October 19, 2005

Personal Versus Political

The blog is an interesting outlet. There is a constant struggle between the personal and political, a question of how to use this outlet. Do I use it to air out my deepest and darkest fears. Do I use it to go spelunking in my head. Is it a tool that can be used to explore the darker side of Jack, do I use it to see what has been swept beneath the carpet or do I stick to things that are less personal and not so frightening.

Because the reality is that for so many of the use the bogeyman we fear the most is the one that resides inside our skulls. There is the person that we want to be, the person that we pretend to be and show to the world and then there is the person that we truly are. Maybe it is just me. Maybe I am the only one to ever feel this way, or maybe I am not.

What I know for certain is this. When there is a monster on the other side of the door I always end up looking. Even when I know that opening the door provides the opportunity to scare me silly, inevitably my curiosity gets the better of me and I look behind the curtain. I need to see if the wizard is a just a man or if there is something more.

So the blog really is a mix. It is a place to air out those thoughts and ruminate upon life.

Tonight I spoke with my father about many things, some important and some trivial. Tonight I looked and listened to his every word and watched his gestures with the intensity and ferocity of my childhood. I have spent most of my life thinking that there was no one tougher than my dad, but I learned last summer that even he has his weak moments.

Last summer when he lay in bed recovering from a triple bypass I watched from across the country and did what I could to help him. For a time he was depressed. For a time there was a role reversal and I had to be the one to do many things. When necessary I barked orders and when required I issued praise and support. At 35 I was the parent, briefly.

Now I see him in a far more complete and complex light. He is my father. He is still superman, but I have seen him showered in Kryptonite and watched him waver in battle and then return to form.

And though I have the greater and deeper understanding I find myself looking to his example and chuckling at his comments about how similar my son and I are. I still say that arguing with my father is like screaming at a mirror. I wonder if one day my son will say the same about me.

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