Strange to the familiar soul

You write well. Such is seldom encountered. Most forays into correspondence conclude with the discovery that even the most sparse and conscientious diffusion of seed finds but fallow ground.

Through my mother, if I may, generously, my connection to the matricentral lifeblood of my birth was strengthened. She nursed me at breast more than two years. My little brother got his share, to be sure, but I was the gentle one, the tender one, a mama’s boy, to be sure, her little sissy, though fearless in my protection of her, especially, and of my brothers, in the face of my father.

No longer at breast, my two younger brothers also weaned, my mother was free to venture out again in search of drink, solicited through sex. I was left to watch the young ones, and to prepare in anticipation the lies I would have to tell my father to cover for my mother. Most of the time, my father was none the wiser. My mother, however, grew more and more bold, taking ever greater risks. When concealment and invention ceased to persuade over honesty and reality, my valiant efforts to the contrary, my mother, too intoxicated, still, with both whisky and sex to muster even a word on her own behalf, the beating would commence, and I, despite and always, her momentary defender, taking the first blow, and again, and again, until my legs denied me stand. Alcoholism did not come from her, nor did sobriety. She loved her freedom, and was brave enough in her captivity to claim it at any cost.

My father was pathologically paranoid, bi-polar, and obsessive-compulsive. He was also brilliant – mathematically, musically, and artistically – an engineer, a musician, and a painter – with a stunning IQ.

I was the one of their brood, third-gender amongst three sons, who took it all to heart and to mind, in its most extremely articulate manifestation. Apparently denied any and all psychological reference of fear, together with all other pseudo-sensual contrivances of the mind – emotions – my brilliance, surpassing my father’s, but combined with equally acute manic-depressive psychosis and obsessive-compulsiveness, therein, wrapped tightly within the cloak and veil of self-preservation, an inducement of schizophrenia so profound in its elaboration, in its refinement, it baffles all but me.

Having come to terms with all this, I carried and carry on – no meds, no therapy, not coping, balancing. Before yin with yang entered my consciousness as such, there were female and male, earth and sky, water and fire, wood and stone, poet and muse, goddess and sorceress.

Upon my return from Vietnam, I began my practice of Transcendental Meditation, as taught be Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Still a practitioner, it remains a major influence on the well-being, the equilibrium, I am able to maintain.

I never had a shoulder upon which to cry, though many have cried on mine. Not in need of company, I cry to myself. I have always written in my head, first, before laying the words on white. I observe. I listen. I speak only when immediacy demands vocal rather than written response.  Even in silence, though, and especially in silence, I am loud. In fury, my faintest whisper will kill. Long, long ago, I disembroiled myself from the revelled, choking maze of caution. Embracing rather than cursing my schizophrenia, in fellowed course entwined, dreams, too, not reserved for sleeping, not bound to recall only in the state, in prescience, guide me through my days.

Briefly, then I must sleep, I, too, am interested in building a tiny house, remote from all but the essential. Where, though? Not here is this place never a home to me.

You fascinate me – not by and through identity, but in the mystery. So much is this so, I remain, not everywhere, surely, but here and there, certainly, the way you leave me, from one encounter to the next.

Je t’embrasse tout tout doux.