Rings Aesop Rock

I left some seasons eager to fall
I left some work to bury alive
I let my means of being dissolve
I let my person curl up and die
Eating up his innards, an unfeasible anxiety
Has brutally committed to relinquishing his privacy
Aligning with the trials of the anti-Midas
Nap on the back lawn, look up in the sky, it’s…

Shapes falling out of the fringe
All heart, though we would’ve made cowardly kings
They will chop you down just to count your rings
Just to count your rings, just to count your rings
-Rings, Aesop Rock

Playlist for Dad’s mp3 player

When I saw my Dad in the hospital, even having braced myself for what I would see, it hurt.

In the years my Dad and I have lived apart, he has aged so much. The toll of the cancer on his body is evident in his gaunt features. The skin around his eyes is puffed, but his eyes look larger. It was hard for him to speak… so it was hard for me to know what to say or if anything I had to say was important. He spoke of practical things, and we arranged his transfer to hospice. When it was my turn, I awkwardly told him about some goings on. I thought of reminiscing with him, but I hesitated; it seemed like by reminiscing, I might be reminding him what is happening. Was there even a way to spare him pain? I couldn’t help but be silent for too long at a time, anxiously deliberating how to ask him to address what I felt needed, to go over who he is, to get his final thoughts, and to prepare myself to remember him.

I got to visit him again with several of his brothers and sisters. This time, he was at hospice and seemed in better spirits, though a bit disgruntled with the service. They all talked together about their time picking cotton on farms. As children, they had worked several different farms in Georgia as sharecroppers. My Aunt Carolyn told a story about my Dad when he was very young. He apparently would sometimes tug at his mom and say “I can run re’ fas mama, you wanna see me run re’ fas?”. So even as a child my Dad had been passionate about fitness. They reminisced about the food; about big squares of bologna and pig feet. My Uncle Douglas remembered that they would catch possums and keep them as temporary pets before their Dad would sell them. Unfortunately, their mother died in childbirth with the youngest brother. Without their mother’s help with the chores, the children would not have had the lifestyle their parents wanted for them or a chance at an education, so they were sent to a Presbyterian orphanage. My Dad was about 9-10ish I think.

I’ll have to write about the rest of the stories they shared sometime, but it is the end of my lunch break and I have to get back to my job!

This was all to say that they eventually got on the topic of music, and I was concerned my Dad would be very bored in the hospice, with no TV or radio. I remembered that my Dad ABSOLUTELY loves music. It gave me something to talk to him about and a way to show that I care. I’m making him an mp3 player filled with music. I’ve provided the Spotify playlist below in case you might want to enjoy some good music!

Dad’s Playlist

Cry for Love

Status seekers – I never cared,
Once I found out they never dared
To seize the world and shake it upside down
And every stinking bum should wear a crown

Sayin’ I cry for love,
Till all the plates are broken.
Cry for love,
Until my eyes are soakin’.
Yeah, cry for love,
On every salmon morning.
Cry for love,
‘Cause imitation’s boring.
Cry for love.

Bad TV that insults me freely,
Still I know what I’m dyin’ to see.
In searching for a meaningful embrace,
Sometimes my self-respect took second place

Iggy Pop

Second Reality

I can feel all the barriers torn down
And my thoughts, they feel so light and free
All the baggage that died with my last frown
To make way for a second reality
I can feel so much that has gone away
With that darkness no more a part of me
All the things I thought forced me to stay
Now forgotten with a past reality

Mind-in-a-Box