Archive for Death

Perceive Those Things Which Cannot Be Seen

Posted in Inspiration, Life, Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2013 by Patrick Roe

If someone asks you to think back 10 years ago, chances are you don’t remember a random day. You probably don’t even remember one day in its entirety. A more likely reaction is that a barrage of little memories from 10 years ago will begin to project across the personal theater section of your brain. The first time you met a good friend, a great restaurant, a sexual encounter, a moment of realization, or a moment you’d rather forget. Much like movies, our lives are a series of highlighted moments and we are the editors. We live for so long, but in the end it feels so fleeting because we only remember those fractions of time where we felt truly alive. The less you felt alive, the more fleeting it must feel.

There is a seed of a thought growing in my mind. Forever I have bought into the idea that life, this series of highlighted moments, was the be-all and end-all. Now I feel like life might be the smallest piece, and heaven might be something else entirely. Life is so contradictory, and carries so many individual, intertwined meanings. I just read a news article about a 16 year old girl who died trying to save her 6 year old brother from an icy river in South Dakota. Yes it is tragic, but to say that their young lives were lived only to bring tragedy is an injustice to their souls. They didn’t get 80, 60, or even 40 years; they only had 24 years of combined life but somehow that was enough for them, it had to be enough because it’s all they got. They were hardly old enough to even have lives to look back on.  What did life mean for them? What does life mean now to those who have lost them? Life and death are shared only because we must all experience them, but none of us will experience them the same way.

I didn’t intend for this post to take such a morbid turn, but for most people someone they know passing on is the only time until their own death that they feel face to face with eternity. Its one of those few moments where we all must ask ourselves the most basic cosmic questions and decide how we will attempt to answer them (or not answer them).

People don’t die to make us sad, and they don’t die too soon. Everyone lives and dies for their own purposes. Its all so secular that this life must be only a single step on a staircase to so much more.

“Perceive those things which cannot be seen.”

 

Papa

Posted in Inspiration, Life, Loss, Love, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2013 by Patrick Roe

Dear Papa,

Is that you in the back of my head? Are you still here? I keep looking for signs, maybe I’m looking too hard. It doesn’t seem real that you are gone. I’m writing this in hopes that it reaches you somehow, wherever you are now. I hope it’s an amazing place that delivers you from everything cold and hard in this world.

Your laugh fills my memories, and still brings me joy. I know the years of suffering made you more somber as of late, but you never lost that sense of humor. That beautiful sense of humor. But what I’ll miss most and what I really feel like I’m losing is your energy. So healing, soothing, peaceful, and serene. I don’t think I ever told you, but you had an amazing presence and it never failed to inspire me. I’m not sure if I decided to pursue art because of you, but you certainly made me want to stick to it. The last time I saw you, you told me if you could do it all over again you would have committed more time to art, so the way I see it I’m creating for both of us. I’m so happy that you lived long enough to see me pursuing a life of writing, I know it makes you proud.

MePapa1 MePapa2

MePapa3 MePapa4

Having you in my life so much as a child shaped me, and helped me to become the person that I am today. Thank you. I do wish you could have stayed just a little bit longer, but I guess we always feel that way about the ones we love. You suffered later in life, but I never lost hope that you would overcome the pain and finally get back to being that person I’ve known for most of my life. My spring break is coming up soon, I didn’t know what to do and I was really thinking about coming to see you. It’s selfish of me to think that you should have waited that long to see me again, but I still wish it could have been that way. I would have loved to see you one more time before you left. I would have loved to say goodbye.

We share a depth, and a darkness. I know I got this from you. I often think of you in my blackest hours, when I think nobody else would understand my mind there’s always that thought “Papa would understand.” I hope part of your spirit will stick around, and help to shepherd me through inevitable dark times to come. I can’t be sure, but something tells me you will.

There is a tattoo on my chest of a raven. I had no idea you were inches away from leaving us when I got it, and luckily you didn’t. You told my mom that if you were to ever die you would come back as an animal, and when my mom asked what kind of animal you said a raven. When I reminded you of that story and what it meant to me, you took the picture below. In my mind that raven is you, resurrected on my chest and above my heart forever. Right where you belong.

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Photo by Joe Polaschek

Forever Your Grandson and Greatest Admirer,

Patrick Joseph Roe

The Laughing Heart

Posted in Inspiration, Poetry, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2013 by Patrick Roe

Bukowski. What words to describe you that have not already been used? You fill my cup. You help me drain it. You are dying proof that words are immortal. You’ve done more from your grave than a vast majority do in life, and in life you were the perfect blend of comedy, tragedy, and redemption.

I drink at one of your old haunts from time to time. Someday I hope my picture is below yours behind the bar. Maybe I’m a bastard for saying so.

Look at me, talking to a dead man through a computer screen. It might seem crazy at first, but sometimes there’s more life in words than flesh.

Sometimes.

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

Everyone Is Fighting A Battle

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 17, 2013 by Patrick Roe

Life is hard, so get your kicks when it’s good. I don’t have kids yet, nor will I for some time, but when I do that is the first thing I will teach them. When they’re old enough, I’ll also teach them that the universe works in mysterious ways and that it has one twisted sense of humor. The sooner you start learning the same humor, the sooner life will start to make more sense. I’m down here in the trenches of civilized American life and sometimes it feels like all I see is pain.

I’ve had a lot on my mind this past week. The brother of one of my best friends was shot down in cold blood, his funeral was today (http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_22577674/police-witnesses-hold-key-santa-cruz-shooting-investigation). I was not able to attend, although I wish with all my heart that I was able to. I didn’t know him as well as I know his family, but I know them all well enough to understand that they didn’t deserve this. Life gets easier when you die, but it gets harder for all the ones you leave behind. He was a father, and his daughter is too young to grow up with any memory of him. His wife was ready to divorce him, and now I’m sure she’d do most anything to bring him back. He’s in the ground for eternity as of this morning, and may God shepherd him to a peaceful existence in the ether.

My girlfriend lost her grandfather this week. I met her other grandpa during my short stay in France, and sadly I was not able to meet the one who just passed. I will never have that chance now, and this fact saddens me deeply. He also left behind a hell of a family, and a long time from now when I journey past the horizon I’ll make sure to thank him for it. He was one of her favorite family members, and there for her in times of extreme emotional hardship. He lived to see the amazing person she’s become, I just wish he would have lasted long enough to see her become the success she is destined to be. Things aren’t going as well as she would hope lately, and his passing is just one more brick in the oven of sorrow. Why any maker of mine would choose to separate me from her at a time like this I may never know. But I curse it, and send her my heart every day in hopes that it helps even a little.

Life is tough, and you got to be tough with it or else cower under it. It’s a heavy burden we’re born into as intelligent beings, made aware of so many things only to control so little.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” -Plato