Sunday, June 12, 2016

Compassion For My Father

Sunday, June 12, 2016

I was away in Washington, DC this past week. I made the trip to attend Capitol Hill Ocean Week. I am glad I went. I made some meaningful connections and have since decided to think in a more broad-minded way about the possibilities of my own professional future. I returned Friday afternoon.

Yesterday, before going to work, I went to the gym. And there I experienced something that melted my heart a bit in regards to my father. I saw a man speaking gently and encouragingly to a little boy. I assume it was a father and son pair.

This beautiful image of a man being nurturing to a boy seemed to trigger a memory from my own childhood. I remember this short sequence of German words my father would say to me when I was a boy. They evoked the image of riding on a horse. Of all the good memories I have of my father this one is particularly warm and playful. Despite my father's immense personal shadow he could also be kind and loving. The stark contrast between the light and darkness within him occasionally made for a very scary childhood though. The chaos in the lives of those closest to me was difficult to bear witness to. And this was especially true because I was a child as I witnessed these difficulties.

I wrote to my father earlier this year and expressed the truth that I have loved him in the past. To this day my feelings about him are still quite complex. And I feel very convinced it may remain as such for the duration of his life...and my own.

This beautiful memory came to me yesterday without me even realizing that Father's Day is just next Sunday. I might take the risk of reaching out to him again.

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