You know Tim, writing to you is not as easy as writing to Mom. With you, it’s this tumbling, crumbling, sadness, intermingled with happy smiles of recall, sprinkled with silence and passion. With you, it’s a entangled ball of twine that I everyday am struggling to make sense of.
Life with you was a mystery wrapped up in an enigma.
To be honest, I’d probably be just as sad and blue, but if not for you, I’d just be somewhere completely different. I’d certainly have more possessions – I’d have Grandma’s writing desk, Mom’s lock of baby hair, and of course the hundreds and hundreds of negatives of Grandpa and Grandma’s.
If not for you, would I still be where I was back then? Stuck in that quagmire of sadness, moldy dishes, and loneliness creeping through everyday like a sickness, like a cancer? Who knows. Who knows.
If not for you, I would just be more sad and blue?
I was lost. Mom had died, and everything I thought I’d ever wanted had been just one dead end after another. Marriage, career, my photography, all of it, snatched away, detoured and deadened, and every desire, taken, lost, or hidden from me.
I was on a road to nowhere, at the end of another dead end street.
Then snort, and a bang on the piano keys, off I went, dancing to the beat of your Peruvian marching powder. For the first time instead of just being blue, I was a part of the blues.
So I found myself the other night, sitting at that place across the way, thinking about how to write the great Canadian novel, when all of asudden I realized I was sitting within the pages of a Charles De Lint novel. Just waiting for the crow girls to show up, and it hit me – I’m at a crossroads!
In folk magic and mythology, crossroads may represent a location “between the worlds” and, as such, a site where supernatural spirits can be contacted and paranormal events can take place. Symbolically, it can mean a locality where two realms touch and therefore represents liminality, a place literally “neither here nor there”, “betwixt and between”. [Wikipedia | Crossroads (mythology)]
Some would remind me that the devil resides at the crossroads, and that one can call up, and sell their soul.
In conjure, rootwork, and hoodoo, a form of African American magical spirituality, in order to acquire facility at various manual and body skills, such as playing a musical instrument, throwing dice, or dancing, one may attend upon a crossroads a certain number of times, either at midnight or just before dawn, and one will meet a “black man,” whom some call the Devil, who will bestow upon one the desired skills. In the Vodou tradition, Papa Legba is the lwa of crossroads.[ibid]
Sure enough, sitting down at the end of the bar sat a black man. I’d been conversing with another stranger on the mystery’s of my Dad’s ill spent youth. I was grappling with how on earth a Canadian girl could tell the tales of the old American south…when something overtook me…and … well lets just say I spoke my truth, and come what may, will see where it all goes.
Since that night, I’ve tried to start, tried to pick a direction, but as of yet I don’t know which way to go with it. All in good time I guess, all in good time.
Yet, I can’t deny, there is magic afoot. Not surprisingly, this crossroads finds me at the heart of another Old South. So, can there be a better place to start then here? I think not.
So Tim, if not for you, I would be somewhere else. If not for you, I wouldn’t have even started down this road, I wouldn’t be blogging, Temenos would still be but a word I’d read once in some book, lost in the wilds of who knows where. If not for you.
[Bob Dylan recorded “If Not for You” for his album New Morning, on August 12, 1970]