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Archive for May 2013

the 9th may 8th; an evolving epitaph

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H. Eric Siversen
November 4, 1944 to May 8, 2004

“If death meant just leaving the stage long enough to change costume and come back as a new character, would you slow down? Or speed up?” – Chuck Palahniuk

It’s been nine years since I last saw my father in this world.

He’s only visited me twice in my dreams.

When I discovered on my wedding day that my dress was about five inches too long, I looked into his eyes, blue like mine but unstained by streaks of urine yellow.

“Daddy, what if I trip down the aisle?”

His face softened with the satisfaction of knowing the right answers to one of life’s pop quizzes that’s weighted much more heavily than the rest.

“Then I’ll catch you,” he said. “I always have.”

And he knew.

My fear was less about the “trip ” than it was about the journey itself.


Some days I find myself stamping down an almost irrepressible urge to travel far and wide and Houdini out of my life much like my toddler used to in her much-loathed carseat, kicking and screaming and twisting to be free.

This yearning promises wonder, beauty and enlightenment in the Northern Lights of the Norwegian skies or the streets of Provence should I just decide to keep driving past that second star to the right, straight on till morning.

The song that Dj’s these moments is “Hanginaround” by the Counting Crows. It’s part of the soundtrack of my 25-year-old self speeding along the Pacific Coast Highway on my way to San Francisco where a life waited for me should I choose door number three.IMG_6499

I didn’t.

I still can’t help but wonder though what was behind that door, remembering how the setting sun spun gold highlights into my hair for free. And always in that memory the same uninspired song drones on in an endless loop.

“…well I’m stuck so tight weighed by the chains that keep me.”

The temptation of knowing the world wants to kiss me long and hard on the lips isn’t new. It bubbles up from deep inside, daring me to drive really fast and really far away, melting into the horizon just like my father used to on his motorcycle or in his boat.


And although I might not understand things like religion, mustaches or boyfriend jeans, I now realize that what my dad craved the most wasn’t the speed, but rather the thrill of the moment, however fleeting, during which he pretended that he wasn’t coming back.

He always did.

And alas that magnificent push/pull of life sends me back as well. To a school parking lot where a snack and dance leotard wait in the backseat for a second grader with crooked braids and a full accounting of the boys who burped at lunch.

As she skips to the car, I’m still hungover from that familiar wave of intoxicating wanderlust that only seconds earlier helped to remind me that my wistful, passionate father never really left.

Because he is that pilot light within me.

And in that truth I find my peace.



Written by I only Wear White When it Rains

May 8, 2013 at 12:32 am

Posted in heady

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