This is somewhat typical of my conversations with my son. The young man. The high school graduate. The one about to quest onward into the rest of his life. The boy with a geographically challenged father-son relationship. The one with a wide, wide, tender heart, trying to come to terms with the world, on his own terms.
Perhaps we are all doing that.
Yet another Father’s Day has come, this one in conjunction with summer solstice. It is somehow fitting that the sun, a symbolically male energy, would be paired with the day celebrating what could essentially be viewed as a man’s accomplishment of siring offspring.
Popping out children into the world isn’t hard. Don’t kid yourself, though – good parenting is, although our individual views of what that entails varies wildly depending upon cultural, socio-economic and philosophical adherences. It’s fascinating, really.
Unwittingly, we pass along to our children the best and worst parts of ourselves; they are formed by both, the cycle perpetuates itself.
The best we can do – at least the best that I can do – is to attempt to be as unobtrusive an influence as possible so that he can, within the safety net of the family home, find his own way.
There are many things I wish.
I wish I would have taught him to be closer to the earth, and more in tune with the natural world.
The unnatural one, too. The one that sits in your belly and helps steer your way.
It’s hard to teach that without sounding woo-woo. Woo-woo was a bad word in our household when our family was still intact, probably mostly because I engaged with it.
Me, with my crystals and my incense burning, trying to find a healing way as much for myself as for others. To them I was just weird, not wyrd, if you know what I mean.
This mirrored much of the dynamic of my childhood. My mother was the one who was the skeptic while my father remained noncommittal.
No opinion was better than a verbal debate with my mother, yet we both read Ouspensky, Rampa, Crowley and Castaneda. He still offered little in the way of commentary, but I felt a sort of silent solidarity with my father.
I’m pretty sure my father was never really shown how to be a father, by way of a proper example, and his early life experiences shaped him (or misshaped him).
The gift my father brought to me, in the end, was that of redemption. I can’t explain what I mean by that without dragging the whole of my family dirty laundry out into the open. Suffice it to say that I believe that my father’s actions, throughout most of my life unto his passing, were a quiet attempt at redemption. I have no doubt that he suffered. Guilt erodes us from the inside.
His passing, when I was 27, punched a hole into our enmeshed little lives. It changed the dynamic and created a vortex for me to exit through. And I did. It was long overdue. I was, however, so very unprepared for what that exit entailed. It has been a long journey. I am still journeying.
Perhaps we all are.