“Dad, does this girl have blood all over her head under that cloth stuff?”
Gavin was holding my copy of The Shadows of Blackout Island and asked if it was a scary book. I told him a little about it and he asked me to read my story, The Stump Maker, to him.
I’ve been reading a few pages a day, out loud, to Gavin. He’s five. It’s a bit much (possibly) for a five-year-old, but he loves it! He’s asking questions about who Mr. Wilson is and what happened to his son. He’s asking if the Stump Maker is in the woods watching the boys camping overnight. He even asked about the Raven! (I have a thing for Ravens.)
I haven’t gotten to the really creepy part yet. lol. Seriously though, if he asks me to stop reading, that’ll be that. We’ll see how it goes today!
This prompted me to view the amazon listing. Here’s a review:
“A Great Adventure!
I’ve never been one to read books of this nature but I purchased because I am such a fan of the writing of one of the authors in particular (M Taggart). I have read much of his poetry and short stories in the past and always enjoy his creativity.
Aside from his contribution the book is a nice read that pulled me in from the beginning and turning pages one after the other. If you want to get sucked into a moment that you are reading and feel like you are a part of it than this book is for you. I know you will enjoy it like I did. I plan to gift this book to a few folks as well. Enjoy!” -Lori
Edited by Tara Caribou. And I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but Tara is crushing it with the books that she is editing and publishing.
I love Gavin. I’m blessed to be his father. I don’t understand how a parent could have the capacity to not love their child. And yet, so many don’t. And so many do. I’m in the ‘do’ category. I always knew I wanted to be a father. And bam! Here I am! And there he is. Looking rather serious and daring me to sink his battleship.
The doctor told my wife to call her when she starts to bleed. We had already lost one. I held on to Faith- Tell life it can’t. Gavin wasn’t supposed to be born. So we were told. Somehow Megan and I suffered a bit more though. Megan nearly died during an ectopic rupture when Gavin was nearly two years old.
Megan lived. Gavin lived. I’m trying my best to live.
And the levity of one example brought on the harm of another while watching stars, listening to ‘mind’, and fingers reading pages and pages and dusty pages turning to new pages smelling of ink while staring at a bar room wall with all sounds bouncing from ear to ear, some listening to this, some not, the bar pushes further, mouths drink and pages turn; lives of another might be yours someday, as she watches from the other side.
I was sitting at the bar. Directly to my left was a door leading to the deck. The wind was picking up. John was rambling on with a friend. I saw the clouds and thought of my father. I walked outside and took this photo. I liked the wind and the darkening clouds. These clouds were exactly overhead. I wondered if there was a piece of my father in them. His celebration of life is this coming Saturday. I don’t want to go. I will go. But I don’t want to. I’m struggling with the guilt of not wanting to go. Just like I’m struggling with the guilt of telling my father he wasn’t there for me when I needed him most. I guess that’s how it goes. And maybe that’s why I stood outside alone. I wanted to show someone the photo of the clouds when I walked back in. What’s the point though. The clouds meant more to me than them. They always will.
Up this road just a few miles more is where I lived my worst memories. Gill. That’s the name of the town. Lots of cows, brooks and a river. An editor is trying to help me push forward with my story. He’s waiting for my adjustments. Every time I open it, I’m triggered. I’ve updated nothing. Maybe I should drive to this spot, walk a few miles. Maybe that’ll unlock my leash. That’s the thing about severe childhood trauma. You can lock it away, compartmentalize, as always, but when it comes down to it it’s as alive as it always was. Fight or Flight. I chose to fight. I’m stuck on FIGHT. Up that road, just a little ways, holds some of my best memories. Mother. Brothers. Life.
Into the mouth of the coffer, the ever suctioning hole, offering differences between beginning and end; it was the second look that held the opening, and this doorway led to the longest second- ensuring the first wasn’t wasted. Come in. The existence is fine.
And he had stayed while the rain came down; he had stayed while she sat alone, only a blanket provided comfort, and he looking out the window at the rain thinking about how he might need to leave or to maybe not be in the same place as her, anymore, and the rain came and nothing mattered about any of it other than the thinking of what to do and the thinking of what to do meant something needed to be done.
I look back at my childhood and pull the good from the not good. There was plenty of both. Somehow I’ve become a success in life. To me, happiness is success. But to much of society, prosperity is the measure worth looking at. I wish it wasn’t like this. Reading a book outside with the sun touching the pages while listening to Spring-time birds, all while thinking nothing other than the book and the sun and the birds, that is a measure I use to gage my happiness.
Yet, somehow, even with my bad portions of my childhood, I am a success on other levels as well. I am a father. A husband. A business owner. A college graduate. I have been elected President and owner of a new company set to explode. We are building a new building in a city which contains Maine’s second largest population. I picked the city. It’s diverse. I like diversity. My company will bring new jobs to this city. As I told the city officials, my goal is to enhance the community we enter. I will do exactly that. Our store will open later this summer.
I bring these points up because, based on only my writing, it’s possible for someone to assume that I am hobbled in a dark hole spinning around in circles. That isn’t the case. It’s simply easy for me to remember the bad and to write about the bad. Just as easily as it is for me to write about morning coffee.
When I was a teenager I wanted to be a writer who lived in Maine. At that point I lived in Massachusetts. I’ve lived in a few different states, however, I am now a writer who lives in Maine. I always wanted to be a father and husband. And while sitting in a jail cell in my early twenties, I knew I’d be a loving father and husband. My will was never broken nor in question.
My childhood trauma does not define me. I use it as motivation. And through my freedom of expression that motivation lives nearly in tangible forms. I set my goals long ago and now I’m setting new goals to will into being.
I can’t wait to see what the next ten years will bring. I am blessed. I am thankful. And please keep in mind, I may write about some awful situations, some of the darkest of places, and of thoughts no one wishes upon another- keep in mind that I am fine. More than fine. It’s important the bad is not forgotten with my abundance of good in the now. Much like the photo below. Taken a month before my father’s passing. I knew he was dying. I was on a bender, I look beat up, tired, real. I remember taking the photo and staring at it, taking in all of its reality. I know I don’t look my best, but I feel the thoughts that I had during the moment, simply by viewing the photo. This game of life is something to cherish. All of it.