17 January 2016 – Dad’s here! Arrived on Friday. Staying a week. Down in Liz’s suite—she’s in Costa Rica, putting her thinking cap on. Timing couldn’t have been better. He’s got loads of privacy and as bonus G and I didn’t have to figure out what to do with all the stuff we’ve stashed in the spare bedroom.
Thank the lucky stars.
Which, in a way, is why I’m in here. The boys went to Star Wars matinee. Giving me house to self. A little space to get at something that’s been scratching at the surface since yesterday.
Took dad for walk along river. Had good long chat. Where we’re at, what’s going on, how things are shaping up etc.
In and amongst everything else he asked if I was still writing in my n-book. I said I was and he wanted to know something of what I write about. Like if it’s a diary etc.
I told him it’s more like a journal. A place to track and develop thoughts. Got into a fairly detailed account of things. Like process. That I prefer to take notes on a separate piece of paper as I go. Like timing. That I only do it when I have the energy to encourage an appropriate frame of mind. Like content. That while most of what hits the page is from something I’ve witnessed, not all of it is necessarily about me.
Which is how we got on the topic of Delilah.
He was doubly intrigued. Asked what that was like. Inventing a story.
I didn’t really have a good answer. Said that it doesn’t seem as though I’m inventing anything. That I’m merely recording what comes to me. In some respects it’s like having met a stranger who keeps showing up and won’t go away. The more I try to ignore her the more insistent she becomes.
He laughed and asked how I make her go away.
By writing her.
And by writing her you invite her to come back for more?
Something like that.
Sounds like work.
I mulled that over. Said that it is. But not in a negative way.
We’d stopped to watch a tugboat lug its load of logs. Another tug guided the slow slick procession. However many hundreds of stripped trees corralled together in a long train. A huge amount of timber made to look small against the width of the river and the spreading immensity of land.
Dad asked if there was an end in sight for Delilah.
My turn to laugh. I started to say she keeps bringing more to the table. That if anything she’s taking me backwards. Hearing the words come out of my mouth I had to pause. There was something in them that I hadn’t considered.
If anything she’s taking me backwards.
I drifted off. Got to contemplating the notes I’ve been making. On where she’d come from before hitting the highway. The life she’d been leading, the effort she’d put into trying to get herself on the right track, away from what she’s known. How this was as much of a story as the story I was originally following. And that where she’s going takes me to where she’s been. Two parallel stories. Each step forward followed by a step back.
Apparently my drift wasn’t an entirely internal ellipsis.
Dad clapped me on the shoulder and pulled me into a sideways embrace.
I don’t know what you’re on about, he said. But it sounds as though you’ve got some bones to tinker with. Eh?
He drew his head up and pushed me back so he could look me in my eyes.
Like to make into a skeleton? Or, in this case, maybe a pair of skeletons? You should be good at that. Right?
He knew it was a cheesy analogy. But I have to give him credit. In his attempt to make light of my radiological past, he pretty much nailed it.
Bones and skeletons. Framework for shape and form. The bases of dynamic bodies.