On Family, an Orphan’s Perspective – 31 July 2021

As an orphan I thought that I was lucky inasmuch as I could choose my family, my brothers and sisters, those to whom I could lean against when the winds made me wobble near to falling … in my illness, in my neuroses, my tortured artist skin I have yet to shed and cast off … and I was wrong, as it is no choice but yet an understanding of acceptance that, though you entered the dark chamber of the cocoon blind as the caterpillar, only to remain in that darkness alone, thinking that you might never emerge, only to come out more vibrant than before, taking flight … it is family that keeps you aloft when the wind gives no lift, and the waves give no mercy, they remain when those tidal forces of blind nature and chaotic consequence might threaten to knock you over or erode you to the bone; they remain, to steady you and make sure that, though you may have been worn down, as the rocks by the ages of waves that carve them year by year, family is what you have when you look around and see nothing else, yet you see that they have given you what you need to fly.

appreciation is a poor gift to offer to someone who stands before the tide beside you, or risks the fire to pull you from it — but if that were a motive in the solidity and solidarity necessary, family would be a poor word to describe such a person. Family need not be asked, they insist to be — and what can an orphan boy do but be comforted by the accumulation of such brothers, such sisters who have, through many seasons of monsoon and whirlwinds, hurricanes and williwaws, stand there, as they dare not let you fall?



What remained, though remnants exist, that skin that clasps and holds you in such mold that contorts you into socially recognizable shape — it is the form of the pupae, and we should not weep for the loss of prior forms, as the metamorphoses has given more to those who have transformed, who have grown and learned and seen, more than the blind caterpillar who emerges, once an insect, now with wings.

An imagining of myself as a pair of scissors, charcoal on Pizza Hut Box, 2001; from a short distance meant to be seen as a scissors, up close as a child with legs inward, shutting off the world through this gesture, cutting off the world.

The romantics had it wrong, that the sentimental life was one that rewarded the artist with grist for the potter’s wheel. The grist in this instance is more valuable by far than whatever works of pottery should come from the forge of potter or glazier.

The notion of romanticg suffering is romantic until you suffer, and to seek it out as a means to enlightenment is as rational as skydiving with a passport so you won’t get stuck at customs before they let you into Heaven.
Be all my sins remembered,
From the authentic bastards lot,
legitimate, in original packaging, aged but yet the skin has yet to be shed …
Though it’s time I molt.

Once I thought as an orphan I would have no brothers and sisters. Now I know I can and do have as many as I would like.

I have to hurry off now and find a place to circumcise my daughter on short notice.

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