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June 16, 2002
One in a Long LineYesterday I wrote of my conversation with the Goddess, but today is Fatherís Day, and the masculine case cannot be ignored. The Goddess is a corrective in our culture, and if Iíve sought Her out, it may be an index of my alienation. Regardless, the spiritual dialectic of our sexual dimorphism requires of us some relation to the male God; the one that we meet first as the Father.
When I recall my late father, he is a reminder that I have less than fulfilled my own relationship to maleness. I cannot see the future, but it seems increasingly unlikely that I will ever be a father, and in me his line is at an end. I cannot see the future, but I can see the past, locked in a photograph from his estate. There he is with his father; one of two grandfathers I never knew. Both died while my parents were yet young. It must be the early 1920ís, while the century was yet young, perhaps on Sugar Island, near Sault Sainte Marie, where he was born in 1919.
They stand on a dock.
All his life, my Father stood on the dock. He was a fisherman, though not a fancy one; maybe a rowboat on occasion, but mostly standing on the dock, casting towards a receding horizon. And he stood on the dock and saw his loved ones off, and for some of us, he was there to pick us up when we got back.
Now there is a horizon between us.
He gazes out into the water, but it is in the nature of a child to be distracted; it is the duty of a man to face the camera, like my grandfather, dapper in his summer whites and straw boater. I look at my father, and imagine that I can see in the child something of the man that I knew. And I look at my grandfather, and I wonder what of him there is in me.
I have loosed myself from the moorings where most of men have docked. Such power to create as I posses passes into words and images, not into flesh.
I do not grudge the choice.
Still, it seems I have unfinished business with the Father; to somehow bring Him forth, whose absence in me mirrors my own fatherís death.
If I would not be an empty mirror, I must reflect His image.
For I am a man, if not a father, and that, I think, will make me a better man.
I say this as a servant of the Goddess, nor does She forget, that for every one of Her children, there is also a Father, in a line that has not failed yet.