I've just passed the six month mark since my dad died. Six months since getting that phone call. Six months since the cosmos was acutely destabilized by his leaving.
And I say that as if I mean it figuratively but in reality the way a vice tightens around my chest even still makes me believe some thread connects my dad to the rest of the universe’s pace tromping forward, a knot tied on that day six months ago whose frayed threads tug at various places along these new present moments causing them to hunch forward with the weight of his vacancy. What I mean is that it still hurts. What I mean is that it’s not right. Everything I encounter seems like further evidence that all is off-kilter.
The vice has been tightening around my chest for six months and each time I bleed and bleed until I turn myself to something desiccated and brittle, my dad’s favorite shortbread crumbling. When Lumberjack visited we poured our hearts into a common vessel where I felt safe to bleed again and he said words that filled me back up just to leak.
Alone again yesterday, I went to work desiccated and brittle. I had an experience with a patient with spinal trauma, which is a particular challenge for me given my dad's injury. After that day I brought my desiccated and brittle self home, where I could reflect on the way the universe’s axis has been tilted since my dad left, leaving all of us stumbling around off balance because some other version of earth’s magnets pull us the wrong way. I thought of the lake we visited this weekend and wondered if my dad had been there, years ago. I strained my ears to hear his voice through these threads that tighten around my chest and fray off that knot tied six months ago.