I want a new way of doing things.  There is a serious lack of community in my life that the TV cannot complete.  I get it here and there through my work, and I love that part of my life, but the people of my tribe are far too far away.

You should be forced to hang out with people every single day.  You should be put in the presence of others so that together you can each figure out what you like to do.  A tribe of two is not enough.  It’s a start, but it is only that.

We need more than that, anyway.  We need the blood of our kin and the love of our friends.  We need to share meals and fears, hopes and horrors.  We have never been able to do this on our own.

A hawk flew low across the highway, nearly pulling my car off the road with the gravity of its flight.  I twisted in my seat following its unfolding path but I didn’t crash.  It vanished into my past and I wondered what that could have meant.  Some would see portent in the flight of that hawk.  Or maybe instead by the murder of crows that rattled far above only moments later.

Maybe the bloom of a flower is a signal for good things to come.

It would be so much easier if I could believe in any of those things.

But if I was part of a tribe there would be the Shaman to sit me down and tell me how to view the World.  There would be a Prankster to take me out into the juicy night.  There would be a Crowd and a Ruckus, there would be the Rituals.  There would be answers?

Instead I know too much about how much I don’t know.  Why the flight of one bird out of all the birds I see fly, why should that one have weight and grandeur and depth?  Or why not accept the tenet of a Flawed Man, and all the Original Sin we are supposed to carry?  Easier to blame forces beyond my control than to accept responsibility for what happened to Silas.  I did what I thought was right and that’s all I have to stand on.

So then, perhaps my life is punishment for doing things wrong.  All things.  Every bad choice I’ve made, here it is laid back on me, stark and utter and raw.  I’m a bad person that did bad things and my punishment is never knowing my son.  But I refuse that possibility just like I refuse blame.  The Universe doesn’t have the time or inclination to pay that close attention to me anyway.  And really, I’m not that bad of a guy.  Maybe if time flows backwards and I turn out to be a total and complete badass when I’m seventy two then this punishment may start to be deserved, but all that is unlikely at best.

And then there is the Meant To Be crew, and I just can’t get down with that at all.  No matter what kind of major douchebag Silas turned out to be, or how contentious our long father-son relationship was, or any other permutation of What Could Have Happened, it is always better if he was here with us tonight.  So this was never Meant To Be.  This didn’t Happen For a Reason.  This happened because sometimes things like this happen.

There is no why.  There is only: What’s next?  Once I began to start thinking again, a few weeks after that terrible day, I realized the only thing I could do was whatever was the very next thing that needed to be done.  I’m better than that now.  I can plan ahead again.  But when the terror spins up and the grief overwhelms me my focus always comes back to the exact next thing I need to do to make myself feel safe or calm or incrementally better.

Tribes are good for that.  The Prankster tricks me out of my maelstrom.  The Confidant leans in to listen.  The Shaman points at the hawk on wing on the blowing, invisible wind and I wonder if she is telling me something is coming, or if that Silas is here, or just that he is gone, as he is every day of my life.

It would be easier if I had something to believe in and understand implictly, but all that makes sense to me is that they all seem so arbitrary and contradictory.  So I concentrate on the facts.  We have each other.  Our Tribe is robust but spread far and wide.  Silas is gone and we will never have him back.  And, it is a fact that when I feel the World turn slightly to me and bow, that I take it as a sign that something is definitely going to happen and I better be ready for anything.  All the time.  That’s my role in the Tribe.

Advertisements