A New Springtime
Writing goes through peaks and troughs; and it has to wait its turn amid the tasks of family life, and the unexpected – and predictable – shocks that flesh is heir to.
My dad comes in for a bit of stick in my memoir. And yet, where he might have cause to be upset and to take me to task, he has responded with grace and kindness to everything I have written. He took issue with one outline of a situation, which was useful since he prompted me to re-think and re-write much more realistically. For the rest, I was writing what I remembered, and tried to do that as honestly as I could. Honesty, of course, if it is genuine, is a two edged sword, as cutting against the writer as against any of the other protagonists. That is my hope, that my honesty salvages what could be a maudlin reflection of what I should have done better, into something more worthwhile. And, these days, I like to take my gazillion mistakes and turn them into useful fodder for reflection and, of course, writing.
Dad had given me so many gifts: a quirky sense of humour, an appreciation of classical music, a delight in bright colours, big skies, foreign places and hot climes, an awareness of different cultural approaches, a delight in travel and an awareness of my good fortune. All of these gifts have underpinned my days with the recognition of how beautiful life is, and can be, if we allow it to be.
I am travelling to Belgium next weekend, when I hope to see dad and tell him some of this. Even if I don’t have that opportunity, I hope he knows how much I love him.