Sunday, June 16, 2013

There's a story.

I've waited all day to give life to these words.  Physically, my fingers spent most of my early morning alone with the weight of this image in their possession. Before the rest of my house awoke from their slumber, I spent my minutes magically staring into the end result of Mom behind the lens.  There's not one corner of this photograph that my eyes have not poured over.  Invested in the outcome of then, I have taken such delight in this captured treasure.

Time and schedules have a way of moving.  Don't they though?  And, by mid-morning, my physical presence was procured away in proximity from this image focused onto film.  But, my mind held a steadfast clamp on this scene above.  Today I searched all about him.  Today I remembered and reminded myself of the he who he is.  I settled into my Dad and stayed right by him all day.

There's a story.  And, I want to tell it.  For this story is everything the man my Dad is to me.  This story sits inside this photograph rich and content as if it has no desire to leave this hallowed space & time.  But, telling it is where the beauty of my Dad begins.  

The setting was around Thanksgiving as I am wearing my Indian headdress freshly fashioned from Mrs. Carlton's 1980 Kindergarten class.  {a special thank you to Jason Lemming who secretly cut for me during craft time as I was left handed before the world of Crayola thought of inventing left handed scissors}  My brother and I are standing in chairs.  We always stood in chairs when Dad was in the kitchen cooking.  The brown bucket is the same bucket we used to wash our dogs, Pete and Muffin.  The fresh flowers in the vase were a normalcy in our home.  Dad made sure that Mom had fresh flowers in her kitchen.  They were never the custom ordered flower shop variety, but more the ones found in the local grocery store.  He would arrange them always just for her.  The kitchen.  It used to be  the carport.  My Dad's 2 hands alone transformed it into a more useful space for our family.  He worked tirelessly after long hours at work and school to make this dream a reality for us.  The curtains were sewn by Mom.  They were the same curtains that hung in the Volkswagon bus that brought me home from a Colorado hospital 5 years prior.   His watch.  It hangs on the knob of the cabinet.  Free from pumpkin guts and water spills and cleverly placed for viewing sake; my Dad is adeptly skilled in resourceful maneuvers of the simplest things. 

My brother is to my left.  He's the one manning the wooden spoon with the big metal pot {insert loud banging here}.  I have no doubt music surrounds us in addition to the ad hoc orchestra-of-one to my left.  Possibly Jim Croce or Gordon Lightfoot.  Dan Folgeberg or John Prine.  

Then there's him.  A picture of absolute happiness.  You can feel it before you see it when your eyes take gaze.  He knows it too.  Suited in his white t-shirt and worn Levi jeans sans one pocket, peace & joy radiate from his face.  Pumpkin gutting and with us.  His face sends out signals as if to say everything in the world I need is right here.  In this kitchen.  

This image is so much a part of his DNA to me.  It is work and joy and love and doing and together.  It is cleverness and romance, resourcefulness and simplicity too.  It is laughter and living.  He embodies all that this reflection of light can withstand to hold.  The story of this image has seeped out of this hallowed one dimensional space and run rampant through me all day.  

Today I searched him. Even though physically we were not together on this 24 hour vigil set aside for Fathers, I settled into my Dad and stayed right beside him all day. He is light.  He is hope.  He is stronger than he realizes in the story of me.  

Thank you for your kindness and for making my socks feel just right on my little girl feet.  Thank you for my "apple or orange?" in the morning and for falling asleep on the floor by my bed reading me Cinderella. Thank you for telling me I would die if I ate the center of a donut and for showing me the power of a smile.  

Today I settled into you and stayed right beside you all day.

I love you, 

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