Of fathers, sons, Michael Jackson and Farrah

29 06 2009

Last Sunday, in honor of Father’s Day, I posted a blog about father figures…specifically, the two men who had been father figures in my life.  And who i honored earlier this year by shedding the names of my birth father and putting on their names instead.  Five days later, I got a call that my birth father, whose name I no longer wear, had been placed on Hospice.  Most likely, he will be dead in a matter of weeks, if not days or hours.

That jolt has left me sifting through the weaves of our relationship–physical, emotional and karmic.  It’s also sharpened my awareness of the labels we carry with us.  Labels that we put on or, in many cases, allow others to put on. Masks that, by the weight of their illusion, either suppress or, worse yet, extinguish our true self.

What do the labels of “father” and “son” mean?  Does the father you are born to always win out over the fathers who raised you?  And what does the label of “son” require in the final days, moments of a father who was never there?

Looking outside my own life, I see friends and family members who refuse to wear labels…society be damned.  As they’ve aged, the frenetic rebellion of youth has settled into a beautiful groove of peaceful power.

And then there are the friends and family members who have spent lifetimes feverishly collecting all the labels society demands we wear. Yet, over time, the youthful exuberance of raw ambition weathers into a hardened resignation that, once you hit a certain point, you simply accept life for what is familiar vs what is true.  Convinced that it’s too late to change, they put themselves on a psychic Hospice if you will.  Seeking whatever will ease the pain of missed opportunities and numb their soul while they wait for their body to die.

Just look at Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson seems to be someone who always was trying to come back to past glory rather than participate–warts and all–in the here and now. His eccentricities seemed to be more a reaction to society’s demands than a response to his true self.  Even in death, people refused to let him go. Pumping his dead body for hours to bring him back…to bring them back…to what once was.

And then there’s Farrah Fawcett.  Someone who accepted that others wanted to see her as an “angel”, but who never let that illusion cloud who she really was.  She used that illusion to lure folks in to see real truths–be it about rape, domestic violence or cancer.  Where Michael Jackson saw the ability of masks or labels to conceal, Farrah Fawcett saw their potential to reveal.

If that is, you took the time to look beyond the mask, beyond the illusion, to see the truth…to live in the moment of what is vs what was or, perhaps, what never was.




4 responses

29 06 2009

beyond labels: Labeless … xoxoxo

29 06 2009

Clearly life is unpredictable and we must pursue our passions. These recent losses are so felt so deeply that it is yet another moment in time like the deaths of Elvis, John Lennon, Princess Diana, and JFK & Jr. will always be remembered.

12 09 2009

I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your writting. I have both parents who are currently critically ill and it was refreshing to read what you had to write about your relationship with your father. You have a beautiful way with words.
Warmest regards

12 09 2009

thanks for the kind words, deborah. and much peace to you as you care for your parents…and your self!

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