Rock in a Stream
Food’s an interesting trigger.
When I had the mutton curry in the Bahamas, it reminded me of the very first time I ever had any curry.
It was actually one of my dad’s favourite dishes. He made it at least once a month. I remember that I thought it was disgusting the first time I had it. But it grew on me.
Fast forward to earlier this week: I’d been talking to my mom a lot for various reasons and I remembered the curry and thought of my dad.
While at a Korean supermarket near my pad, I came across my dad’s fave brand and bought it.
Sleepy Logan spent a good part of the night chopping up some goat, onions, and carrots to make it. My dad loved goat but only made the curry with chicken, otherwise my mom wouldn’t eat it.
This whole night, my pad smelled like my childhood home and – if I closed my eyes – I could imagine him making it downstairs while singing a Japanese song.
Boy: What’s that?
Me: Curried goat. My dad liked it.
Him: Can I try it?
Me: Sure! (gives him some)
Him: (makes a face, shakes head)
Me: (laughs) Maybe in 42 years, you’ll have it again and think of me.
Him: (putting food on plate) That’s a long time!
Me: It happens just like that, kid. (snapping fingers) Just like that.
Don’t have the words to express how much I miss my dad.
I’ll just simply say that my heart aches in a way I hope you never feel but know you will one day. For that, I’m sorry.
Because it’s just awful. It brings you to your knees.
On a related note, my mom’s been dealing with her own stuff recently but that’s her story so I’ll leave it there.
She told me something once
years decades ago that I used as a guiding principle of my life prior to Alison getting sick and I was reminded of it recently.
When I was a kid, got upset one day over something that was probably nuthin.
Her: You let the world affect you too much. You should be like a rock in a stream.
Me: What does that mean?
Her: Imagine a rock in a dirty stream for a 100 years. You take it out and smash it open, you’ll see that the inside is dry. It’s unchanged. Nothing from stream got into the rock. It’s in the stream but unaffected by the steam.
There’s a power to being in the world but unaffected by it. Of course one should change and grow but I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about having hopes and goals and pursuing them, unfettered by the whims of the world.
People ask me how I’ve done so much in my life and my mom’s comment to the teenage me is a major reason why.
To me, things are either productive or just mental masturbation (OK, I watched Star Wars, The Rise of Skywalker recently but that’s another story). More on that later.
My 20s and 30s were best described as living a pretty blissfully uninvolved in life. I went to or threw parties (and invited 2,000 of my closest friends), worked, traveled, washed, rinsed, repeated.
I was in the stream of life but unaffected by it. Even when I met Alison, it was the two of us separate from the world. We were in it, but separate from everyone else. That was nice in its own way.
Mouse once said that, in some – not all – respects, it’s harder for the caregiver than it is the cared-for. That’s true, although my dad and Alison suffered more than I would wish on anyone I didn’t despise. Even then…
Speaking of wishing:
Mom: I wish…I wish things were different for you.
Me: Me too. But wishes are just that: Wishes. I’ll be ok. Honest. I survive things. It’s what I do. Even when I don’t wanna.
I’m still affected by the world but – gradually – less so, I think. Maybe in time, I can be who I was once before? One can only hope.
I wouldn’t mind, actually, if it was just me and the kid – in the world but unaffected by the world. But I don’t think that’s possible anymore.
Cause I want the boy to be in the world, more than I want not to be.
Little girl at the park: You want to be my friend?
Boy: (nods, laughs, and spends the rest of the afternoon with her)
Location: Chatting with new old friends around the way
Music: Mama don’t cry, long as we try. Maybe things change?