Monday, November 26, 2012

lessons from my father

Just looked at the calendar, got teary and called my brother - usually, I would have called Mum, but dates are meaningless to her now. It's November 26th, 2012; this day would have been my father's 90th birthday. Instead, he died at the very young age of 65 - 25 long years ago.

And yet - though I mourn him to the depths of my soul - his death was also my liberation. I ran into an old friend recently, and when she heard about the on-going saga with my mother in Ottawa, she told me about her many journeys to Rochester to see her mother. "When she finally died," she said, " I thought, 'I'm free!'" And like it or not, it's true. My father's death freed me to move on into a life I don't think I could have found if, with his massive presence, he had been there.

That's hard to say; even so, I say it. I love you, my father, I miss you, and I think of you tonight.

The Rob Ford saga is burning up the airwaves - of course, he's appealing the judge's decision. "I'm a fighter," he says. "The left wing wants me out of here." What a huge mess. If only he would just GO AWAY!

A treat for you, if you have the time to check CBC's Writers and Company podcasts - yesterday, Eleanor interviewed the hilarious, whiskey-voiced New York humorist Fran Leibowitz. She spoke at length about her inability to write, which she calls not writer's block but writer's blockade. "If you get the urge to write," she says, "just sit down and read a book and then it'll pass."

I pass this on to you, my students, and look with trepidation at the giant stack of books awaiting me.

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