it's father's day. i am a thousand miles away from my kids and my dads ( i have a few). no family around. and at about 1:30 this afternoon, while i was floating in the gulf of mexico just off of sand key, looking up at the sun overhead and an awesome, looming thundercloud just to the east, i realized that today is my best father's day so far.
every day i have moments of awesome recognition: where i am in my life, how great it is to be me every moment: jackson, jaden, all of my parents, friends, and family, and most of all cathy. yet today, without anyone around, those moments turned into joyous, bountiful spans of time, where i was able to soak up hours of awareness and truly feel fulfilled, grateful and blessed. most importantly i recognized that all the choices i have ever made for myself have made my life what it is today. i gave myself credit, and then marveled at everyone else i've ever known, as every encounter has had an influence on my choices, which affect who i am and the life i have. tribute.
today has put fatherhood into a different perspective -- i want to explore what it means to be a father in a deeper way than the past 8 years with jackson and 18 months with jaden. i am not sure about all of the elements in this new perspective; i am not sure if i even want to know 'all of the elements', as the exploration of the concept of 'father' seems more fun to me than coming up with a finite definition. for me it's a journey that encompasses all of our lives, especially if you are a guy with a kid (the generally accepted definition of 'father'), but the concept is way beyond that. i think we are all fathers in one way or another at some time in our lives. what does 'father' mean to you?
so this blog entry is tribute to all fathers, especially my dad, and vince, and alan. they all do the best they can as fathers, every day.
i also want to acknowledge a few things that have inspired this post, which have had an affect on the meaning i have made about this day.
first, tim russert. i am surprised and affected by what i have learned about him in the few days since his death, and i am motivated to learn more about him. i've learned that there was so much more to tim russert than the fascinating interviews i would catch on an occasional sunday morning, and this realization makes me want to learn more about people, in general. his values, as expressed in the last 48 hours by his closest friends and colleagues, encompass a true compassion and connection with the people he knew, friend or foe, and i admire those qualities deeply.
how many interactions do we have with people, every single day, without bothering to notice or learn something deeper about them? there's always something there, no matter who the person is, that will have value for us in our own lives. even the ones we don't like. i call that humanity. look for humanity in others and you will see it in yourself.
second (another surprise): facebook. today i realized that social networking is more than just a fun way to keep in touch. it's a representation of our real-life relationships far and wide -- relationships that have made us who we are. facebook or not, they're all out there, some in our daily lives, some occasional acquaintances, or some just in our memories from years or decades ago. now, with the online social-networking phenomenon, we can choose to make a deliberate, two-way connection with another person, in a way never before possible until technology made it so. it's no substitute for the real thing, but it's easier to connect than ever before. maybe technology in-general is the real focus of this acknowledgment; facebook is just one of many ways the virtual world can help us recognize what we share with everyone.
in closing i will echo the subtitle of my self-named blog, and revise it with an exclamation mark celebrating today:
life is great so i decided to write about it!