(Moved over from a previous blog)
September 27th, 2008
I was sitting on a bench at Granville Island earlier today. I had gone down there to pick up some groceries for supper, but the sun was doing its best to warm us through a patchy, thin marine layer, and there was a South American flautist playing a haunting tune directly in front of me as I pulled into my parking spot, so I thought, “Yeah, what the hell, why not just sit in the sun and read the book for 10 minutes, take a load off.”
Almost as soon as I got comfortable, though, the musician announced that that was his last song, thank you for listening, cds are available… etc. I felt a little gipped, but, I still had the sunshine.
Over my shoulder, directly behind me across the narrow channel of water separating the West End from the West Side, sitting right on the water’s edge, there are several condos. In one of those, facing Granville Island, lives my daughter with her mother.
I did not turn away from it so as to not be reminded of what I was missing; rather it was the rays of sun that I sought. When I did turn, though, I could see that the balcony door was open, indicating current occupancy. My daughter was, more than likely, sitting right there, oblivious to her father’s presence.
The flautist was still packing up his gear when the next busking act started tuning up. Guitars and amps. Not quite the vibe I had been seeking when I got out of the car, but I thought I would give them a minute before replacing the mall photo-strip of pictures of the little one and me that I use as a bookmark and heading off to grocer-ify myself.
I’m glad I did.
They started off with a little Stevie Wonder and then moved on to the Sinatra standard, “Makin’ Whoopee”. (There was a wedding party sharing the pier, taking photos – and not clapping, despite making several requests for “love songs”… jerks.)
Now, everyone has that one song that just hits them. Or, maybe it’s just a refrain. In my case, it’s the latter. It’s Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s “Your Song” – the refrain that goes “I hope you don’t mind / I hope you don’t mind / That I put down in words / How wonderful life is while you’re in the world.”
I had been thinking for a few minutes how lucky I am to have Amber and my wee one (whose name I have had to delete from my facebook by today’s date – December 11th, 2008 – or go to jail for not having done so) in my life. Don’t know what triggered that, it was just there, one of those thoughts that come up often. Nice day. Nice music. Nice setting. It’s logical that I’d be thinking that.
But then those lyrics just slipped behind my defenses, and, behind the lenses of my sunglasses, the waterworks came into play. I was glad for the shades, but apparently they didn’t conceal as much as I might have liked, for – when I was giving the duo their props at the end of the song – the singer says, “Thank you… all joking aside, it IS a powerful and beautiful song.”
No reason for him to say that, really, if he hadn’t seen my surreptitious attempts to wipe away the salt-water from my cheeks.
Why am I writing this?
Because it’s time.
Time to stop letting others dictate what the terms of my relationship with my child are going to be. Enough pain has been caused already, enough tears have been shed, and I realized today that I’ve been shying away even from hope, seeing it as too fragile a commodity, being fearful of having it shattered yet again.
A few good people this week wrote replies to my plaintive missive about having nothing to report. I was feeling sorry for myself and powerless. Everyone who wrote back basically said the same thing, and they’re all right: Stay the course, hold your intent in front of you where you can see it, and don’t let go of it.
I see it – my intent, that is – now as part sword, part shield, part banner, part compass, part map, part declaration of love. It’s going to get me where I need to go and it’s going to announce to those that would oppose me that doing so might be a foolish and unworthy enterprise.
Thank you again for your support and love and kind words. I am blessed to have such friends. May you always know the wealth I feel when I look at my life and see you standing there.