Sunday, April 03, 2005

Thoughts on Fathers

Things that happened yesterday:

The Pope died.My thoughts went many places. I thought about my Catholic friends and relatives, who rejoice and mourn for their spiritual leader in a way that I don't understand but can share in empathy and respect. I thought about Annie Dillard, who became a Catholic because she loved the rich assortment of humanity in the Church, quite unlike her childhood church. I wondered if the Pope ever wanted to have a regular life, with a job and wife and kids. I also rejoiced in my faith, which does not ask me to judge others and spreads its arms wide to the mystery.

My father turned 80 years old. This is my prayer, that my love will accompany him always.

We took the kids to Edmonds to meet Rick Steves, the travel guru. He looks taller in person. His speech was about the benefits of travel, and he contrasted travel with vacations that focus on hedonism. Travel is getting to know different cultures. When he was 14, his parents took him to Norway, where he saw foreign parents adoring their children, and realized that all over the world, parents loved their children just as much as his parents loved him. This anecdote illustrated his larger point, which was our need, as wealthy citizens of the first world, to care about God's children everywhere, especially those "too tired to even swat the flies away." Our son is a great fan of Rick Steve's. Our daughter calls him Rick Syrup.

I finished reading "Gilead" by Marilynne Robinson. It's a book about fathers and sons, and it's lovely and luminous and full of grace. There is a balm in Gilead. This is one of those books that could change your life.

6 comments:

  1. I was not invited to ... a dinner at my younger brother's house

    Have you asked your brother why he did not invite you. Ask him! What if you had went there without invitation?

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  2. I was told it was an "oversight." Yes, I could have arrived without an invitation, but that would have required powers of divination (to determine the time and place) that I am completely lacking.

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  3. I was told it was an "oversight."

    Sorry my bad english, but do you write badly about your younger brother? You write some things what you have been told. Is this Ok towards your brother? Is it this way it is teached in the Bible? (I am also younger brother but I live in Finland so I am maybe not yours younger brother, still I would feel sad if my sister would write badly about me in the net. I am happy my sister not writing about me in the net! But she says it to me!) (Learn some finish: Kun veljesi rikkoo sinua vastaan ...)

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  4. 18:15 Moreover if thy (younger) brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

    (Friendly; Do this if you love your little brother)

    Happy summertime to you!

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  5. Does Scripture prescribe what an anonymous blogger ought or ought not say on an anonymous blog regarding anonymous relatives who may or may not have trespassed, depending on their intentions, which are unknown to the anonymous blogger? I think not.
    But if I thought my family was being harmed by this blog, I would delete it.
    I appreciate your concern, my Finnish friend. Please respect the complexity of my experience.

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  6. Those who have never walked this path will never understand the "subtle and complex" way the shun works. Please folks, don't judge free2beme's feelings or response to her exclusion. Unless you yourself have been shunned, you will never understand. How do you "overlook" your own sibling for your parent's "big" birthday celebration. Oversight? I think not! Deliberate exclusion as is the way with OALC.

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