The Picture Window
Eighteenth of June, three days till longest day
When earth tilts back to shortest in its sway.
I think my locus in the days of swing
Is in the middle days of fall and spring.
When locus is at extremes of the arc
The time spent there goes quickly as a spark.
But in between, the midrange nights and days
Pass quiet on reflective of our ways.
Few of us are, in life’s range, of extremes,
And where excel, or fall short, so it seems,
It’s just one part of life, outliers there,
The rest of life more average when compared.
Art therapy I know, I took to find out why
My photo-life was absent while I die.
Inside and out these passing days of mine
I see part now – this picture-window mine.
Death, sex, religion, Freud’s almighty three
Together twist and turn in you and me.
The start, and middle, end of life for all
Three massive themes – spring, summer, winter, fall.
The start of life takes place in mystery;
In western mix of cultures taboo, see.
The loving act not talked of when our own;
Then first nine months, ‘a tissue’ viewed in mom.
Life starting here, again not talked of when
Our life’s the subject of our voice and pen.
In fact an act most intimate and wild
Some feel defining moment for each child.
To take the view that life starts when we’re born
As if nine months of swim in body warm
Had never happened to us, just to mom
Removes from us nine months the clock has run.
So that, for me, is sex, not mine but mom’s,
The start of life from which my being comes –
It set the stage for my ongoing days
Of life and lore, and how I spent my days.
The time in mom was spent up in the north
As she and dad their working lives poured forth
To help the Cree folks having quite a time
Because white impact wrecked their lives in time.
They went there first for years initial two
Then came back south, more training had in view.
Throughout the war, back to the north were sent
Two years past war to southern town they went.
Successor’s kids, girls, had it rough – pre-teens –
Came south for school to our home, so it seems.
Third culture kids, quite hurt by all the whirl
From them we learned that stuff ’bout boys and girls.
Those days, like birth, not much was talked about –
Sex was not something people then would flout.
Not like today, where all things are bespoke
The things we heard and saw were mostly joke.
We lived our days through those transition years
Our beings anchored in unspoken fears
And myst'ry of life’s procreating act
With lots of lore but not that much of fact.
Those born today know not from whence we come
We watch them grow, of our life’s story mum.
It’s like we know they would not understand
The world from which emerged our merry band.
So theme of ‘sex’, the first of Freud’s big three,
Is fraught with feelings, fears,and mystery.
It is for all, of course, that’s part of life,
But journey ours, is all mixed up with strife.
Of words of love I hear and feel the best:
“Resourced Inclusion”, speaks more than the rest.
It’s been that way, I hunch, right from the first
Not just that day I from my mother burst.
Not just extremes when life or death the choice
But in between – nine months’ protection moist –
Of life within, as she lived daily round,
Her sensual self of sight, and thought, and sound.
And then came birth, the passage to the light,
The buzz of sound not muffled but quite right,
At last articulate, with words made clear
Those short extremes of love and hate and fear.
My life has been quite middling, so it seems
Acceptance and rejection, brief extremes.
I see that others had a different mix
Not being a choice in which each person picks.
But we know now we pick up lots of things
So to this world nine months of living bring;
Like music, tastes and thoughts of life unseen
From start of life, birth pangs, and in between.
We have no words to process all our thought.
Right-brain records the feelings we have caught,
Like of acceptance or that far extreme –
Rejection’s pain, or attitudes more mean.
For me, I’ve known both long and shortest day –
Of mother’s love, extremes I’ve felt some way;
I was indeed an inconvenient birth
Allowed to live, pre-natal to this earth.
Extremes there’s been – rejection’s ugly side,
And loved-support most vital at my side.
But now I see, like days in passing year
Most time went by in middling range most dear.
Now as my health collapses physically
I see its link to sexuality:
That sexual-package wired up like a bomb
Like cancer’s wires to ‘body’ both belong.
For me are melded in some added facts
Explored in art’s quite therapeutic acts:
’Twas in the realm of sex attacks were made
As power-plays and devious plans were laid.
I’ve often wondered how the young folks knew
Just where and how us older folks to screw.
I see it now, we’re people of our time
With ‘things-unspoken’ bomb we careful mind.
So I, in fear, know photograph’s great power
To show the shooter’s heart both sweet and sour.
To those with eyes to see and ears to hear
We stand revealed like picture-window clear.
Small wonder then my photo-life’s shut out
These fifteen years as I have walked about
Since they attacked and life of mine destroyed
In their clandestine plot which they then deployed.
I also see why Christ said, ‘Hold your fire
And listen close as they express their ire’:
They’re trapped somehow in life I cannot see
So younger folks will get them, like they me.
Now as my death approaches, far or near
So much falls off, not relevant, that’s clear.
“What can you do, for which you had no heart
Before your cancer came, which you can start?”
That thought rings out to me from author’s word,
For me it’s facing parts of life awkward,
And walking into lion’s paper roar
Living my life, not settling older scores.
Sex, death, religion’s themes all inter-twine
From early days of childhood in our times
We live out lives outworking each our faith
Then at the end with this, our peace we make.
There’s so much left for me to now explore
With camera-lens – life’s seasons I adore.
The fear drops fast – my inner bomb diffused
Of middle ground, extremes (loved and abused).