Sunday, June 15, 2014

Les dimanches en musique #8

Our sweetheart MJ, on her Father's Day post, has asked her devoted followers who always read her blog in full nudity, what did our fathers teach us (besides armpits farts).

I must admit that her question stopped me right in my tracks. I thought about it for a few minutes and couldn't come up with an answer. Isn't there anything at all my father taught me that turned out to be useful in my life. I most certainly sure there is. But I can't still put my finger on it.

Dad and I have never seen eye to eye. What a dissapointment it must have been for him that is only son didn't like sports, didn't punch back whenever kids bullied him in school, a boy who was mostly passive, who threw the ball "like a girl raised in a patriarchal society that doesn't let women play baseball!"

A sissy boy I was. Un fif.

He did his best to straighten me up until mom told him to leave me alone. Mom was never good at standing up for herself but when it came to her kids, nobody, not even God could have touched them.

Dad was not violent (althought there was a lot of violence in him). He was not a brute. He was just a control maniac, a manipulator and a compulsive liar. One day he could be the greatest guy in the world and the next day, the biggest asshole.

A good man he was (to the eyes of everyone else). Worked hard, paid all the bills, put food on the table, send my sister and I to the best schools (so he taught). He was also very religious. He would never miss the Sunday mass and was involved in the administration of our church. And there was no way his kids would miss the mass too. When I got 18 years old, I decided that I wouldn't go to church anymore. He wasn't pleased with that obviously, but again, mom "got in the way":

"If he doesn't want to go to church, it only means that we were not good example enough".

And dad never said anything after.

When I got home with my first (and last) piercing (the left ear), he didn't openly dissaproved but mentioned in a condencending tone how foolish I was to mutilate myself. To this I replied: "Well, you had me circumcised at birth, didn't you? How do you call that". My mom laughed so loud and dad knew he had lost the battle.

No. Dad and I never got along. I could see how mom was saddened by this so I tried to keep my relationship with him as smooth as possible. I would learned later on that she did the same thing for the entire 41 years of their marriage. "I knew I had made a mistake but I also had two kids and I did all I could so they would not pay for my mistake"


To make the story short, I haven't seen my father since the year 2000. I cannot say that I miss him. It took me almost 25 years to heal. Today I'm fine. I've made peace with the past and I got rid of all anger, resentment and bitterness. Dad did what he could with what he had received. He could have done more. Why he didn't is out of my reach and I don't have time to waste trying to understand.

The only thing that matters is me, right here and right now. I am not the product of my past, because the past doesn't exist: it's an illusion. I don't deny the memory of the past but I don't want to live there.

And I've still got no idea what my father could have taught me.

But I do know what another man has taught me. A man who did for me what my father was unable to do: teach me to trust myself and not be afraid. Michel taught me that I had to become my own father, my own mother, my own teacher, my own best friend. That all the answers lie deep within myself and that if I'm careful enough, if I bring my anger to silence, I would hear the voice of my soul showing me the way, my way. He taught me that the world is my canvas on which I have to paint my own masterpiece: my life. (I know I've said it before and I'm going to say it again)

Today, my thoughts go to this wonderful man who never stopped believing in me until the end.

So here's a song to all of those who, although they found it hard to live without that special person, still wake up every morning smiling and do everything they can to make the rest of the world smile with them.

Unchained Melody, Jimmy Scott (1925-2014) (bio)