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I finally saw it. It had been out for awhile, and I missed the hoopla surrounding it, and like many other things that hold secrets, I waited until the noise had quited and stilled, and there it was, waiting for me.
In the hallow of it's eyes, the soul and the very nature of the thing, lay something that had eleuded me all my life.
The best of my father.
Who he was, the man hidden behind the multitudes of masks he donned daily to keep things as they should be, according to the gospel of my father.
In his eyes, his children should mirror his brothers and sisters while their parents were the law givers, no questions asked.
That was all I knew of my father. Up until the day he died, I never knew who he was.
I'm not sure he knew himself. All he ever seemed to know is that something went wrong somewhere and he had failed.
His children were at odds with each other.
When his death was close, we gave him the illusion that we were a mirror, even in a small way of his own brothers and sisters by putting away the years of pain and grievances that each of us held when it came time for us to have the last Christmas with him that we ever would.
It was the only Christmas I ever remember that a fight of some kind didn't break out. It was peaceful, quiet, gentleness came and settled in on us, and maybe because we all knew that this was the last Christmas we would have him with us, that we collectivly chose to be finally at peace with each other, even if for only a few short weeks.
We all seemed to know that after he was in the ground we would all go our seperate ways and lives, and mostly likely meet up again for our mother's death, thoes of us still remaining.
As I started to say and then said something along with it, important to all of this, this thing had been waiting for me.
A story about a man who spent his life talking about his life, telling his son from a very early age the things he wanted his son to know. Who he was inside.
The son not realizing that his father loved him enough to give him the only thing that would last, was angry at his father because he believed his father had done nothing but tell lies.
But he hadn't. Many of the things his father told him were true at least in part, and the other half was how his father saw the world and his place in it.
It was magical and wonderful and full of extroidnariness.
Even the most mudane thing became this adventure.
Life was the adventrue, and that's what he gave his son.
It wasn't a house or money, or anything like that, it was the best part of himself, that's what he gave his son.
He finally understood the day his father died, and found that there was burried treasure right there all the time, but he was too busy looking for something that was ordinary, and so I think maybe he finally got a chance to live quite happily ever after...
I understood what it was trying to tell me. That it doesn't matter if you paint the sky blue or green, or if your house is a shack or a mansion, if you give your children the best of who you are, it may very well be that a shack is a mansion filled with glorious treasures and things that are slightly not so beautiful to everyone else, but thoes things are the most precious things that a father can give of himself to his children.
See a mother is forced into the act of giving everything she is to her child simply due to the fact that the child spends nine months inside her body and then a good portion of it after they get outside with her there.
I know that things are different now, mothers shuffel their children at a very early age off to daycares, and sitters and grandmas, and so in a way they have many mothers, who if they are smart or not so smart, give some of the best of who they are to that child.
So the mother has to make the choice to give her child, this person who knows her in a way even her husband will never know her, the best part of who she is.
But the father, the choice has to be his from the beginning.
Everything he gives to the child either will give him or her roots so they can have wings or it will cause them to starve to death for wanting, no needing that one thing that can help them find their way.
See fathers are suppose to help guide their children in a certian way, mothers are suppose to help guide their children in another, each of the two halves blending and creating a new road of life and adventure that other people have walked on and will walk on, for a time perhaps, but it's the road you live your whole life on, even when everyone you ever knew is gone from your immeadate sight.
It's the road where you learn what oranges taste like to your mouth, and what that first kiss feels like, and what it's like when you suceed. And fail.
Life is full of both, and when parents give their children the best of who they are, it's like giving them a back pack full of things they can pull out when they feel weak or scared, and use to realize this isn't the end, or how it's suppose to end, but it's there to make you strong, and find your way through dark and dangerous places....
The father who saw me grow up, walked me down the isle and witnessed the lives of my children, never gave me any part of himself to help see me through life.
That breaks my heart now. It used to make me angry but it doesn't any more, it just breaks my heart.
I know I missed some really wonderful things.
I will never know thoes things.
The first father I ever really had I met about 3 years ago, after a long night of being lost on a road.
He worked in a diner, small place, but he knew we were comming and he knew that we wouldn't have much time.
He said he was waiting for the person I was with, and I was just the bonus.
In that short amount of time, he gave me the very best of who he was, his own sons didn't want the treasure he offered them, so I became his daughter and recieved their inheritance.
The very best of who he was.
I made him a quilt that he was burried in.
I miss him, and sometimes I wish I could talk to him about stuff.
I talk to that part of him that he gave me, and pretty much can see when he is disapointed, but even so, I know he's still there, wanting the very best for me, and loving me like the father I had growing up should have.
And I find myself crying, talking to the wind, and hoping somewhere he hears me....
This post was edited by harold_maude on Apr 30, 2005.
