my brother john arrived last night, a little on the late side, his daughters allie and zoe in tow. allie is getting tall and looks a bit like libby, zoe is now four and is seriously cute. she has the most gorgeous blue eyes. my brother looks exactly the same... a little grayer, a little more tired, a little more, every year, like our great-grandfather.
for the first year, ever, when i look at him, i don't feel the sting of sibling rivalry. for the first time, in nearly fifty years, i understand its source. no one who doesn't have a sibling could ever understand i think, the hot and bitter hatred that can burn within a sibling's breast. of all the stories in the bible, the ones involving siblings are the ones i understood the best.
no one had to explain to me why cain killed abel, why jacob stole esau's birthright, why joseph's brother's ganged up on him and sold him into slavery. when you steal a piece of someone's paradise, even just by accidently showing up, you can't expect not to have to pay. and pay my brother did.
older now, wiser, maybe, i look back across the years and i understand now how his birth was connected to my place of deepest wounding, how fate and accident combined to usher his appearance on my life's stage at its bleakest hour. i was less than two. the monster created by my infant mind as it attempted to make sense of the un-sensible then has cast a long and ugly shadow down across the years.
im free of it now, of that particular demon. the work ive done this past year has led me to the place where i can now embrace it, and see it's not a demon after all, just the unresolved emotions of someone who suffered a very deep trauma at a very young age. this work i've done has led me to the place where having confronted the biggest and the darkest demon of them all, i can now turn and deal with all the others.
i'm finding that just like this one, they ain't so tough.
and furthermore, the war must end. blessed be.