Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Swimming in the Trees...

When I was a little boy, I had one wish.  I wished for my family to be whole again.  And then, after many years of wishing that wish and trying to fill that void, it was granted.  Things don't always turn out the way you imagine them though.  I had these technicolor fantasies of matching ugly sweaters and overly airbrushed family portraits.  The reality was different though and try as I might to put things back together, there will always be hairline fractures, a memory of the original break.

I want to say that I was a good brother and that I was warm and welcoming.  The truth is that I held my breath, waiting for the floor to fall out.  When you're used to disappointment, it's hard to expect anything else.  I grew into a person that I thought was good, but there's a hardness in my heart.  Too much scar tissue.  Too many nights wondering and searching the skies for a sign.

I feel guilty for not trying harder.  I feel guilty for not feeling gratitude for a miracle.  I feel guilty for going along with the life I've created in the face of absence.  I feel guilty for not feeling more guilty.  It has been weighing on my mind... and still, I say, nothing.  I say nothing, because nothing is what we're used to.  There are years of nothing.  Decades of nothing.  Almost a quarter of a century and for some, an entire lifetime.

I looked out over the pond.  The branches of the trees above were reflected in the surface.  Branches and leaves in perfect duplication.  One white fish with silvery scales swam through the water and it almost looked like it was swimming in the trees.  It looked like a lonely creature, out of its element, somewhere it shouldn't belong.  I looked at that fish and I saw a little boy, crying under a table... wishing for a brother to come home.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Truly moving, Andrew. Gaea

Alice said...

I love your honesty. And I know all to well how someone you love so much can hurt you. I carry scars too, but much different than yours though they hurt just the same.
Thank you for sharing.

Ann Schroeder said...

This post reminds me of the poem Expect Nothing by Alice Walker. It is my favorite poem. Your post is lovely in its introspection.