The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I am...a father

I Am…

A Father.  Tananarive spent the night with her sister, at a cozy little hideaway in Beverly Hills. I  came home to keep the fires burning.  Woke up at about 5 this morning, feeling rested, and began to meditate.

I am…wow, all of the crap started bubbling up: anger, disappointment, ear, sexual adventurism (how do you like THAT euphemism?) and resentment…

And then, glimpses of light. Ahhhhhh.

I did a signing yesterday, and during my talk with the audience (tiny, but attentive and interactive and greatly appreciated) I spoke of a Chinese Puzzle Ball, you know, one of those games where you revolve wooden shells to create a direct path through the balls, large enough to accept a dowel.  I said that creativity is much like this.  We have to arrange our lives and days and consciousness to allow our true selves to emerge. And that true self is pure creative lava.

Touching that place within me was wonderful…and then Jason began to wake up.  “Mommy…Daddy…Mommy…Daddy…” he isn’t really quite awake yet, just preparing to enter the day.  His sleeping consciousness is reaching out to the people who  love him.  Mommy.  Daddy.  Sister.  It is what he knows, and all that keeps him alive. 

Yesterday he was “bad” at day care. One of the hardest things I do in life is pretending to be angry for this.  Is punishing him, whether with looks, words or what I refer to as “talking directly to his nervous system”.  Ahem.  I remember that one of the happiest days of my life was the moment I realized that Nicki, at 7, was old enough to reason with, and that I would never have to spank her again.  WOW I’ll be glad to hit that point with Jason.  He needs me.

And he needs me to be me.  Really me.  Not the wounds, the pain, the hopes and dreams, the resentments and fears.  Me.  Nothing else will see him through.

When he sees me, all he sees is the potential of life.  The possibility of growth.  His hero.  He does not see my flaws and failings…not yet.  Time enough for that, God knows.  If I love him, and I do, I must be the very best I can be.  No.  I have to be better than the best “I” can be. The perceived limitations of ego cannot be allowed to define my existence.

So, every day I have to clear my mind, stress and rest my body, work at my chosen profession, hug my children, tell my wife I love her, cling to the path of self-discovery, and give myself away as much as I can.  Every day is one day less to do what I came here to do.

And in one very important sense, I came here to be a father.

No comments: