Saturday, June 15, 2013

Dear Dad

Father's Day 2013

Dear Dad,

You probably don't remember how once when I was a young woman you gave me a letter.  It was written in black ink on a folded up piece of lined paper, your own angled penmanship.  It wasn't a long note, taking up only one side of the page, but it lacked nothing.  

I still have that letter, Dad.

Why have I kept it all these years, you ask?  Because the sentiments contained in those handwritten words forged a treasure I'd long chased after.  It was a pearl you handed me, and to this day its worth remains as great.  

Perhaps it is the same with others, perhaps not, but it seems to me that as children we crave from our mother her love most of all—absolute comfort, affection, and acceptance.   But from our father it is his approval so desperately sought after—honest praise, acknowledgement, and affirmation.  We run crying to our mother when things go wrong, 'Mommy, Oh Mommy!', trusting that she will do everything in her power to make it all better.  However, when things go rightwhen we seek affirmation for a job well doneit is our father we look to.  'Do you like it, Daddy?'  'Are you well pleased?' 

That stamp of approval is not always easy to come by.  It is something to be earned.  Maybe that is why, like a pearl, it is a treasure to cherish.

And so, Dad, I do carry that letter with me even years after raining tears of joy over the initial reading.  It empowered me then, and it empowers me still today when I read those words of acknowledgement and approval...and love.

Thank you for believing in me.
Thank you for being proud of me.
Thank you for bolstering me.
And especially, thank you for taking a moment to compose that rare but invaluable letter and letting me know.  It still means the world to me.  

I thought you should know.
Happy Father's Day, Dad.  

Saturday, June 1, 2013

A Tormented Writer

" I long for a writer's soul 
sealed in ink on the page." 

Someone described a writer's world as tormented, and I had to laugh.  A tormented writer?  I wouldn't have put those two words together.  

Emotions have the power to torment a soul, yes, I agree to that.  But writers, through the formation of our characters, delve so often into the depths of a vast range of emotions that we earn the advantage.  For we've examined every little thrumming, fracture, spark, pang, and darkening of the heart to a point that we recognize and appreciate the necessity and strength of emotions as well as the cause and effects manipulating them.  

We anticipate.  
We envision.  
We understand.  

Our knowledge is power over the torment of emotional ignorance.  
I would suggest that those truly tormented are the readers of our works because those poor souls shall never know with such clarity and sentiment all the tiny little details that make our characters breath, move, and live before our very eyes.  

Perhaps, if torment does lurk among writers, it comes simply through knowing more about an imagined friend than can ever be adequately expressed in words.

"There is nothing to writing. 
All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."