campfire shirt


campfire shirt

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

The photograph of the shirt and walking stick came from one of my hikes down the cross Florida trail-the section I was on is the 57 mile portion that runs through the Ocala National Forest. It is a perfect place for me-very rarely do you see any one else and if you do it’s only for a split second and then they are gone and you are going. Thats about the way it is when you backpack,you are head strong about going forward and those you meet are as well-no stopping to have chats,only that stunned look that says ‘hey…theres someone’…and you keep on trucking.
I have’nt been down the trail in a few years-although I’ve been right there at it twice this summer-both times a visit to Rodman dam,but both times missing the real thrill of having the trail draw you in and say silently and mystically come on…come on…come on in here…! It does that-it calls at you that way into the deep because as you walk you begin to notice the real silence of the trees and the wind as it blows across their tops although it is also the beauty of the surroundings and how they explain to you that you are alone-and how peaceful it is.
I would love to die there. To be able to have the very distinct advanced notice that you are going to die…and to be able to go down there into the Juniper Praire wilderness and treck off the regular trail into the woods a bit…and just rest up against a tree and put your hand up and then go to peace.
That being explained-I got to point out that I am deeply depressed and as often before I wish that spiritual call would come and I could go there and find that tree. Of course-death is not a respecter of persons-and I am no one special so such advanced notice is probebly not being sent my way…it is only a wish.
I do need for it to be understood-I do not accept that death is what we are taught to believe it is…I once had an experience (all be it that I was awake for a long number of days-while hauling cattle) where I came close to death while in my bunk of a long haul Peterbilt and I learned that death is really life and there is a place-a beautiful gentle place….but it is not mine until it is given to me,so I am not allowed to write my own ticket,although its many time I wished I could. I just have to wait it out…and most likely it wont give me the chance to go down and lean on a tree and hear the silence.
It might make more sense to you to explain that I have been awake off and on all night…I worry alot-and lately I have had a lot to worry about. I need to pack some things and hang them on my back and just go down there a few miles…
…and my body is in pain which is magnified by depression. Depression is painful. Yesterday I could hardly move-this wee hour of the morning is saying today is not going to be much better.
I have so much I want to say….there is never going to be a way I can say it. I have things I need to say to my brother-and there is no energy in me to find the way to say it at all. It is a lonesome trail. Worse of…our father is going to die-and as much as I’ve ever wanted him to why…explain what really happened,the chance won’t ever come….and if it does-will it make any difference? Its been too f##king long and so much has been destroyed by then…the years we need to talk about the most.
No one I have spoken to can understand the reason my father has it in his head to move the remains of my brother and sister (they’ve been dead for many many years)…every one says its sick…everyone meaning those outside of my family,and trust me-I’m not needing to do anything to persuede a point of view. The point of view is natural-the idea is sick. But to me it is worse-it is like a great offense…the son who could’nt make it-the one we did’nt know how to defend or protect or stand up for or believe! We will take care of the dead.
I even wrote them a letter-each of the immediate family had one addressed to them…and I said how this project disturbs me-and how I felt.
No one has ever shown me the courtesy of a response-it is as if I dont need to know about this,and yet I was a hireling to drive my parents to the cemetery to learn this is what they had in mind.
It’s kind of like that love I describe my late brothers widow has-the word is there but thats all there is.
The immediate need for the trip up to Pennsylvania in comparison to the non-response I’ve been given (or how I’ve been ignored) shows the respect I have not been given….they gave me less than twenty four hours to prepare for a flight-I even told them that my check was a week due and I was broke…I flew 880 miles away with hardly change in my pocket and moments only to make plans-you know,who will take care of the dogs-or if the the thunderstorms knock out the power-who will manage my water well which looses its prime every time? All of this rush to make me hurry so this plan of grief can be carried out…
I’ve tossed and turned all night pleading for my body to quit-and for some kind of rest…and in my awake state between watching the clock I’ve kept in my mind a letter that I need to write my brother-I worry about doing that because I dont think they reach him…and I cant talk to him.
I need for him to understand there is nothing I can do…nothing I can get or give from being there. I wrote some tiome ago and offered to set up camp up there in the folks attic…no response,but I know it was’nt something I really wanted to do-but would have to help. I could my eyes to his wifes jealousy and try to plug my ears from my mothers constant rattle….but no answer. Except….when it comes to it-Dads in the emergency room.
I thought I was daft at one time-but my son saw the same thing and heard the truth from my brothers wife…she lit into him a month or two back and said things that hurt him,and me-I believe she meant to hurt. Yet-the truth is when ever the blame comes from me not doing enough is not available for use in this. I called my brother those years back and said WE needed to go talk to our folks-fathers driving is way hazardous. By we-I meant our other brother too-he was still living. No…the young family up there went alone and arranged it and it happened. My thoughts were them being here-the U of F has one structure after the other that is geared towards cancer treatment-the finest medical facilities around (not some two story want to be hospital) and the city has so much to offer so my thoughts were this is a good place for an elderly couple. Plus-I am alone…and could have driven here or there (yes…its true,not very fondly recieved by my father-and my mother grates on my nerves-but it made sense). So they have that now-thats the way it is….and by golly,theres not much I am going to be able to do-I have no money…the roof is pouring in rain when it rains…and my nerves are frazzled enough anyway-I think in this stage of it the whole thing is better the way it is….except there could be more than just a few eggs and dried bread in my ice box.

So sorry…I am very much in a state of dispair at the moment. I need Charlottes wisdom so bad and being forced to wean myself from that is awful. And even with that I feel so much guilt…despite the words of encouragement…..whew,God? May I please go down the trail?
I know I sounded like I make no sense…forgive me!

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