Time passes quickly, and before you know it a lot of water has rolled underneath the bridges that link the variant experiences in one’s life.
Before I moved into this current chapter of my life, I built a family with a man I barely knew. We were both in the rock and roll world – he always having managed bands, and me, always struggling to find my place and sound in way too many gigs that didn’t pay off.
We met at a meeting of friends on a Thursday night. The dark paneled rooms allowed the images of those people to stand for themselves. Against the wall’s dark chocolate canvas, whites and colors popped out in different ways, while those in black clothing could only be known by reading their faces to distinguish any personality. John’s creative aura beamed despite his posture showing the process of withdrawal still in play. The edges of his tattered leathered clothes revealed a life lived; yet his sad eyes let me know his need to still recover from the long journey of surviving hell.
Our life styles didn’t mix right off the bat, but that didn’t stop the connection. One day, after a trip upstate, I eyed a board of pictures – while gazing the faces on John’s life, a view of my future flashed before my eyes, and the gods showed me the path that would unfold. Fear inspired tears, which moved me to recoil, yet destiny’s course was already in play. Divinity drew me back in, and I could not turn my head to avoid the future.
We became parents – creating a being that has the best of both of us, and perhaps a bit of our creative demons. Our little beauty, in her divine feisty spirit, gave us both the reason to go on at that moment in our recovering lives. She represented – she represents – universal love. Her birth, a sign from our higher power, bound us, even though we eventually drifted apart.
John’s parenting differed from mine. He, like the endless child, devoted himself to creating a toy-chest, where playtime norms countered all the conservative rules of good parenting – he lived life as if anything was possible because one must allow their creative imagination to soar.
He took his daughter on motorcycle rides, while she sat on the front tank. He exposed her to early Lollapalooza shows, rocking it out in her mini leather jacket and docs. She slept in his tattoo parlor on 12th and A, like a cat in the window. Whenever they were together, the nights ended watching movies on the couch, late into the night until they both fell asleep. He created a world, where all she could imagine could come alive either on the canvas, in the poem or with the impromptu verse of her dialogue. This Dad gave his little girl a world her mother was afraid to live.
Where John gave Cassie everything I could not, I gave Cassie what John could not. We were the opposite sides to a single coin: both styles of creativity necessary for an artist to make ground and be something extraordinary. In the shadow of his death, she rises like a phoenix, working through times of doubt or fear, knowing his spirit still loves and guides from the other side of her earthly dimension. Although sometimes she feels alone, she is never alone. His spirit, in constant flight, always watches over us.
We are not all genius’ in the parameters of what society dictates as genius, but we are genius in our individual ways, each and every one of us, having the power to give something of ourselves to others – to sacrifice our time and energy to help others live to their fullest potential. John gave that time and energy to his family. His love of service, his love of children, and his love of the life he imagined leaves a legacy for us to carry forward in our own endeavors as we walk our earth’s journey. It is in this mindset that we should seize the day and live the life imagined.