After my recient and brief time at a factory assembling things,
I started thinking about how time is used and the cost on all levels that affect the person and the company and eventually the buying public.
Alot to consider when you realize that as consumers, we are being directed more and more to become garbage producers.
Which in turn affects everything from the water we drink to the food we eat to the levels of stress we live under.
I had the opportunity to observe a young man who worked in the same line as I did. He seemed to be working but in reality everything he did was done very slowly, and often not very well.
He was interested in taking as much time as possible to achieve the maximum time allowance of 40 hours a week.
From the view I had the realization that he was a determent to the company.
It was costing them more money keeping him on rather than finding an employee who could do what he was doing in at least half the time, probably more.
But the company kept him on. I noticed as well that the superviors and the manager we both worked under saw what was going on and still did not deal with the problem.
I kept wondering why a company looking for ways to do things better and faster would keep someone who was wasting time and doing things badly and slowly.
It doesn't make much sense. The things that could get a person fired were being late and failing building audits.
Being fired for being habitually late is understandable, but once or twice in a working year is not so understandable.
Another thing that puzzles me about this company, after being there a short time, less than two weeks I was asigned to a team, in which this young man who wastes time was also assigned,to come up with ways to cut the time down on a certian build because the company was consistantly loosing money.
All of this has made me question why things are done the way they are.
The whole picture that becomes evident when looking at it from a distance is that there are many things out there being done which are self defeating.
Basicly built with flaws which have the effect of making the end result completely useless.
They are designed to fail.
This young man, who was quite personable and easy going, was better suited to janitorial work, or fliping burgers, or something that didn't require alot of enegry expendature on his part, and would end up not having such a huge impact of stress and frustration on thoes around him trying to actually work.
My guess is that if he keeps showing up on time and keeps getting his work covered by the people working along side him so they don't all get audit fails, alot of the work he did in the area of packing finished products had to be redone, then the company will keep him on.
I have to ponder why it is that in many companies that pass the cost of having people like this young man working for them, to you and me, the consumer, and at the same time push thoes who already are carring a heavy load to work harder and faster, why they don't send someone in who knows the process to observe what is going on, and get rid of people who are there just to take up clock hours and who arn't really intersted in working.
It would help cut waste, and end up saving themselves and us, the consumer alot of time and money.
Which brings up the subject of efficancy experts. The problem with efficancy experts is that most of them have no practical experience in what they are observing.
A good example is a manager who has never stocked shelves in a store, and doesn't understand that when stocking a shelf, if you have people milling around trying to buy things it hinders the person trying to stock the shelf.
So the person doing the stocking keeps getting yelled at because they arn't doing their job right.
Or a manager who gets hiered because they've been through college to over see people who know what they are doing, and this person comes in and starts messing with how people are doing things, because it isn't done according to what works on paper.
It's pretty self defeating to bring in someone with no practical experience to try to manage and make people do things in a way that will cost more time and more money.
I've come to believe that in most cases, managers should come from the rank and file of the best workers who have practical experience working in a company.
They know the operation, they know the problems that the workers face, and being in a management possition they can then take time to work out bugs, and give the kind of real support that workers need.
And get rid of waste, whether it be in processes that hinder or people like this young man who's true objective was just to collect the paycheck.
I have begun, because of all of this, to look at what I do, and what I spend my time on and money as well. I suspect that as I observe there will be need for more change to give me ultimately a better quality of life, that has as little stress as possible attached to it.
Stress is one the biggest life stealers as far as I can figure.
If a person is stressed out they don't sleep so good.
But their body still requires rest so in order to keep going they injest caffeen or some other outside substance to keep them from falling asleep.
If the stress is minimized, then a person can sleep better, thus reducing their need for caffien and down the road maybe avoiding the side effects of long term use.
Something else I've noticed is that I used to be able to work on a project for 12 to 18 hours with no problem. In the last few years I have been only able to manage 6 or 7 at a time before my body forces me to take a break.
I wonder if I had taken time back then and worked in shorter incriments of time if in the long run I would still be able to do long stretches of time with out getting tired as much.
It makes me wonder if that's part of the reason that working 4 10 hour shifts in a row was as exausting as it was.
Part of it was that I was only getting 3 hours of sleep before I had to get up to be awake enough to drive another person to work.
I know, I know, why don't they get their own transportation.
That's another set of things altogether.
But for the moment, things are the way they are.
There are some obsicles that need to be worked out, and I am working on them. And hopefully they will be solved soon.
Anyway, I need to get on to other things and sort some more things out.
Lots of food for thought, and hopefully action as well.
Ideas without feet are useless wastes of life.
This post was edited by harold_maude on Apr 29, 2005.
I watch the dust dance in the afternoon sun via the shafts of light that slip through spaces in the curtians...
