Friday, January 20, 2017


Not to hide behind generalities, though.  I'm just not sure where to start.  My feelings towards my great uncle are complicated.  In a sense, I guess it doesn't matter now, but it never really mattered, anyhow.  I wince a little, at all the positive messages people are posting about him, celebrating his life.  Not because they remind me of him, which is of course painful, but rather because I don't feel like saying anything positive.  I'm a terrible person.

Sometimes it seemed that Dan thought as much, though he'd never put it that way.  Much of who I am and how I learned to think was influenced by the time I spent with him as a teenager, but much like my mangled interpretations of Buddhism, that influence doesn't exactly manifest in a way other people seem to recognize.  It didn't manifest in a way he seemed to recognize.  My mind puts a distinctly tortured spin on everything.

Way back when, it seemed he was starting to take me under his wing..  Something I desperately needed, growing up.. but that sort of fell apart.  He pulled back.  I was confused and kept trying to make amends for many years.  Nobody wants to hear me say anything negative about him, but I was really vulnerable and that was really difficult.  More recently, he'd commented on the darkness that was in me back then.  I don't like the way he characterized mental health issues.  He didn't understand, or try to understand, and that didn't seem particularly compassionate.  His laid back acceptance seemed in those circumstances more a shallow defense than a healthy approach to dealing with adversity.

Over the years, I tried to piece together what happened and came to feel rejected by him.  I was as welcome to visit as anyone else, but he wasn't going to take me traveling with him.  He didn't want my help with the museum.  I wasn't welcome to be a part of his life, after all.  Maybe he thought I couldn't handle it.  Maybe he couldn't handle it, or simply didn't want to.  I remember him saying that he'd wished he'd had the resources to be more help, but that was a cop out.  I didn't want anything material.  It wasn't anything material that I needed.  Eventually, I stopped looking up to him entirely.  I came to think of him as incredibly fortunate, rather than admirable.  To say this now, in particular, yeah.. I guess there is a darkness in me.

I think the truth can be very dark.  Within darkness, there can be light.  Within light, darkness.  He was a beautiful person.  Too bad we can't all be seen as such beautiful people, but we are who we are, unless we help each other become more than that.

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