Ancestry, Land, Life, and Death.Posted: November 28, 2015
On November 25, 1999, my father died.
I didn’t really deal with it. We weren’t close, emotionally. We also lived 5 hours apart from each other and only saw each other a handful of times per year for the last 4 years of his life.
Before his death, he made sure my name was on the deed to his cottage, and he leased it to his friend for fifteen years, so I’d have time to grow the fuck up before having to take care of a property.
For the past few years I knew that once I regained possession, I would sell it. It’s so far away, and inconvenient. But after a year on the market, there have been no bites.
In the past few months, I’ve done some growing inward, outward, and through. I’m seeing the ways in which ancestry and progeny are part of a continuum and also how they are indistinct from one another. I’m seeing the ways in which land and plant and animal are all basically just different parts of a whole. I’m starting to see the ways that souls leave permanent marks.
She came into my life at the time my father died. I have to deal with his death all over again, with this new perspective. But instead of it being a continuation of this end of life, I find myself welcoming my father into my heart. Back into my heart? Into my heart for the first time?
I suddenly feel that it would be a Great Tragedy to sell this land, handed down to me from my father.
We now have a relationship I can manage, I can understand it, where I failed to before. I feel comfort within it. I want to continue to nurture this relationship between me and my father and this land.
But where does that leave me with my living relatives? I feel uncomfortable with some among them. I don’t feel particular close to any, in that chummy way I read about, in that lay-down-our-lives-for-one-another way I see in movies. I don’t know how to pursue bonds that are satisfying. I don’t know how to move on from all the hurts.
I don’t trust them.
I don’t know how to reconcile my desire to honour ancestry and lineage with my lack of ability to connect more deeply with those who remain.
On this day: