Thursday, February 28, 2008

2008 / 1991 / 1971 / 1970

Today my Zen calendar says:

"Koans will change your idea of who you are, and this will require courage . . . Everyone thinks they want happiness, but they might not. They might rather keep their stories about who they are and about what is impossible."

(John Tarrant)

In the last two months, I have been coming to terms again with what happened, beginning in 1969, when my first boyfriend was drafted into the U.S. Army, the year we were 19. It wasn't until 1987, when I saw "Platoon," that I began to understand what had happened to us and what is still happening to us and what happened to countless men and women throughout history. I began the process of grieving and healing. During the Gulf War, we both began to manifest symptoms of PTSD. Today I have a clearer picture of what is possible and what is impossible. I continue to have inexplicable hope.

Here is Oboe at 4 a.m.:

When my mother died in 1994, I inherited all her books, paintings, art materials and some caned chairs that had belonged to her parents. I chose to rent a storage unit because I didn't have room for all that. After my father died on St. Patrick's Day in 2003, there were more paintings, slides and old photographs to store. This week I am attempting to empty the storage unit, sorting through what I am finally ready to let go of and holding onto what I can now find room for in my small living space. Last night, I came across this from May 6, 7 and 8 of 1991:

and this photo, taken in 1971 with a self-timer, of somewhere in the coast hills off of Skyline Boulevard in San Mateo County after my boyfriend returned from Vietnam:

and this photo, taken on Oahu, using a self-timer, during the week of the 4th of July, 1970, my boyfriend's R&R:

and this one he took on his parents' porch in Half Moon Bay, California, on the day he left for Vietnam in the winter of 1970:

I am keeping these photos and the Doonesbury strips, among other things. Letting go of some stories that aren't true. Being open to what is true.


Dawn said...

be good to yourself, take your time, and celebrate the good times.

it is never easy letting go, no matter what it is.


Loren said...

Dale's right. There isn't much more to say.


The Solitary Walker said...

"Strengthen the things that remain..."

R.L. Bourges said...

yes. sorting the stuff as in: changing the shape of the shadows.

Anonymous said...

A beautiful entry. The photos are so moving.

robin andrea said...

Time it was, what a time it was
A time of innocence
A time of consequences
Long ago, it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They're all that's left you.

Zhoen said...


The Dream said...

Being open to the truth - awesome. My experience has been this: "The truth will set you free, but it's going to hurt like hell first." I love these photos and your honesty. Tread lightly, my friend ... and don't do it alone. What works for me may not work for you, but here it is: I am all about meeting my Higher Power on the road. I also share the real deal - the deep hurts, the grief, the hopes - with other human beings I know I can trust. They walk along side me, they have carried me through the worst of it, they have rejoiced in the sun with me ... and life keeps getting better. My grief is lessened. What a journey - "O ME! O LIFE!"