Tamara Willems

words, lyrics, can openers and worms …

Today’s disclaimer:  the opinions in the following are entirely my own,  they are not meant to entice, enrage or accuse..   We each have our own stories and versions as such….

I read once in a memoir of Nuala O’Faolain, “that the children of an alcoholic never have arguments with each other because they’re too afraid that starting anything will start everything, and it’s true the nine of us, …  never argue.  But things aren’t cozy either.”
I read this several years ago,  but it stays with me, I have a bookmark in the page and often these words, they come back, and have me thinking.

Lately, I’ve been listening to John Mayer ..
Among other things, (Imelda May, Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, James Taylor) I’ve had it on repeat for several days
As I have mentioned before, it’s lyrics that get me, the profound act of song writing, the putting together of words and emotions that somehow seem to connect hearts and minds.
On this John Mayer album:  The Search for Everything, I keep getting caught by this song – In the Blood, and in particular by these lyrics:

“How much like my brothers
Do my brothers wanna be …”

Hmm…   families are interesting things,
As it is, I have three brothers.
My oldest brother, is wonderfully funny, he is loving and kind – he lives miles and miles away – and he with no internet, and me with no real use for the telephone.  We haven’t been in touch in many years. On my fridge there is a picture of him, probably about 12 yrs old, and I smile every time I look at it with very fond memories. Victims of distance and circumstance, I guess.  I miss him.

My next older brother, well I guess you could say ‘it’s complicated’, in which distance takes on a whole new meaning in choice.   At one time I think we were great friends.   We hung around in the same circles, liked a lot of the same things, had many mutual friends.  When he went through great difficulty in his personal life, I supported him as best I could.   I always greatly admired him and the life he created for himself and his family, and I still do.    But we are not the same ..  and that’s ok.
Family complications, have rendered us, in the words of today’s social media ‘not friends’.  His choice, not mine.  The sad fall out of this I think is to the next generation – our kids who then in turn also, miss out. (my youngest, barely knows him)     This is where ‘our own versions of stories’ most probably comes in, and I don’t propose to speak for anyone else.  All I can say is that this current state of ‘not cozy either’ is not of my choosing, but also not of my control, and so I just …   let it be,
as it is…

My younger brother, ha!  What to say, he is a fiercely intelligent, good-hearted, sometimes a little rough around the edges -do anything for you- Genuine, just-livin’ a life –  kind of guy.  He is astonishing in his knowledge, he is cultured – (in his own version of the term, or maybe it’s mine… )  he is raw, and he is real, and he is ..   just happily, I think –  himself.  We have in some ways chosen very different roads to travel,  but, I think  we have also come to kind of appreciate the places where our paths cross – where we have chosen to recognize each other as fellow travelling companions. We share a mutual fondness
for words, and for respect,
and that makes me proud.

I have a sister too, who lives an ocean away, also wonderfully intelligent, adaptable and creative, to whom I have always been very close.  I don’t know if someone would say that there are ways in which we are alike, but I do know there are ways in which we are different.  We have, always supported and bolstered each other, and certainly stuck together when needed,  and we
have needed.
As it is of late,  I’m not sure if we consider ourselves –  friends,  or just sisters.
I guess, you could say this one too,  is complicated, the storied versions of this one,  I am not sure of. Things just are,
as they are.
And again, families, are interesting things.

in the background  John Mayer sings,  and I
sing along,

♪ How much like my brothers
  Do my brothers wanna be
  Does a broken home
  Become another broken family
  Or will we be there for each other
  Like nobody ever could
  Will it wash out in the water
  Or is it always in the blood  ♪

Will we be there for each other
like nobody ever could?

I don’t know ..

I like to think we would
I don’t know,

makes me think
I guess,

I just want more for my kids …    ♥

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