fresh perspective through the words of a stranger: my father

my mother just gave me a very interesting gift. it’s a treasure actually… my father’s journal from when he was 19… ironic considering the last blog i wrote touched on the subject of the importance of journaling and how it can be such a great tool for self reflection. it’s fascinating to me, exploring the mind of a man that i don’t really feel i know that well, my father. granted this is just a snippet of who he is… but it gave me more compassion for him… though i don’t know him that well i do have respect for his privacy so i won’t divulge everything- just show what i learned about him through reading the journal…many entries depict that the world was against him (sadness, disappointment, frustration, angst)… some entries seem perhaps spiritual (though he seemed very agnostic when i was growing up)…he even had a page where he wrote down positive and negative comments about his guitar playing (maybe to help inspire him? or give him perspective?)… there are lyrics in the book too- one that refers to “the green God of power” (aka money) -interesting to see that his relationship with money changed so much over the years… he went from condemnation to it being his primary focus… beyond family and beyond his own dreams of music…his ambition for what he thought was “success” at the time was great, it seemed to consume him… he wanted more in his life… there are beautiful rays of hope as well… in consideration to the nay-sayers or to the haters (as we call them today).. he wrote “you must pay them no heed. they know not themselves! they know not you! they know not! continue to work, push, strive, and at long last if you succeed in your wishes, you shall know it was worth it, if you should fail be not bitter… for you have a very keen sight while they are almost blind to the truth of the world.” my dad never said things like that to me.. lol. it’s refreshing to read the words of this stranger. in regards to my dream of singing he said, “maybe you’ll make it, you seem more hell bent on it than i did.” very different than the young man in the notebook… i wonder if that man is still inside of him? i wonder if he still feels that way and just doesn’t articulate it?… he talked of this eternal struggle.. of wanting to leave his mark on the world, of helping others… yet he became consumed by something that is unknown to me…something that made him become isolated from not only my life but from the world.

though there were some dark moments from my childhood and adult life with him (see poem for papa) or (be yourself and liberate the world) … there are great things about him as well… he is brilliant (a genius inventor, he’s had over 20 patents), he’s super hard working, a self made man (first one to go to college in his family and become a prominent business man), he can be witty and charming, he’s a gifted musician, disciplined (he used to practice 8 hours a day on the guitar)… he taught me how to tell time, ride my bike, ski, and load shot gun shells (don’t ask)… and probably passed on some of his rebellious nature to me as well (i consider that a positive too 🙂 )… i’m sending him love… i’m happy that my mother saved the notebook… it’s giving me a fresh perspective… though he still remains a mystery to me… well, we are mysteries to ourselves in many ways… it has impacted me in a precious way- seeing his vulnerability. i don’t know if my father will ever be in my life again. but i feel it’s important for me to see him in various lights… human beings are deep and complex… and this is part of my journey in this lifetime- having this experience with him… and i’m grateful for it’s part of why i am who i am today.

Bella age 5

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3 thoughts on “fresh perspective through the words of a stranger: my father

  1. megan says:

    one of my most treasured things in my life is my grandpa’s (dad’s dad) journal from when he was in the military. i couldn’t believe how similar our writing styles were. it was like reading my own writing. it was an amazing experience and gift.

  2. Aneesah says:

    Wow! Gaining perspective is so healthy for the heart.
    Glad you got to read your father’s thoughts 🙂 Especially when you don’t always hear them.

    btw, the pic of you is so F**Kin cute! you look exactly the same! Except now you have more junk in the trunk lol

    luv ya!

  3. The Duchess says:

    this was beautiful love. how unique an experience to read what a parent was thinking, going through, where they had been in their own lives at a time.

    and I’m echoing Aneesah’s sentiment, that is the freaking cutest little picture ever. You are adorable!!

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