Writing About My Father, Day 17
As I try to write about my father, he feels like a ghost, like someone who I’ve never quite caught hold of. I grasp him quite tightly yet my palms remain empty. He is like a spirit animal best seen only in dreams. I do not know how to flesh him out. There is no anecdote, no family story that might light him up like a strong bulb in a bare room. My father is nothing but corners and shadows. I have studied the wrong things. Perhaps if I was a mapmaker or a private detective or even the grumpy attendant presiding over the lost-and-found box at the movie theater like a wish-granting pasha. perhaps with binoculars or a telescope or a different pair of eyes (the ones I have can’t bring anything into focus) I could see who my father is. Harper Lee thinks you cannot know a man till you walk a mile in his shoes. But what if he won’t lend you his shoes or your feet are too small, powerless to kick them into motion? What then? I am left shoeless, blind, my father a cliche of sand trickling through my fingers.