Wordless

October 21, 2009

Dad

My Dad, in another time, some time ago when he was still here and we could sit together and talk, or not talk , or (as I am doing in the background of this picture) read the paper and just not care about the passage of time because time always seems infinite until it’s gone and when it seems infinite you feel no need to fill it with words.

I don’t know whether this is the blessing or the curse of time, that you pay it no heed when you have it but feel its loss so keenly when it has passed. Had I known, the last time I saw my Dad, that our time was almost gone, I’d have filled that time with words, so many words; I’d have struggled to pull out all of the threads of our story and make them count, make them heard, weave them to some meaningful close. But I did not have that, and so I’m left now with a story that is at loose ends, that is demanding to be woven, and I think that that’s a blessing, in a way, because it allows me to yank time back and clutch it and fill it with words and images and moments of breathing, and to contemplate, now, in the sober light of grief, the wordless time that was then and to treasure it for its silence and to allow silence its place in this story, my story, our story, and to look into that space without words, between words, and be comfortable, or comforted, there.

(I’m still struggling to come to terms with the call that I was dreading – the call finally taken and muddled through and filed under Things I’d Rather Not Have Faced But Needed To Anyway, Conversations Edition – and am trying to figure out how to put that struggle – and the closure of that struggle, if it comes – into words. Or not. Until then, I need some quiet.)

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