summertime, cont’d.

Listening to folks tell stories about my dad

As of yesterday I am finished up with my summertime work-type obligations and looking forward to some R&R. Yesterday I gave the commencement speech at Goddard’s individualized studies MA program and had a nice warm and fuzzy flashback to my Hampshire graduation. I got to talk a little about what I’ve been doing since then, and the opportunity to reflect was actually sort of useful. I’ve gotten a lot done, now that I think about it. And graduation was a long time ago, now that I think about it.

I continue to limp along otherwise, wanting nothing more than to sit in a chair in the backyard wrapped in a blanket and stare into the trees. Everyone’s got their little happy place in their head and for some reason mine mirrors someone recovering from tuberculosis, I can not explain it. I’m now officially the executor of my dad’s estate which means that me and my sister go through the long difficult process of wrapping up his affairs and at the end of it all of his things are no longer exactly his. I got some books from the library about how to be an executor, but have put off starting to read them.

I don’t talk too much about my dad and his complicated legacy except to say that I felt that I got along with him well and, of course, I miss him. We had the life celebration which went as well as we could have hoped and I’m so grateful both to everyone who showed up as well as my real-life and internet friends who helped Kate and I plan and prepare. There’s always the weird things that sort of get you when you don’t expect it, of course. I’m sure this is different for everyone.

For me, it was reading about Amy Winehouse’s death and especially Russel Brand’s poignant description of loving someone who has a problem, and the long wait for the phone call. My relationship with my dad always had a lot to do with technology. I think it might surprise people that often that technology was the phone, the regular long chatty phone calls we had, the late night calls I wouldn’t answer, and the one that I was always dreading, the one that I finally got. For a guy who was in many ways so unique and fascinating (to me, to other people) it’s comforting but also a little sad to see someone in another country and living in a different world so completely encapsulate what’s always been a difficult thing for me to explain, both to myself and other people.

Whenever I’m down on myself, doesn’t happen that often but it happens, for not being able to do something or figure something out or solve this or that problem, I console myself that there are frequently downsides, big ones, to being the sort of person that Russel Brand describes, “a fucking genius” and maybe it’s okay, on balance, that while I have many other very nice qualities, that is not one of them.

What do you think?