Saturday, November 26, 2011

Family Thanksgiving

It's the roads at night. There are themes and motifs in my life. The roads at night, the music up and the rumble of an engine under me. The dim headlights illuminate one bit of road at a time. The streetlights before me help only a bit; mostly they stand as stalwart shrines to stars; shining in high contrast.

It's those moments on the road. Going somewhere. It's there that I feel calm. I have a sense of purpose and movement and I can let my thoughts find me. I can be with myself for just those few moments.

And I think I may need those now. This Thanksgiving has been wonderful and amazing. I have seen my family and spent time with them. I have a place with my relatives. I know how to interact and live with them now. I am part of the fabric of my family.

We have been battered. This is a year of transition. A place hopelessly lost to the swirling world around me. To stay optimistic; to stay driven during this disphoria is difficult. Mama is so very sick these days. Marian is going too. Loen is struggling as well. And I have only my two hands to help.

“I don't have much of an appetite. I guess it's this tumor, it's grown so large I can feel it now,” she said over Thanksgiving dinner. I watched her hands lift a napkin to her mouth. They were old and sallow, the sinews and veins evident through her clear skin. Her hands were bruised because her body had become so fragile; her skin broke and bruised easily. Yet they retained the grace that I so admired in her. They retained the nobility and wonder that I had grown up with. Each motion of her hands revealed the entire structure and inner workings of her hand; the anatomy of a human hand.

I can still make her smile and laugh.

I fixed grandpa's computer again. It's amazing how it can get so out of whack every few days. I hope that I have helped him so that he can teach himself without me. I don't have the tools to help him long-distance. I try to be there but even Seattle is too far now.

Marian is sick. She has a brain tumor and is going through treatment. Her prognosis is not good. She is living in a group home. We are clearing out my great-grandmother's house. Marian has lived there since the end of World War II. There are things untouched in there from when they moved in. My great-grandparents managed the Hotel Australia in downtown Portland. The house is full of history. Things I don't understand. Things I don't remember. Heirlooms and antiques that reference everything that brought me into existence and made up my being.

“I need to get to the old UW library. The woodwork there is all from the Davis Mill,” Harry said as I drove him home. Bow-bow was breathing heavily in the backseat, “the Davis Mill produced the woodwork for the state capitol of Oregon. If you look around, you'll find our name on the woodwork.” I thought about the statement. I have history everywhere I suppose. I just need to know where to look.

More later.