Monday, December 6, 2010

on this day

two years ago today my father flew away.

it's the strangest thing.
the last time we hadn't talked for this long
was when he emigrated to canada
in nineteen sixty-five
leaving me, my mum, and my brother behind
in england
for a year.

the hard part this time around
is that
through our parallel growing

and outwards,
and inwards,

he and i developed understandings -
an appreciation for each other.

you can have no idea
how unexpected
that was.

so i'm
about losing that
whole piece
of my life

he arrived -
the son of a methodist minister

and astonishingly flew away
a buddhist

his life an unlikely parabola

i take great joy
in knowing
that he flew away
a much more whole person

his work in the form he took

one small part
of his work
was to make a path
down which
my brother and i
could walk
more directly
towards our own purposes.

so i'm thankful
and grateful
for his life.

and even though
i know his
has returned
in its next

i miss him


Dan Gurney said...

How wonderful for you that you and your father developed understandings and appreciation for each other—before he flew. What a nice tribute to him to remember him on his day of passing.

R. Burnett Baker said...

This choked me up, especially having losing Dad only six months ago.

But it also reminded me of a lovely story, if you'll bear with me:

Our Presbyterian minister told me a few years ago about his grand daughter preparing to leave for India on an exchange program. She came to him with a serious question: "Grand Dad, how would you feel if I became a Buddhist? "

His answer, as a minister: "Well, if you become a Buddhist, make certain that you are a GOOD Buddhist!"

He and my Dad were best friends. They were (and my minister is now 90) good men!


Bonnie said...

What a tender and loving tribute not only to your father but to the relationship you were able enjoy with him.

Is that your artwork punctuating your reflections? It is beautiful and fitting.

steven said...

hi bonnie, thankyou for your thoughtful words. the photograph is mine. the buddha sits in her garden. the artwork at the bottom is not mine. steven

steven said...

hey rick thankyou for that good story! i learned through my dad's dad and then my dad that there are many paths. steven

steven said...

dan thankyou. from the beginning to the end of his life, the changes were so monumental in some respects and so incremental in others but the essence of our relationship was vastly improved and strengthened, particularly in his last decade. steven

Reya Mellicker said...

I will light a candle today for the high flying spirit of your father and for you as well, Steven. Much love to you today and every day.

Golden West said...

You honor your father by your life, well lived. I sure he found great satisfaction in the man you've grown to be.

ellen abbott said...

I envy you. Weird, yes to envy someone missing and grieving for his father, but there it is. I guess I don't envy the missing and grieving so much as that you had a relationship with him that has you missing and grieving.

steven said...

much gratitude reya!! steven

steven said...

hey golden west thankyou. it was one of the coolest parts of growing up - that i became more than either he or i expected - and so did he. steven

steven said...

ellen it was a place we ended up at but you couldn't have predicted it from the beginning or even the middle of our shared lives. it made his flying away infintely easier to manage because i was and am happy for him to move to his next incarnation. steven

Aleksandra said...

My your fathers spirit smell the open fields of lavender, Im lighting right now a candle with the lavender scent in it!
:O) Lovely,warm way of remembering your dad! Take care Steven!

steven said...

hi aleks! thankyou for your sweet and thoughtful words! steven

hope said...

So many children don't take the time to get to KNOW their parents. We can waste so much time being stuck in "adult/child" roles that we sometimes forget to see each other as just people.

I'm glad you and your Dad found the time. I'm sure he'd be happy to be remembered so lovingly.

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

A touching tribute to your relationship with your father. Yes, somedays are more important than others in our inner calendars and today you have lit this candle. Perhaps, the 'unlikeliness' of his life's parabola will fade as you continue to harvest meaning from your shared and divergent paths.

steven said...

lorenzo thankyou. perhaps the most powerful realization that came my way today is that my dad forged a path that broke our family out from a mold that would have seen us conceivably stuck in many ways for some time to come. his spiritual work which took him down many dark and fruitless canyons eventually resulted in a deal of joy for him and by extension to those who valued his happiness. it also allowed my brother and i to move in our own directions. there's so much more to this than i am writing of course. thankyou for your keen insight. steven

steven said...

hope thankyou for seeing that! i truly am grateful to have eventually experienced a level playing field with my father. mutual respect and appreciation and also perspective were accorded both of us. how good is that!! steven

Jo said...

You speak with such tenderness. Such a gift.

You bring to mind a beautiful quote;

"What was silent in the father speaks in the son, and often I found in the son the unveiled secret of the father." ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Linda Sue said...

I love knowing that some folks leave this planet - better and smarter- having learned perhaps what they needed to. He certainly can be pleased about leaving behind a wonderful poet son for everyone to be better by.

Titus said...

Oh steven, what an incredible post. Beautifully said.

Kay said...

what a beautiful post for your father.......sending love...xx