Your Father has not always been the virtue. He's not always been the vice. He's always been somewhere between both of those things.
He's not unique in that. He's the bell curve. He's Soy Happy Vacant. Like Everybody Else.
But I'm your Father.
So listen this time.
Life is fucked up. There are days when we fall asleep content and fulfilled and there are days when we don't fall asleep at all. We all set out on this journey without a map, without a course of guidelines, without a damn compass, even.
Regardless, we all set out. We had no choice.
I want to tell you about a stream. It meanders just north of here. It pushes up out of the ground and cascades its way over rocks and drops. It pushes everything it has ever been, down. Gravity makes sure of that. It constantly tries to find its way. That is its purpose. That is what it does Best.
But it is so much more pure than you will ever be. And it has no will.
You can't waste your time trying to be like that stream. You'll never achieve that. The best you can do is try to be the leaf that floats atop it, finding its own way down.
You'll end up stuffed up against a piece of limestone, that's a given. You'll end up mired in a pool of stagnant muck, that's a given. You'll end up clinging to a piece of bloated wood, that's a given.
But eventually all of those things will give way and you'll find yourself swift with intention.
So don't worry about the muddy shore, the proud stone, the circling pool, or the broken branches.
In the end you'll either wind up a dried out fragment of what you once were, on some creek bank, or you'll end up bloated and slowly tearing apart... beneath the crushing depths.
Both are Honorable Ends... as long as you appreciate the Ride.
Ever After never cared about You... so don't care about It.
I want you to see this. I know it's pretty but I want you to See It. I want you to realize, recognize, rationalize, and be humbled at how insignificant and isolated and how profoundly beautiful you Are.
I want you to know that those fragile little beats, of that fragile little heart, in that fragile little body, on this fragile little globe, in this fragile little galaxy, amidst this ever after Universe... mean Everything.
Because without those beats, without that heart, without that body, without this globe, without this galaxy, and without this ever after Universe... those fragile little beats wouldn't Be.
I want to tell you something. Something you need to hear but won't enjoy learning.
When your Mom left, over the course of that year and a half where you were shuttled back and forth, every week, to spend seven days with Me and seven days with Her, I got lonely.
I've heard it said that the nights are the toughest but that wasn't the case for me. The nights were the easy part. The mornings were the misery.
When you wake up in a house that once was a home and the rooms sit vacant and apathetic to your gaze, your mind entertains itself with all sorts of fancy. What could I have done, what could She have done, what could We have done, etc.
There is nothing more emptying to see than a child's bed unoccupied and sounds of that child vacant throughout the house when a Father wakes in the morning. It's crushing. It's absolute.
During the weeks when you were gone I would pass my evenings drinking alcohol, as much as I could hold in. It made time vanish. It made me hope. False dreams built upon a very real catalyst. Eventually, I would bid the night adieu and find rest on the couch. I never slept in the bed after your Mom left. It felt foreign to my skin.
On particularly tough mornings I would listen to Kris Kristofferson's music while I prepared for the day and fantasize about what life would not be like if I were here. The 38 that my father gave me when I moved to Georgia became a constant companion. I always had it nearby. Just waiting for that moment of acceptance, I suppose. Waiting to wave goodbye to the walls.
Obviously that moment never arrived. It tried to, I think, but I always found a reason. Two, actually.
The funny thing about a gun, something I never really knew, is that if you hold a gun without intent... it's just like holding anything else. But if you hold a gun with intent... it gets so damn heavy in your hand.
I think that's because you're not just holding a weapon but you're holding your entire life.
I say all of this because I made a promise to myself when both of you were born that I would never, ever, lie to you about who I am. I have not. I will not.
I want you to know that sometimes it's OK to give up. Sometimes it's OK to lose.
Sometimes, for reasons unknown to you, foreign even, people come into your life for a reason. It could be a stranger on the street, it could be a marketer on the phone, it could even be a glance into the eyes of an occupant in a passing vehicle.
I think there is a reason for it.
I'm not invoking religion nor any preordained manifest destiny, I just think that the Living knows far more about itself than those that Live it do.
Life may be God, as it were. Or maybe... God is Living.
Between you and I, I don't think Purpose ever felt comfortable being defined. If it feels wrong not to... then do it.
The only thing you'll lose by not doing so is the wondering... and we all hate and love wondering.