Tuesday, January 17, 2006

personal history {spt}

personal history
i've been out of the loop of self-portrait tuesday for a bit...

today i did some digging in my little shoebox of photos (i have in total 5 photos that i have borrowed from the family collection and i am holding 2). i'm not going to post them, but one is of my long haired dad holding me when i was about 6 months in the palm of his hand (he was a big guy), and me looking perplexed. the other is of my grammie and i at my pre-school graduation when i was 5 eating cake.

since i was wee, i remember pouring over photos. always disorganized in big boxes in the attic, which in my later years was right next to my bedroom on the 3rd floor. i felt like i was an archeologist digging for clues to my past that felt pretty sealed up, for want of moving on.

my dad died in a car accident when i was 1 and 1/2. my grammie who was his mom and a great support after his death, died when i was five. i miss them both and they had a formative impact on who i am today, this i know. they are part of me. the missing is part of me. i feel like i have healed from their loss at different points in my life, but it is like an onion constantly being peeled and re-peeled when big life events take place, the core is still with me. it is a core of resilliance, fragility, wonder and tenderness. it also is truth be told a source of guilt... like now, why am i even dwelling on those gone so long ago and not giving kudos to those here? that is the voice of someone who suppressed her feelings for so long.

who would i be if they had lived? i don't know. ultimately, i'll never know, so i choose to see it that their losses have taught me to be more present, more alive and appreciate all that i have and have given me the ability to empathize and feel a wider continuim of grief and joy.

i think i'm sometimes hard on myself for not having it together yet and being such a little kid still, and then even as i'm writing this, i realize that maybe i'm doing the playing now that i missed a bit (not that i didn't have my fare share, but you know).

it's a weird decision to write something so personal in a public place, but it is yet another way to mend and share from each other, no? we all have our pain and different ways of coping. i choose to share my story here.

the picture i am going to post is one i have framed in the room i write this in of my grammie and papa (who passed a few years ago coincidentally during day of the dead when we were celebrating it in oaxaca, mexico) and my mom staring down at me so dearly, and me so happy. my engagement ring shown is the one i wear daily from my grammie dear. xoxo

8 comments:

Server Girl said...

oh..this post gave me chills.. So sweet. It is weird to think how we would all be if different things happened or di not happen in our lives...but then, I guess, we wouldn't be the people we are today. Great photo too!

la vie en rose said...

thank you for sharing this beautful story of your truth. what a very pesonal and touching story. my parents divorced when i was 5 and my dad moved very far away. to this day i will curl up in a ball and cry for him because he is such a big missing piece of my life. at times i wonder if maybe our souls don't understand time so while our bodies my be "all grown up" our souls still feel and understand the pain of our childhood.

jenny vorwaller said...

not strange at all to write about this, but brave and meaningful...i suppose it is human nature to be averse to risks...like talking about the deep things. i shy away from it all the time when im writing too.

so im so glad that you did. its a big part of you and like you said, a reason to celebrate life like you already do...

anj said...

beautifully said, Mati. You're a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. as always, thanks for sharing.

christine said...

i love this. thank you for sharing it all. my ring is from rama's grandma, and i love how connected it makes me feel to the family. *my family.*

i am so proud of the changes and turns you're making in your life! you are a wonder.

risa said...

wow. i really love your writing mati! i wish i could meet you in person (and give you a big hug). i find your warmth, honesty, creativity, strength, and sense of humor really insspiring and moving.

Tamar said...

Mati, I have such respect for your ability to share these deep and meaningful words. I don't believe that thinking about those we have lost has to come at the expense of appreciating those living. There is a place - even more than that, a necessity - for both, I think. I am not sure our souls know time! I too wonder when I will become the image of an adult I had when I was a child...but maybe it is just that, an image? And the reality of being "grown up" is much messier and more complicated and maybe even more childlike than we imagined? I am starting to think that is a good thing, actually!

sarai said...

thank you so much for writing this...how brave and beautiful. my mom recently passed away and it always makes it a little easier when i know someone out there knows that sort of grief. thank you.