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A letter to my Father

“For the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it must always be heard. There isn’t any other tale to tell, it’s the only light we have in all this darkness”, says James Baldwin

Dear Daddy,

I love you very much

On September 21 2019, you passed away. That morning I realized how little I knew about you or myself, and I am continuing to discover how hope helps you survive despair. Only if we could know the last time we would be in someone’s presence. It’s a banality to wish for more words after the death of a loved one, but I say it now and I hope you can still hear me. No matter how deeply I strain myself for awareness, I am always unaware of how profoundly I am changed as life has moved through me. We are all forever impermanent so through the growth and ignorance of becoming an adult I am learning to love you. I was a child the last time I seen you physically and I am beginning to forget your presence, your laugh, and the moments we did spend together involves a lot of work to remember. When your life ended, a contemptuous awareness entered into my already lonely journey.

While you lived, I was so angry at you for not being more proactive in loving me. My anger spread to everyone that made an attempt to get to know me intimately. Not the me of perfection I presented but the me that is only found in my writings, or in my bed when I am alone and when I first wake up in the morning. I hid behind my wisdom and my pain no matter what anyone did they couldn’t touch my core they couldn’t reach inside of me and affect me. You affected me when I didn’t have you there for me and I never wanted to know that longing of someone’s presence, the shame of being defeated, and the strangeness of not knowing if you would pick up the phone. I have never loved anyone more than I have loved you, and if my son has that same depth of love for me I will keep him from closing himself off from the world. You were the ruler of the world in my eyes, but a child never knows the suffering of his parents, until he is an adult of his own.

Nothing is permanent, and the desire for permanence prevents you from living a fulness of being. I did not understand this truth until I wanted to have a conversation with you. Fate thrusted itself upon me to make use of this suffering, that no discipline or distraction could take away. The more time passes the more I want you here, and I learn how paradoxical time exists, how many memories, successes and failures professionally and romantically, one can make in two years.

To continue loving someone after death is apart of grief, as the ancestors believed through alters, temples, paintings and sculptures I keep you alive. I have allowed your voice to become a guide in my quest to manhood. This does not alter the fact that I want to see you say, “I love you”. Since you have passed my eyes have become sensitive to beauty and acutely aware of the eyes of people I love. Knowing life is impermanent, my heightened sensitivity has brought out the distinctiveness of facial features. You never know the last time you will see someone, so its best to remember their scars, blemishes and their eyes.

I am not ashamed of you, “All life is sorrowful” says the Buddha. I know when you were alive we went so long without talking you did not know how to approach me, but I am not a stranger to the shame of miscommunication. Two people with history and they know about each others secrets choosing to avoid the knowledge of their secrets while attempting to have a conversation make it impossible for the people to speak one another. I understand how as time passes, your guilt and shame deepen, and it is difficult to face yourself. During that time of our mutual silence, we needed each other. I still need you and I am not ashamed. You are always going to be my father. I want to assure you I will live a life committed to my craft and developing my manhood. I have decided to become a writer and a yogi. The demands of this craft require intimacy and endurance, I have never seen anyone do it before but someone must make the commitment. I bet you are not even surprised, I have always been a little eccentric. I can not help it, I do not understand my passion for these very lonesome arts. This is the only thing I can see myself doing for the rest of my life, and I want to see where this takes me.

I have volunteered my mind and body to the evolution to humanity, by putting my fears in a language to help my comrades. This courage comes from your symbol, you are always with me and I will actively remember that. You are my father, I love you.

You are dead, but you are always with me.


Your Son, Lil Tony