i have a confession to make: i am a big adele fan. and although there is nothing wrong with that, i have this sort of shameful feeling about it, because she is incredibly mainstream (my taste tends to be eclectic and more folk-y/indie/grassroots-y) and because i have learned that she is one of those polarizing artists: you hate her, or you love her, no in between.
although there are plenty of things to love that are about her (i find her incredibly endearing, silly, and personable, not to mention that voice, jesus), i think a part of it is the timing of her last album, which came out just before the last time i saw my parents in december 2015…which was just before i began remembering the incest. i can recall, very distinctly, sitting at the table in my parents’ kitchen one evening, showing my mom the video of ‘when were young’…and having her not get it. i mean, not only was she not transported, as i was, by that voice and those lyrics, but she also didn’t seem to feel anything, or hear anything special in the song, when i clearly did.
the whole experience was reminiscent of how it always felt when i would try to include my mom in my life, among the things that were important to me (my poetry, my secrets, my fears, my politics, my hopes), in that it often fell flat. she rarely got it, and i was often left with the feeling of being missed, of not being understood or seen. i mean, in this case, it wasn’t a huge deal, it was just a song, it wasn’t like i wrote it and wanted or needed her approval, but it just sticks in my mind – another time i felt alone in an experience that i tried to share with her.
so…the feelings i have about that album are complicated, and imbued with the terror and love and sadness and fear and shame and comfort that darkened most of 2016 for me. and the very, very first thing i thought when i saw today’s word was of the following lyrics from adele’s song, remedy:
when the pain cuts you deep/when the night keeps you from sleeping/just look and you will see/that i will be your remedy…
except i don’t exactly think of myself as a remedy, as much as i imagine that my presence is one, just as pocketbrit’s presence is to and for me. our friendship, our sharing space on this earth, our daily talking, the love we have for each other, is incredibly healing. over these past years, she has been a remedy for so many of the things that have hurt me and kept me up in the night: my loneliness. my shame. my fear. my conviction that i am inherently wrong and bad and faulty. my solitude. my shame. my shame. my shame.
and the fact that her presence in my life is an antidote to those things that sting and hurt and ache does not waver, not even with disagreements, or misunderstandings, or strife between us. because, as the song says (and i paraphrase), our love, it is the truth…and i will always love you.
and i really, really will, and do.