Saturday, September 13, 2008
Last time I wrote in this blog I was smack dab in the middle of grieving. As I've said 20 million times on this blog since my Dad died, grief is peculiar. It never looks like what you would expect. I do think I was right when I wrote at the end of July that this was the "dark night of my soul." Oh sure, yes, it's a bit dramatic, but fuck it all, life is dramatic sometimes. Plus, I was alluding to Joseph Campbell's heroic journey: I was passing through the dark valley, the unknown, where things don't make sense and you are confused and lost and alienated from others.
So I did what any decent hero would do, I went to Hawaii by myself for 9 days. I camped and stayed in hostels and went hiking and snorkeling and scuba diving and sat on the beach and made Austrian friends. The point of the trip, really, was for me to do something special for my Dad's birthday. The day before his birthday, I was driving through a rain shower toward a black canyon and the man on the radio said, "It's August 10th, 2008." Before I could think about how it's the day before my Dad's birthday and he's not here and I'm here alone on an island in the middle of the world, the man says, "The past in ash in the wind. The future is a seed germinating." Hearing that was profoundly comforting.
At my Dad's funeral, I spoke. One of the things I said was that my Dad is still alive in me. I have his eyes. He was there with me in Hawaii. I am a part of him, and he still exists because I and my brother do. And the next step of the heroic journey after the dark night of the soul is the atonement with the father.