, the tears that flooded the pillow taking their toll, wearing at me and what strength I have left.
Lulled once more into another world, finding myself happy in a room -a student’s room , there is pleasure , laughter in that room, my son talking to me, he is young and strong , I look upon the face I know so well- his face tanned ,
Oh! why doesn’t he take that damned hat off
– His eyes animated – we are talking about soccer, his team, how the game went yesterday. He doesn’t usually talk excitedly except about the things he loves or an accomplishment- a goal! He laughs, enjoying the moments relived, the coach had been overjoyed at the winning goal , another win to brag about. He carries the conversation, describing the details of that winning goal, every movement down the field, every pass , the cross , the header into the goal ……
I reach my hand to touch his face, he is too big , too grownup, too old to kiss and make a “mother” fuss. My hand cups his cheek , there is a warmth to his skin, the muscles of his cheek flutter a beneath my palm as he smiles once more at me . He is being patient with his silly sentimental mum. I can feel the stubble of a growing beard – see the colour of gold against my fingertips as I withdraw my hand hesitant to lose the connection. ….
I sit back in the chair that has somehow appeared into the picture and ask –
Has the doctor been in touch?
The mood changes-
“He doesnt’ want me seeing anyone else – there is nothing to be done
My mind whirls, confused thoughts rushing in from other worlds and times
What do you mean- let me talk to him – you look fine strong- there is nothing wrong you will beat this we will find a way
And then my body screams me awake– I am jolted ripped from happiness – I am back – my conscious mind declaring it unsafe, to continue , to go through his dying days again… rescued????
The breeze still moving the curtains – ceiling fan lazily stirring the warm air… his picture smiling from the mantle …. still there as dust moves dancing in circles in the sunlight – a smile frozen ! MY tears fall once more, lungs try to breathe, to escape the band of iron that is now encircling them and I realize – those moments of happiness- a gift for brief seconds- snatched away – just as he was snatched away by that obscenity – cancer- it permeates everything-
I fight being awake to reality. I want to go back – go back to that place where the excitement still had a place , where his smile was not just an instant caught by the lens of a camera …- it is no good…. I go to the computer, trying to hold onto those moments for just a little longer to remember the feeling of happiness and having him near……. to keep that moment… but all is lost…. the words bring back the pain of losing happiness, laughter , my son …… …..
Your drawings, sketches, photographs, product design, glass design, ad campaigns- for the most part your class work from your years studying at Cleveland Institute of Art has comforted me. I am surrounded by your raw talent in this house you called home for 28 years.
Not long after that dreadful December day, when I was in such despair my breathing was “forced”, the will to continue absent, trying to bear the unbearable -I would sit in your room, hour after hour looking out at the sky you looked at, drinking in the essence of you that lingered- waiting – for my breath to stop and release me from the agony.
Your father, wandering around the rest of the house , he too , looking for answers as to the cruel and terrible place we found ourselves. One such day, he struggled up the stairs with this life-sized self- portrait you had done in your “foundation years” at CIA he had found in a pile of your “paintings” . I had seen the preliminary sketches , small and the large, but I never knew the painting existed. You had done “just enough” to get it passed for the class- you weren’t a great success when it came to painting- that was not your forte.
The portrait , amateurish, insignificant to the rest of the world was and is worth more than any “old master” to us. The portrait hangs in pride of place and although a likeness of you at 22 , the perspective- a little needy. However, in the evening, softened by a night-light, the “mistakes” fade and blend until I see you as you were.
My comfort, I was reminded by your portrait there was more to you than the emptiness left to us. And so, I was able to find the strength to write about you and to write the truth.
I thought I was done receiving your gifts of comfort- and there have been many – some surprising. But once again, this last week, your father came in from the garage with another object. This time apparently with one of your “tries” with “glass”. I treasure “failures” just as reverently as I treasure the successes.
World Cup Trophy – Breath of Life- Tiny Blue/ Gold Vase – Chris Ritchey
There are times, looking at some of your work, I wonder what you were thinking – did you have a premonition as to what the future may hold? But this latest gift did take me aback somewhat. I know of your wicked sense of humour. Was it used for a drinking vessel, as it is hollow inside and is a little strangely shaped an elongated smooth edge or was it designed to hold a light, as others of your pieces did?
You liked to work with light in glass- I have experienced that in the “Breath of Life”- a certain time of the day when the sun hits its just right the piece glows and the Celtic design in the body of the glass glow with fire. But “this” latest addition is very heavy but is surprisingly tactile in nature, the feel of it in your hands adds another dimension I wouldn’t have believed possible- there is a sense of movement in the texture of the glass – planned or by accident – it is a “puzzlement “ What can I say Chris once again you made me laugh, made me cry and ask the question ‘WHY????”
“Struggling still to sort out the conflicting thoughts”.
Where do I begin? and how did I get to this place of quandary?
