Originally posted Monday, October 29, 2007
A Young Gentleman’s Primer
Well HOW are ya? I confess I think the title tells you everything you need to know about this blog, but here’s another ADD version: I became a dad 4 (now 7) years ago. Now I’m a dad twice over! And I’m getting divorced.
I’m over-educated, raised by a single mom who fights the good fight for public education teachers. My own dad I have not seen since 1994, and it had been since 1977 before that. He’s an artist. But more on him later. Though I was not ready in very particular ways for kids, I had a built-in component that bade me throw more or less my whole being into the task of fathering.
So the blog is what the title says.
In addition to the Greatest Hits of Fatherhood and Parenting in general that you likely know of — the unexpected detaching diaper! the kiddie’s first taste of ice-cream! the discovery of their own toes! (the coolness of seeing which is not to be understated), the raw animal realness of birth! the laughter! the tears! — my personal journey of fatherhood has included bonus features like The 1000-page book shredded by hand, the Night in Jail, the Fakest Voice in the World and oh, soooo many more. I will, of course, share Touching Moments, Light-Hearted Goofs, but this is more a forum for me to share the journey I’ve taken through the Archetypal Wonderland of 1000 Faces and to do so using various nifty toolboxes I’ve sort of informally combined and might call semiotical poetics. But tell me if you like poetical semiotics better. :-)
Into the Rabbit Hole we go…
I launch this Fatherhood blog with a poem I wrote for a friend who became a father as we neared the end of our time in college, a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away from Planet Here and Now. And yet….by the gift of being very close to this friend (“very close” I define as having logged a lot of hours together no where else but here and now) as he swam in those first few months that are life with a newborn, I thought about my dad, who bagged out, another friend’s dad, who did the same, and riffed on the names of this friend in question who’d just become a father and his girlfriend (the new mom, back in 1994).
for M and M & B
Children come through you —
not from you.
When Jack the Heart-Hunter
heard his whole hell hoo-hoo’d
by Horace the Owl, whole
hoards of hessians hushed
as they rushed from his heart to
and back again —
He was a father.
A generation of himself meshed
tighter than any chain with that
of his hitherto separate heart.
Yes, a new person is borne through
the ancient ancient canal — the original third eye
the vertical eye opens wide and
bears that new synthesis of
a thousand-fold previous syntheses.
He was a father.
“I’m not gonna be a dick” says he.
“Love always and forever” says he…
“our child our son…” he said.
It’s not just a job, it’s a do —
only he can say to himself
“It’s your do and your job” — and be heard.