family · growth · poetry · recovery

Excavation: Chapter 3

So, it’s been bothering me that I have recently been writing about all this fucked up shit about my family and childhood, particularly now when I feel that I’ve been “doing so much better” and “moving beyond it.” Or rather, truly feeling that it (the past) doesn’t have the same power to inform my behavior and interpretation of the world that it used to have.

And so, I’ve been curious then to see that it’s been coming out so much in my poetry. Then, I had a realization. I had begun a serial poem a few years ago titled “Excavation”, and it has a few “chapters”, Curiosity, and Betrayal, and a 2.5 that I can’t find, But I’d always been curious as to when the next chapters would show up, and, I believe they are. I believe this is the work that is happening right now.

It occurs to me now that “excavation” is not just, dig stuff up and get rid of it. It’s dig stuff up, examine it, and then get rid of it (or lay it aside, or hold it differently, etc.). And so, writing all these poems, I’ve recognized, is the examination. This is what these ancient pieces have to say; there’s a reason they don’t feel current, and that’s because they’re not. They’re like fossils of an ancient emotion or experience, and my work now is just recording them. Acknowledging they exist, validating the experience, and setting them aside with honor, but without the power of tyranny.

I find comfort in this realization; that I am “moving beyond” these old wounds and experiences. But, I actually have to process them (record them) as I excavate them, or else they still have a hold on me, they’re still unexamined, and therefore like the ghosts of souls who still have work left to do on this plane. By writing about them, I am finalizing the work of these experiences. By recording what was written in and on these fossils, I am laying them to a final rest. And so, “Excavation Chapter 3: Examination”, so that eventually, I may come to the next chapter, Freedom.

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