I Am Within The Wildest War Inside Of Myself


I am within the wildest war
inside of myself
I want to write down every blink of my father’s brown eyes
ever stroke of his brown
salt and peppered grey beard
I want to write the White of his cigarette papers
the marijuana he hides secretly in his ring
I want to write the red tile
the yellow tile
the blue tile
dancing in his garden
with the large heart rock
I want to write the smell of his house
made all of natural elements
from his hands
of his bed
full of thyme
of his ritual area–where he does Osho dances and yoga and shakes himself wildly awake
I want to write of the way his clothes fall on nails beside the fireplace
wrinkled and loved
I want to write of the green pears he brings me in a brown plastic bag
how he drives every few days deep into the mountains
to gather fresh water from a spout
in large plastic bottles
because he doesn’t believe in the well water from below the ground
I want to write of the way he lights up when he is excited by something
how he laughs and says I go crazy for the figs
and the colours
I lose myself for the figs
I want to write of the yellow plastic bags that he tied in the mountains
so I could find his house
that he calls the roads
earth streets
and tells me
if you get lost
just shout
and I will come find you
I want to write of his orange shirt
with frayed sides
his style is so beautiful
and feminine
many men think that I am gay he says
cigarette between his lips
but I know from the man above my White House in the mountains I am renting
“your father was wildly handsome, you know? He’s been with 100’s of women. I was jealous of him.”
I wish to write the way his cheeks move when he eats
as he has no teeth
and how he is handsome still
I wish to write of the sparkle in his eyes as he shows me the things he makes with stones
of his excitement as he throws water upon the dusty stones
and they shine red or lustrous black
how he exclaims
look! look!
how he believes these are the real riches
I wish to write the pure soul of him
one that many here wouldn’t understand
for Tertsa is small
and he exists with the simplicity and richness in his mind that many have not touched
and will not touch

And some of the people laugh at him for his thoughts are grande and larger than he world some people live within
I wish for him to be not mocked
but celebrated as I celebrate his thoughts
some people will never understand
I forgive them
but wish for people to see his light
as it is great
there is nothing small about his presence

I wish to write you and tell you of the time we walked through the streets of Heraklion
his small brown arm with an orange bracelet draped upon mine
of how proud this made me
to be walking arm in arm with my father

My father I found

Of how he bought me leather brown sandals
and a silver ring
of how I could have bought these for myself but I said yes
and received

I wish to tell you that each time he arrives at my White House in the mountains that he brings gifts
small jars of coconut oil
a Robert munch book that my mother gave him 28 years ago
worn and eaten by life yet still attached
a small piece of peppermint
which he wisped underneath my nose
before handing me a leaf to eat
telling me every morning he drinks a warm cup of water and chews a fresh peppermint leaf
He brings a piece of a plant which in Greek is called Louisa
my mother’s name
and we walked
arm and arm to the small village
and I had my father in one hand
and my mother in the other
and how wild that is
your mother used to call me tzatziki
in India
he says laughing

I wish to write you and tell you of how he always chooses a tiny espresso cup
and how wonderful he looks
with his wild hair
and sun hat
in brightly colored orange or pink clothing
drinking from a tiny delicate cup
as he reads me Greek poetry
that I pretend to understand while admiring the way his hands dance when he speaks
admiring the way he’s trying
he is trying

I wish to write you to tell you of the food he makes
fresh vegetables from his garden
of how his face lights up when he tastes the food he has made
of the “pooaaa-pooaaa-pooaaa”
noise that you will only understand after being in Greece
and hearing it escape from his mouth in appreciation for the simple yet extraordinary food he cooks
and how he brought two containers
and looked at me and said
I cooked two dishes–because, well, you are always very hungry
after watching me devour a large chicken souvlaki at lunch
and I laughed
as he may not know that I stress about food
yet I do
and he is right

I wish to write you and tell you of his small car
his tiny hippie car
the new white one
the sister of the blue one that died

It has feathers and necklaces hanging from the mirror
delightful things
gentle things
the doors don’t lock
the seats are dead and he has put pillows and blankets upon them
and sometimes it hurts my back after long drives
but it does the job
one day soon I will leave this car
he says
I will go and live in the caves
maybe when I am 70
(Which is 9 years)
and live up there alone
be in the natural
I wish to die under a tree
and before I die I will make a clear wish that I want my soul to live the next life on a different planet
if there is a different planet
I am done with this planet
and how I sit
wide-eyed in love with the peculiar and wonderful man he is
yet at the same time sit in fear that only after finding him he will retreat into a cave and I will lose him again

I wish to tell you of how the people stare at him
in the gyros shop
in Heraklion
this one young man never stopped starring
I’m not sure if it was him
or me with him
we are probably quite a sight
tanned like olives
my father with wild hair and a large beard like he is maybe Indian
like a guru or a yogi
Round blue glasses like Tommy Chong
I wonder if they know I am his daughter
some people have thought I am his girlfriend
the age is so great now with couples
I guess this is normal
yet with the same ears and body and face in many ways
I wonder if they even look

I wish to write you the sounds of Crete
the roaring from these crickets that are not crickets
that live on the trees
with large wings
they yell louder than anything I have ever heard
It is overwhelming at dusk and dawn when I walk in the dried river
through dusty roads with yellow dead grass weeping at my tired feet
as I make the journey again and again
back to that which I fear and want most

I wish to tell you of the part of me that so badly wants to run
the part of me that is wounded so deeply by my fathers choice to not raise me
not see the photograph of me as a child and the letter from my mother when I was 1
And write back
to know
to be

this part of me has its heels planted deeply and is terrified to be here
even though I am here
this part of me is angry and spiteful and says
for what?
he didn’t come

Yet I am here
sitting at the table
underneath a large cedar tree
eating the brown buds of the cedar tree
sitting under the moon
by candlelight
as my father hates lights
hates electricity
hates computers
hates cellphones
hates the advancement our world has claimed
holding him adoringly in my eyes

Yet I am here
In his small white car
with eyes full of blue salty tears
speaking the anger and hurt and fears in my heart

Yet I am here
in his village full of 60 people
with two restaurants
and one hotel
swimming in the sea that is me
eating gallons of olive oil
and discovering new parts inside of me

Yet I am here
in a small taverna
pulling forth that inside of me which may save me
be a salvation to the suffering I have endured
in this gap in my childhood
two amazing loving mothers
yet I always wanted to know
of course
why would we not want to know where we came from

And he is here
I will get this phone
he says
with this video
[face time]
and I will try this time
this time
it is different
I feel strong
you are a part of me
and you deserve to know me
and I am also curious about you
I want to see
for us to go together

And I hear it
in the way his hand holds mine
and assures me
that I don’t need to buy the phone
that he will

And I hear it in the woman in the restaurant in Myrtos
who when I say I am visiting
and her eyes bug
and she says
only 8 days?
and he replies
but she will make many more trips

And I struggle with whether I can forgive
with whether he deserves my forgiveness after choosing to not be in my life for 21 years
yet my mentor gently reminds me
forgiveness isn’t about him
it is about you
and healing yourself

And yet I want to forgive him
and not have such a weight in my chest when people ask me
what of your father
and to not reply
he lives in Greece
but we have only met once
I want to be rid of this story
and simply to reply
yes, he lives in Greece

I wish to write all these things
and I wish to write nothing
for I want to be here in all that there is
and all that I am.