I don’t like Cricket , but millions do and some of my best friends and close family love the game . I know very little about the game except for the Tea Pavilion
and the fact my Aunt Rene apparently dated one of the game most famous batsman Denis Compton.
Therefore, I stay away from Cricket matches and conversations, commenting or having an opinion on Cricket. It just isn’t worth the time and effort in sharing my uneducated opinion of the game-
One: I don’t know enough about it
Two- I am not the least bit interested in finding out about it.
Cricket is not a problem for me here in Lorain. a discussion about “Cricket rarely comes up , in fact I have never had a discussion with regard to “Cricket” in Lorain
I don’t like a lot of things that many of my closest friends and family like and also follow. None of us are ever in complete agreement with our interests or following. To each his own.
I don’t like reality TV ( personally ) if I want to watch dysfunctional life, I just need to turn on the local news .
Reality TV shows cost so much less to produce $100,000 to on the high end $500,000 on the other hand a “show” about a somewhat dysfunctional family Downton Abbey of $1.7 million dollars to produce per episode or another whey hey what is next in the Yorkshire Dales of Dysfunction “Last Tango in Halifax” at $2. million per episode
However as “cheap as chips” reality shows are highly successful as it seems the demographics of young people with expendable incomes are drawn to their product and switch on regularly .
“Entertainment is a subjective thing, so where one thing is quality to one person, it’s not to another,”Manville says –
Scott Manville ( founder and president of TV Writers Vault
I am not quite at the age where I have seen it all , but I have seen a lot of it and been a part of more than most in my “circle”
One of my “hats” as long time readers are aware is the “Co Chair of Charleston Village Society “- This is a non-profit organization founded in 1989 to preserve the quality of life and historical aspect of Lorain’s oldest neighborhood.
However, when we first started out it was against the wishes of the then Community Development Dept. They didn’t want a “middle class clique” in the middle of their lucrative HUD funded “bank” . In point of fact, many obstacles were put in the way at every turn, which is WHY there is a Charleston Village Society today– I was young enough, energetic enough and passionate enough along with a few others to “fight City Hall” literally.
You don’t take on that particular fight lightly, especially when more than a few depended upon the city for their bread and butter- my husband included. Oh! there was quite the “back lash” then and since; the times when we were vocal and in opposition. Since I was the one not having a “regular job” and was available for meetings etc. I became the spokesperson, my name went out under the letter head as “secretary and co-founder” . The “village idiots” continued and a few months ago I was contacted about an event coming to our neighborhood.
And it turned out to be definitely “NOT CRICKET”
ED NOTE for the non Brits among you ‘ not cricket
phrase of cricket British informal
a thing contrary to traditional standards of fairness or rectitude.
or perhaps “I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.” Voltaire
There is some “discussion” as to the actual attribution to Voltaire http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltaire but whomever interpreted those words or actually said them – they are very powerful words. Words, that a great many in this country and others who believe in “freedom of speech” carry with them in their hearts.
But I ask you – WOULD YOU DEFEND TO THE DEATH THE RIGHT OF SOMEONE YOU DIDN’T AGREE WITH TO HAVE THEIR SAY?
Supposing you didn’t have to actually die to make your stand for the right of another to disagree or express a differing opinion ? Would you then enter into a fray – even though, although not death but, a verbal assault that would come with an , insulting, ridiculing and vicious back lash aimed at YOU for your defense of another’s opinion whether you were in agreement or not?
That is the question I am now asking myself – me of the supposed “higher principles” who has spouted off time and time again about “Freedom of Speech” – Freedom of thought “Freedom to Write”.
Have I finally realized and acknowledged -I am a hypocrite? I talked a good game, got on my soap box time and time again – knowing that actually I never really made a difference but at least I registered my opinion and thoughts. . I had belief and passion but NOW – NOW in the world, so changed by the loss of my son – I am no longer passionate, no longer care or am I just beaten down by the uselessness of it all?
A recent situation in this tired and desperate City of Lorain has seen a seething , biting cat fight clawing at the right to have a differing opinion to the vocal majority.
This not so uninvolved bystander has watched as cyber bullying, on air bullying took the place of debate and I have stood by and watched as the rabid rhetoric of majority has pounced on the freedom of opinion and I have felt the ripple effect of it. It seems I won’t even stand up for myself so why should I make a stand for others .
Is it, as my son’s poster points out from a time when he himself was fighting for his own right of freedom of speech.
Speech can segregate you from everyone
that I am afraid of being alone????? – No! even that isn’t a good enough reason to stay away from the fray? I could be no more alone than my current situation of being locked in a world of hurt….. it isn’t that – I am at my lowest ebb – nothing people can say or do can hurt me more than the pain I already experience every waking moment .
So why don’t I, I who have the tools, to at least try to defend the rights of others? I look at my son’s artwork – he who was so passionate about patriotism , this country and freedom in all things and guilt comes crashing in – because I know he would have been disappointed in my lack of action – even if it makes no difference because – “at least you tried………..”
To be continued … MAYBE