Hey, Dad, it’s me.
I’d been with Mom and I sorted stuff out, for now.
You know I have a whole bunch of blogs, most of them started in spurts, but not maintained for months at a time. You know I want to be a writer. Yeah, I know I am a writer, but a published writer, Dad. Someone who has books, mirrors of humanity and my love. Blogging’d been my first love. Actually, the internet, and for the past several years, I’ve been kind of everywhere. But, Thomas Merton.. You know Thomas Merton, Dad? He says,
The worst thing that can happen to am an who is already divided up into a dozen different compartments is to seal off yet another compartment and tell him that this one is more important than all the others, and that he must henceforth exercise a special care in keeping it separate from them…
The first thing that you have to do, before you even start thinking about such a thing as contemplation, is to try to recover your basic natural unity, to reintegrate your compartmentalized being into coordinated and simple whole and learn to live as a unified human person.
I’m not going to do that anymore, compartmentalize and keep different parts of me in different corners of my life. I’ve been working on that for years, Dad, with my teaching, my faith, my writing, my marriage and family life, bringing that all under one consciousness, under one presence, so that when I encounter someone, they really see me — me, and the soul peering at them from beneath my face.
I did that today when I went to Magnolia Cafe for breakfast. Our server was intrigued by the cover of Echoing Silence — I had it with me — I told her it was about finding your vocation as a writer, and really listening to what is spoken to you in silence. She wrote a short story once, Dad, but was so disenchanted by criticism that she never wrote a short story again. You should try again! I told her.. Dad, she said she would, because she had been into songwriting. I wrote her a note before I left..
All of me was there for her in that moment, Dad, all of me was there to encourage her. I was the writing teacher, the friend, the encouraging mother, the writer, the woman.. everything. All of me. And Thomas Merton wrote about it, what I had already been working on for myself..
Yeah, Dad, it was the coolest thing, coming across his book, Echoing Silence. This was after we watched Captain Marvel. We’d found out Hugo had Type 2 diabetes, we immediately started arguing over what he should be eating and what course he should take.. it was hell for days, Dad. Days. So, I texted him, we exchanged a couple of nice things.. the next thing you know, we’re at the movies on a date, and I told him to take me to Half-Price afterward. He hadn’t bought me books in ages. I got 3 of them: Echoing Silence by Merton, Writing for Your Life by Metzger and then another one, a little classic-sized paperback that’s in my purse.
Dad, I’d been split into so many different ways, my blogs ended up that way, too. After I was at Mom’s Puro Love, Puro Clothespins, I thought about going directly to the one I’d kept under my name’s url, Fire and Snow, the one I’d started in 2013. Well, the thing is, I still have choice words to say about your son, my bad brother, and I’m not comfortable taking it to that site. I’ve got to figure out a method for writing down the bones to that story (you know I’m going to run him through the ringer.. just be prepared… I don’t care if he is.. He’s been a living hell, so I doubt it would make a difference if he knew about my writing about him or not, the way he hates everyone..). I’ll be working through that later.
Dad, I wanted to come here because I need you. Your last words to me, I’ll give you all this and more.. I haven’t heard your voice in years, but remembering what you told me has brought me so much hope in these last few years, even if what you intended never came to fruition. I’ve received so much more.
Remember? You’ve always so generous.. and this was beyond if we were ever in a bind. What you did for your community, your church, the guy on the street. It drove Mom crazy — they were the source of so many fights, so many — but this was a way of living you refused to abandon. To give was you.
I want to believe that I was the only one you’ve ever told this to, these words. They’re mine. I haven’t heard them repeated by any of my siblings, nor by anyone else. I want to believe your words were not destined to be temporal, either, to be stuck here on this earth, limited by the time I have here with you. I want to believe your words were an echo from God the Father Himself. Remember, Dad? Remember how you discovered Him on June 6th, and you quit drinking? And how the 6th of every month was your special anniversary, forever? Dad.. those words you uttered, they were for me from Him. He’s impacted me, too.. forever. And, everywhere, Dad, when I pause to think in the busy of my life, He has given me everything and more. Everything and more.
Dad, that’s why I’m here.
It’s been awhile, and I want your generous presence. Now. Because, Dad, I’m ready, I want more..