I watch as his eyes close in a drunken haze...the last beer half drunk and in immenant danger of becoming a spur of the moment bath....the chair will smell of stale beer for weeks after.
I watch as she looks across the smoky room into willing eyes and feel a twinge of anxiety as I wonder what it's doing to you.
I smell fresh cut grass and a flood of spring engulfs my mind.
I watch his eyes as I hear half a conversation, the other half off somewhere in the city, and see a mixture of emotion as he disgusses something just out of earshot.
I see a pale tear fall from eyes that read some sad tale that tears at something long past.
The reader sits in a semi lit room alone with the smell and feel of old skin, a bath is somewhere in the adjenda, but since this is one of his days off, not needing to be clean and pressed gives him the freedom to be just as he is, and he has the freedom in this space to tell the world to go take a hike.
That will all change when he has to work again.
I see a new mother, baby held to her breast, watching the young life take from her, and tears of amazement welling up because she had no idea when the doctor first told her she was going to be a mother that she could feel this way about another person.
I see a new father, standing over his child, pride in his eyes, and the rush of protectiveness and love consume him. He will do anything to keep his young one safe.
I see a belagered woman walking down the grocery isle while jr. is screaming and pleading for this or that. She is annoyed but does nothing until the headache grows so loud that she gets in jr's face and goes through the familiar threats with no subsance one more time...jr. knows this is part of the routine of wearing her down and jr. also knows he will win.
I see the little girl, 8 or 9 maybe, her face painted like a street walker and her clothes complete the ensamble. Her mother thinks it's "adorable how adult she looks" and then wonders why her daughter rebells when she turns 13.
I see the angry young man raging at the world, bored to tears because there is nothing to do. All his gagets and toys are last years entertainment and so he plugs in the head phones to drown out his mothers voice telling him that he needs to mow the lawn.
I see the young college student, alone in his dorm room, poping caffeen pills so that he can stay awake to cram for his finals.
He has trouble concentrating as he sits staring at the test and wonders why he can't remember anything.
I see the doctor telling a wife that she has just lost her husband to a drunk driver.
This is not the first time the driver hit someone while drinking.
The driver will not face much jail time, he is a public offical and can pay for the high priced lawyer to get him a reduced sentance.
I look in the mirror and see me. I don't look long. I see age and weariness in the eyes that look back, and I see thoughts and concerns and no way to fix them. I see shades of my mother there and wish I didn't look like me....
turn off the bathroom light and try to forget everything...
but I can't.
April is almost over and soon half of this year will be gone.
None of thoes days that have passed can ever be relived again.
Thinking about it, I'm not sure that very many of them I made the most of.
That's amazing considering that every day can be the last one.
A strange thing happened to me on the way to this week, I slipped out of time for 3 days and felt the fluid roll of the sun.
Time sometimes holds my attention and at other moments seems to vanish somewhere. Then I am no age, just myself, wandering through endless brief events that come and go.
The movement of a hand over space, and somewhere across the universe a star has just gone nova.
So I am told, that everything has an effect somewhere.
This notion of time, as something held with in the ticking seconds on a clock, has been fading out of view lately.
I like that.
I like folowing the sun through the day, whether it's full out there or hidden behind clouds.
It's much easier to concentrate on everything else when I don't have to keep watching some clock to make sure I'm not late.
Is the world we live in so tied to that round thing with gears and hands that everything must be on some kind of unnatural scedual?
What is going to drop off and crash if we are "late"?
I don't like being tied to that thing, the one that says now is the time to do this or go pee, or eat lunch or dinner.
I know some people are so tied to it that they pick the day and time for sex.
What a strange thing.
I spend a weekend that felt like a fluid month enjoying each moment and was so relaxed by the time sleep came on the night of the third day, that I didn't want to know what time it was.
This morning I had another morning like that.
Slipping through the fluid moments of the sun.
I finally had to ask someone what time it was because I work tonight and when they told me, I was amazed.
I was buying groceries and wandering around wally world just looking at things and it felt like hours had passed. Not unpleasantly, but just simply had passed.
I had only been there an hour.
I think time bends and age happens out of sinc when we tied ourselves to that round thing with no eyes that demands we set our lives to it.
Burn them all! Be free!
Find the fluid dance of the sun and go for it.
You are not as far away from that as you may believe.
And it feels soooooooooo good to not think about the next apointment that has to be kept or the whole financial world will go crash.
Let it crash. Let it fall to peices, while you eat cheesecake and drink in the pleasures of just enjoying the moments that come and brush away the stray hairs from your eyes.
Life can be so stress free.
Money has been given more glory than it deserves, and has enslaved more people and I have this suspicion that money and that faceless monster that runs with gears and points at numbers are in league to keep the soul of man a prisioner to things that don't matter.
We've just been told they do and for some weird reason, we've bought it hook line and sinker.