Friday, June 16, 2006
Happy Father's Day, Dad
As a child, had I heard "My father can kick your father's butt" on the playground, perhaps I would have replied with; "Yeah, but my father can build a bird house or paint a six foot high canvas, or build a clay bank around a blown up balloon!" Because my father could certainly do all that and more. He could build things, grow things, paint things, imagine things. And yet, he was also a businessman. His hair never grew beyond his collar, I never saw him wear a pair of sandals, and although interested in athletics, he probably wouldn't have been caught dead in a yoga class. So one of the best gifts he gave me was the shattering of the "artistic" stereotype. In watching my father be a tie wearing commuter, a planter,a successful businessman, a sculptor, a painter, a leader, I formed the belief that those abilities lay within all of us, including me.
My father taught me that creativity is a verb. It's not something you possess or try to own--it is an action, a movement, a decision to make something new appear in the world.
My father taught me that work of any kind is joyful. That life is about the business of doing. That anything worth doing is certainly worth doing well. That when you do something, you gain satisfaction in the knowledge that you did your best: and that other people's opinions about what you did-good or bad- don't matter at all. That esteem lies in the amount of effort put forth.
To this day, my father is sometimes frustrated by my penchant for hyperbole. He is exasperated by my tendency to revise history, to lean towards the dramatic, to write my present story with a slant and to bend and weave facts in a manner that pleases me. Things that I do, this blog included, will puzzle him. He will wonder why I felt a need to publicly share all of the above.
At which point, he may likely blame my mother and her side of the family.
Nevertheless, Dad, I am proud to be your daughter. Happy Father's Day!