Saturday, June 14, 2008
possible solutions and ruminations
so i've been watching some of the coverage on Tim Russert's death and can't help choking up and tearing up. yes, i know he was in the media, and some of you think all media people are evil conspirators who want nothing better than to smear someone's name and remove root beer from the grocery shelves. but, having been a media person myself, i can assure you there are some root beer fans. and whether or not you agreed with him, he was a decent guy. he was fair. he was smart. he came to an interview prepared. he was not a news-bot, who re-wrote press releases and emailed all his friends to watch because he was going to be on tv. he was not in it to be the focus. and i guess all the kind, hearfelt words that people had to say about him reminded me of my father. and today, being the day before Father's Day, it seemed okay to be a little sad. so with caution, i allowed a little reflective thinking and wishing to weave through my heart. i spoke to him, saying the things i would wish i could say to him if he were alive. our relationship was a stormy one when he was here...so much alike, we recognized the bumps and bruises in each other and fought them as if to rid our own selves of them. he was a good man. a kind man. generous when he was able. a solid friend his friends could depend on. time grinds down the sharp edges and smoothes over the rough parts like sea glass, but i was just learning about him when he died. it took me 10 years to accept that he was gone, and then grieved for another 10. now able to face his memory, i began to delve into that family history kept so quiet, so secret...so painful that it was never spoken of. even my mother was surprised by some of the things i found. my father & his brother & sisters put in an orphanage...my aunt hiding my father in her closet so he wouldn't be adopted....how they fought at such a young age to remain family. so today, i chose to make art. not art for sale. not art to give away. but art for my father. a tribute. and as my fingers tied thin pieces of wire to twigs, and leather was attached to tin, and solder smoke filled the air, i began to feel a comfort from him. to have his essence as part of my personality has been the greatest gift i could ever receive. his sense of humor...his sense of right and wrong....his helping hand up to the underdog. but to feel his approval on me today, in my heart of hearts, and to maybe say Good Job...now that is a gift to my spirit. perhaps i have idealized him in my mind...kicked the flaws to the dungeon and allowed only the good to come forth. but isn't that what it's about? isn't that just such a great way to see every person, every day? this is my favorite picture of me and my dad....it's actually the only one i have of him holding me...still sleepy noggined from my nap, with the sandman still in my eyes. so tomorrow i will help the steppers celebrate father's day with their dad. and pray that they will learn to appreciate him and forgive him his flaws while they can still express it to him out loud. and hear his voice return. for today, i will listen to my father's spirit in my heart and remember his lessons, his life, his example, and be glad for the time i did have. and be glad for carrying his memory. L.
at 6:10 PM