Thursday, April 17, 2014

Day 48

I don't think everyone has written their own origin story. Even worse, many have had their own story hijacked by trauma. Every child is on their way to understanding the world, cobbling together meaning. If that process is interrupted by being wounded, one's story take a radical turn. One is stripped of innocence and one has clouds and ghosts and deep hurt in place of wonder.
    I have always known of the privilege I had having a good childhood. I was a sensitive kid, crying easily and often but I was comfortable, well fed and well loved. I was surrounded by caring adults. I was close to my older brother. He would tease me though, daily it seemed and we would fight. His tactic was slow creeping verbal pokes. Not abuse, far from it. More like the Chinese Water Torture. He pushed my buttons and got a huge kick when I exploded. We would chase each other around the house, me inflicting way more physical damage on him than him on me. He would tease, I would shriek and pinch, focusing as much power as I could into that small space between index finger and thumb, clenching my jaw for added effect and wincing. It's amazing I never drew blood. He would laugh and laugh at my efforts to hurt him which made me see red and jump up and down on his ribs. He'd get up laughing hysterically and would chase me to the bathroom where I'd lock myself in. A good place to get a breather. We both soon realized the door could be unlocked by inserting a souvlaki skewer into the small hole of the outside doorknob and pushing out the button that locked it.
    My brother and I were a year and four months apart, very close regardless of the drama. I still consider my childhood to have been good. I've even used the word idyllic but am aware enough now that if I were to use it and recount the aforementioned episodes, people would think I was denying something primary. I'm still working all kinds of things out, my relationship to my parents and brother, my own insecurities and perceived failings, my issues surrounding food and sex, the list goes on. I think what I consider great about my childhood was that I more than often was allowed to just play and daydream without interruption. Sure there were scuffles and the occasional blow out but there was never any genuine fear. Things went back to peace easily. My solo adventures with my action figures and cars, in the dirt under the stairs, in the driveway, at the base of the three pronged tree beside the house, in the park next door are memorable and happy. And many. We played together too, sitting and building models and drawing quietly, stuffing our faces with candy and reading any comic book that featured a giant gorilla on the cover.
    I was allowed to build a slow myth, added to daily. Day dream bleeding into day dream and continuing at night. My playtime was around the clock. Toys and art during the day and dreams the rest of the time, telling myself stories, setting out on epic quests. The story built upon itself and lasted many years. As a twenty something I was shocked to realize that I had been secretly harbouring a fantasy since childhood. Deep down I had buried the conviction that with adulthood will come super powers. This was forgotten early on and jolted me awake as a young adult. It did not come to pass, the world was amazing but not that amazing. Though I still held wonder I was often hit by the mundane struggles of burgeoning adulthood. My reveries took a turn towards bitter political concerns and social hierarchies, bands and girls and friends and heartache. My demeanour though was generally happy, to such an extent that one friend dismissed me as shallow simply because I wasn't depressive. I was happy. I found excitement in most things. I was extremely social. I held that as a chemical make-up can account for someone's depression, perhaps one can account for my buoyancy. All too simple. My self characterizations turned into cartoons, maybe I was shallow ? Question after question occurred to me. I demanded my friends outline any faults they perceived in me. I carried doubt in my shirt pocket, genuinely sceptical about anything and everything. I made it a habit to study objects from multiple perspectives at once, trying to hold simultaneous points of view concurrently. I was graced by unbidden waves of ecstasy coursing up my back. I continued to build my story. Fantasy and reality merged seamlessly, it would sort itself out in due time, right now, on the surface of this planet I'd indulge my imaginations.
    My story is coalescing now in my mid forties. I am seeing an over arching theme emerging. For the first time I'm attempting to pull it out of myself with words.