Sunday, December 03, 2006
One Visit Will Convince You
After my dad died, I spent an enormous amount of time glued in front of the television watching Six Feet Under. I had to teach, of course, and keep up a minimum of personal hygiene, had to move into a new place (I'd signed a lease the day before he died), and deal with the endless stream of paperwork and new duties relating to his death, but when I remember that time, I remember being cold and tired and watching Six Feet Under, the great HBO show about a family that runs a mortuary. I could relate to lots of characters on the show -- David, an uptight gay man, the son who stays and takes on a family duty to the business that he doesn't entirely love, Claire, the youngest, an artist in training, Brenda, the love interest for the oldest son Nate, a sex/drug addicted headcase with an IQ out the roof, and her brother Billy, my favorite character, another artist with lots of issues. I'd watch the show and feel, if not better, than less bad. I wasn't expected to smile or enjoy myself -- the show, while being very funny, didn't sugarcoat misery and for that, I was grateful. Perhaps one of the insult to injury parts of having something bad happen to you is the duty you feel to assure everyone that everything is okay, that you're okay, and that everything will be fine.
The show ended, of course, as a show about death pretty much has to, with a death of a main character and the deaths of all the characters projected into the future. By the time it did, I was through the worst of the initial dark period of my own grief. When I see reruns now, I think about that time and sometimes I even miss it. When the worst of anything is over, you're left with the dull pain of ordinary time, the deep ruts of despair that replace raw shock. Once I passed a psychic's house with a neon sign that said, One Visit Will Convince You. Of what, who knew? Sometimes the here and now is as much as you can understand, sometimes not even that.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Through intense desire, I wander through samsara." Tibetan Book of the Dead
Drinking movie suggestion: Prime
Benedictions and Maledicitons
Special thanks to Hank's beautiful mother, Donna B., for writing me about this brief clip of Hank on YouTube. Nobody adored technology like Hank did -- I know he'd be thrilled!