January 02, 2006


I can't get out of my father's bedroom this week. You must think it's strange. What the hell is she doing. I can't follow her, practitioner to patient, all mixed up, a permalink to the heart of a little girl frozen so far back, this grown woman and mother of 43, this fine writer, this netizen and blogwalker, business woman and ballbreaker.
I can't tell you. Because I don't know.
Wasn't kidding when I asked of David: we've 'written ourselves into existence,' my good friend, and now what. Is that all there is; are we here to practice, to preach, or to write ourselves back out again.
and how far out.
and what's the price we pay for going.
and all of that. and more.
While my father's cancer was wasting his body, I watched television with him in his antique poster bed, the kind that are back in style now. Some of my  friends have remakes of these beds. I don't say when I visit: My father died in a bed just like that. I marvel at the noticing instead.
Sometimes its years and years between new memories. They come easy, slow, once every so often, or I have days-long remembering of light from a window hitting the polished planks of the wood floor just so, or the scent of the wind from the barn with a manure pile in need of spreading, or the crease of his cotton pajama bottoms with the cuffs. Other times they come in a flash, no warning, jolted, a shot to my ribs -- how did I forget that.
There is a purpose in forgetting, and there is meaning in remembering.
Don't ever forget that.
Every day this week when I rest, I see part of his room, from the inside. The far left corner. Trying to re-see it is like tracing veins in a palm you can't see in order to know what the hand looks like.

Where was I going with all of this--I'm not done. The remembering this time is slow, and I'm folding myself into it. Each tiny glimpse of his face is so precious, been gone so long.
Something about the Internet is helping me remember.
It is all in the hyperlinks. We backtrack and follow, the weaving and unweaving. Traumatic memory is anything but linear.
Call me a case study.
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Christopher Locke said...

Wish I could say I know. I don't, really. But I can feel it from what you wrote here. I'm there for you as you were there for me. I can say that.

One part that surprised me, though, and it was "...this grown woman and mother of 43..." I mean, I know about Jenna, but I can't believe you never mentioned the other 42. Inappropriate? You bet. But life goes on, so: badabing!

Jeneane Sessum said...

I KNEW you would say that--about the mother of 43 misplaced modifier. I've been busy when I'm not posting, you see... I mean REALLY busy. Thanks bro.

Christopher Locke said...

Strunk & White give this example (which I've obvously never forgotten) of a misplaced modifier: "As the mother of five, my ironing board is always up."