Three weeks ago, I received a letter from my father. Two weeks ago, I received another letter from him. Two days ago, a third note arrived. The content is not what is important…more so, my reaction.
Sometimes at a certain age or time people stop, look in the mirror, and with shudders of recognition pronounce “I am becoming my…!” For me, the recognition came in reading the notes. If you knew me, heard me, read me…and then read these folded samples of my father’s ruminations, there would be zero doubt of my 100 % direct genetic descent. The structure of his sentences, the dry straightforward delivery of humor that assumes the reader will either get it and laugh—or not, the word choice, even the selection of events he highlights…in the case of his second letter, his role in live-trapping a 500 pound black bear. It’s a story that took a page and three-quarters—I’ll save the details and simply say that it was an issue of public safety that led to it.
When I read his words, written by hand on notebook paper, I found myself looking into that mirror. We were both looking back—not the same person, but two faces superimposed with distinct but overlapped features. This was not a shock to me—in an inexplicable sort of way, it was actually a comfort to find so definitively someone else you recognize as part of you. It was especially important to me that I recognized it in his writing…something I see as such an extension of my thoughts and contemplations.
There are pages of reasons why the likelihood of this ever having occurred are rare. There are paragraphs of reasons why the connection I feel is not more complete. But to know that we are bound in our use of Word, in one of the ways we convey our take on the world…that is a thread that reaches not only the pen in my hand, but that tugs on my heart as well.