i am sitting here, at 3:49 am, staring at this photo of this gorgeous, desperate, complicated man. my father.
he clutches me in his arms like he'll never let me go.
and he hasn't...
tonight (this morning?), my heart is so full, i fear it might burst. my head is spinning post disney-teacup-ride my cuz and fam. recently rode.
i feel jipped.
i am finally getting to know my cousin, k. beautiful. strong. opinionated. educated. evolved. funny. compassionate.
and all this i was denied for so long.
sure, logistically, the minor detail of a flight from toronto to jerusalem stood in our way; but because of someone else's propaganda, i was denied access to a glorious, exhilarating spirit.
yes, folks, for all of henriette's yakking about "my friends are my family"; which undeniably they are; i have always detected a void; much like the way i can track cigarette smoke within a 2-mile radius.
access denied. "achtung, baby..."
[anyone else smell a protective mechanism in the air?]
then, last night, c. one of my 4 danish cousins.
laughter. instant connection.
thrilling in the way danish awkwardly rolled off my tongue. inhaling my gift of authentic, black licorice; savoring it like it the finest russian caviar...
and the the midst of this familial, sentimental haze; cedars slicing through.
"cuts like a knife...but it feels so right..."
"your high blood pressure is directly related to your swelling which is a result of the prednisone which also causes the bruising, and potentially your nortriptiline, which is possibly causing the sensitivity to taste and most likely the increase in your tremors, but, for now, the trade off is worth it because of the decrease in your headaches; so the 10 lbs. of fluid you have gained in 2 months should dissipate with the doubling of furosemide..."
[anyone else bored yet?]
"the head bone's connected to the neckbone. the neckbone's connected to the shoulder bone the shoulder bone's connected to the..."
you get the point.
like danish, it's a language i understand so well, but have difficulty relating to. crazy, nonsensical words and others that strike deep; gushing forth fountains of emotion.
"honor your body"...
deceivingly powerful in its simplicity.
sure, i came late to the yoga party, back in '05, but after one class, i was hooked.
physically, psychologically, emotionally; fab; but it was that one statement, uttered in but one class, that has stayed with me ever since.
have i always done that? no. but, who has?
the hypocrites who tread water in a swimming pool, double fisting an ale and a smoke, adamantly declaring on the exhale, "dude, diet coke, is sooo bad for you"...
or the ignorant, who slather butter and chomp on a red meat smorgasbord, uttering unfounded judgments about aspartame...
or the troubled, who starve themselves of nutrients in a dysmorphic haze, striving for unobtainable satisfaction...
or the addicted. diligently, eating their 5 daily servings of fruit and vegetables, while frantically popping as many pills as possible...
we're all guilty of inadequacies. so, why does anyone have insecurities?
and, there they were. rattling inside me like the tail end of the most feared california snake. lying deceptively still. ready to strike out at the slightest provocation.
was i envious?
not of their beauty, or freedom, or opportunity. but, of the unintentional ignorance of the healthy. blissful for them. excruciating for us. for those of us left behind.
["you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone"]
it bears repeating. trust me.
"honor your body".
but when i saw them, it was like a discordant phrase, the melody lingered and the dissonance faded away, and none of it mattered.
the bruising, and the puffiness and the bloating and the lethargy.
i am physically a shell of what i once was. but they still loved me.
what remains behind.
so here she is in all her glory.
because through their eyes i saw the best in myself. and through our tears and chatter and laughter, i realized the best of what family can be. supportive, understanding and unconditionally loving...
i haven't felt my father's clutch in over 30 years.
but this week, 2 of my cousins became blood sisters.
thank you for being mine. xo