Monday, September 17, 2012
Conversation with my Dad
Yesterday, after work, I had a long conversation with my Dad. It really helped me get a mind wrap around many of the things that I am facing in life right now and puzzling over. It started off normally, for us, that is. I broached the concept and question of each civilization during its epoch or pinnacle of greatness only being able to sustain its standard of technology and progress as long as its internal infrastructure and social support structures were intact. When these begin to crumble, so does its level of attainment or achievement, ending in some type of decay, then dissolving to its lowest common denominator in order to produce a base standard of existence. The whole cycle starts again and we see the rise and fall of another civilization. (Believe me when I say this is completely normal conversation for us to fall into while watching a horrible game performance by the Kansas City Chiefs. We are just a strange breed, my family.)
I was speaking directly about technology and its contribution to the last 150 years of known human history and the change it has wrought in our daily lives, singularly and corporately, but our conversation and communication then took a turn towards the metaphorical, spiritual and intellectual. I will not go into great lengths about what we discussed, but we certainly touched on some broad themes that I have been exploring internally and it was encouraging to know that I am not alone in my own personal examination of life and where I fit in, particularly when it comes to matter of faith, citizenship, education and politics. My Dad has been on much the same journey over these last ten years himself.
We share much in common besides our own familial DNA, so much so that I am bound by time to say that it is intriguing to me, how two men, separated in so many respects by our mutual divergent and convergent personal histories, can arrive at many of the same conclusions after personal introspection, research and examination. Our agreement we find, while not ensuring that we are by any means correct, at least shows that the varied thoughts we have about history, science, education, life, faith, family and personal choices still follow a pattern recognizable to each other and we can communicate about such similarities and differences with a mutual respect and insatiable curiosity for our own truth, as it were.
What we discussed, though important to us, and possibly enlightening to others, is not what my mind is drawn to this morning, but rather the friendship and connection we have as family. as father and son, as friends and as men. I am continually amazed and thankful often for the relationship we have built over all of these years. I was prompted by a friend, who also reads here, to continue a follow up on my Dad and his life, as I started one day, and I think that is a good idea that I need to follow through on. "Write what you know" has always served me as good advice. Anyway, my Dad is on my mind and I love him and respect him for who he is and all he has done. I can honestly say we have grown up and grown together since I returned from the Navy and while none of it has been easy, it certainly has been rewarding and enriching. I know many of my friends who cannot say the same of their fathers, so thanks Dad. I love you and always look forward to spending time together and solving all of the worlds problems another one of our long conversations that I am sure sounds like a crazy argument and fight to anyone who does not know us well. :)
The other thing that ran across my mind as I was making my coffee was circles of friends, people groups, or the different spheres of individuals who make up all the compartments and overlapping circles of our lives. I am now running out of time but this is something that is currently changing in my life. There is of course the circle that included my last relationship, his friends, our friends, our mutual friends and the other couples we spent time with. Those tend to change, fade and dissolve when the relationships ends. Then there are the groups of people at the two churches I had spent time with over the last 5 years. As my presence is no longer with them, also too the bonds of time shared, communication and activity cease. What I do in my free time is also shifting slowly and I find myself no longer spending much time at the clubs, bars and restaurants owned by my different friends here in the city. The things we held in common are slowly shifting and I see less of them, as I choose to fill my time with other productive pursuits that do not revolve around the social scene and community involvement.
Everything is changing. Everything does change. It just seems that much of it is happening more quickly, almost as if time is being compressed and my daily and weekly life appears much different to me now. The faces are not the same. The places are not the same. Nothing is the same. What this transition is, I am not sure, but I know it is a natural part of life. We all grow in different directions and I feel being able to let go of the past, while preserving the lessons learned and the friendships worth keeping, is part of maturing and intentional selective living.
That is all I have time for. I need to get some more coffee in me and hit the shower. Today is my "Friday" and after today, I will enjoy two days off. Hopefully I can get back here, as the muse strikes and share whatever else comes to mind. Have a great Monday, wherever and whoever you are. It was a great weekend. I wonder what's in store for today?
PS: The picture is the best one I have ever taken of my father. We were at my coffee shop and I was able to snap it while he was looking out a window. I am glad I got a capture of him, one of my favorite people, at one of my favorite places. He means the world to me.