|This Man (standard:non fiction, 630 words)|
|Author: E J Woodall||Added: Sep 18 2002||Views/Reads: 1806/1||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A short story about Dad.|
When I was born, I met this man who I regarded as a figure of greatness. He was older than me, much older I hasten to add and appeared to successfully carry the weight of the world upon his strong shoulders. Little did I know that he would one day drop that weight. When he lifted me up to the never-ending sky on those shoulders, I too, was part of that grown up world, of responsibilities and knowledge. It was this greatness that collapsed when I came of age and became part of the cruel world he was already in. He painted the world for me in colour with his articulate skills of the paintbrush, a certain vibrancy that I would never forget. The long words in my books he would decipher and interpret for me as I learnt to read. Poems that allowed me to understand the world would come from his bearded mouth. He was a teacher by profession, but he had a more important job, he taught me. This man looked down upon me and always has, but now through distorted glasses, broken glasses that one day would be fixed. But his blue-washed eyes remained the same and the crows feet imprints at the side of his eyes were still there, but languid. From day one, our minds intrinsically inform us that we should live our lives as fully as possible. Suffering is also part of the package; a suffering that I thought this strong, self-controlled, respected man could cope with. But the Truth is, our bodies are as strong as pencil leads. Strong enough to function well, but with too much pressure, can break easily. We are not as robust as we would like to think we are. Pencils can be sharpened, so can the mind with a little support and practice, I believe this man pushed the pencil a little too hard on the rotten, torn pages of life. I often watched him in his greenhouse tending to the full tomatoes teetering on the edge of the vines waiting to be plucked by Man's hands. Greenhouses, for all their transparency, are a fallacy, for I did not see what was coming to that man. I did not look far enough. When I watched this man work in his shed, I did not see properly inside, I merely peered through the fake glass. Oh, that shed was a hive of creativity. That shed (although it was a different one when I was five years old) bore witness to the first ceramic pot I threw on the wheel. The shed resembled everything this man was. In the shed was a wheel, a kiln, a crammed bookshelf, various creations, photographs of us, drawings of us (always a computer) and of course a huge black spider which I frequently asked him to remove for my own selfish fear of the insects. Now the shed is stale, the smell of creativity, of acrylic paints is tarnished. Faint, encrusted smears of PVA glue are still present, but the consistency of life is not present for the time being. (I don't like to use the word Never, for I believe the existence of the shed will come to life again) I notice the thick, green opaque ash tray becoming full of burnt tobacco, callously tapped out from the age old pipe. The smell of Clan still fills the air as my Father continues to smoke his favourite tobacco. I will not accept that my Father's head is still not whirring from the cogs of creativity that fill everyday life, and more. I won't accept that this is it for him. This man, my Father, is a continuing omni-presence in my life, and his disassociation with his own life is never an encumbrance. Tweet
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