Isn’t it strange, how we can know something, even accept it, but not really see it there, right in front of our eyes? But then, be going about our normal business, and some little detail catches our eye and suddenly we fully comprehend what was right there all along?
I am back to writing the story I have mentioned in previous posts. Actually moving along quite well and smoothly, and then suddenly realized something I should have known, been able to define, for years. It made so much sense that I laughed out loud for not having put it together sooner.
My father was a very curious man. He was a truck driver and loved nothing more than to take a Sunday drive without any particular destination. We’d be moving along, oftentimes singing, and he would say, “I wonder where that road goes…” and immediately turn onto it and we’d be off on an adventure.
This was a part of my childhood, my upbringing. And I spent more time with my Dad than my three siblings. I was his fishing buddy, so that oft spoken refrain, based in curiosity, was far more familiar to me than most. And those side trips, both long and short, were a part of most of our fishing expeditions. He was always looking for a new fishing spot, sometimes, so much so, that we never got to the actual fishing at all.
That didn’t frustrate me. I was always rewarded for my acquiescence. We’d stop for delicious but greasy hamburgers at one of the many truck stops he often used, or I’d get a double dipped ice-cream cone, and one time, when I was only twelve, I got my first driving lesson in an old Jeep, with Dad doing the shifting and me just hanging on to the steering wheel. It was loads of fun, I had alone time with the most important man in my life, and also the reward of some sort of adventure to tell about when I got home.
Needless to say, I found curiosity a valued element in my world. It called for one to be open and aware, but also willing to take risks and chances. We didn’t always find something new at the end of the road. A few times we simply found the end of the road and had to backtrack to get out again.
I saw my first black bear, sitting in the middle of just such a backtracking expedition, playing with the dappling sunlight and seemingly unaware of the two of us watching in hushed silence for several minutes. There was always so much more to see, to know, and to learn. And my Father was an excellent teacher, whether he did so knowingly or not. We talked about all of it, seemingly little details, like the birds in the trees and animal tracks in the mud and dirt.
My Father’s curiosity became my own, accepted even when it was met with sighs of exasperated frustration at my constant questions. And my desire to see what was at the other end of whatever path I might be traveling, was simply a matter of how I got through my own journey. Noting the details, wondering at the story behind them, defining my own experience through just that kind of awareness and openness.
When I finally, late in life, went to college and found writing was the one thing I wanted to do, it didn’t occur to me that I was simply following in my Father’s footsteps. He drove a truck, telling constant stories about that experience. I drove a pen across paper, expressing my own experiences in words, satisfying my own curiosity of where the story would end, and often finding a different ending there, hidden in the details of the words I chose to use.
The desire to write was so strong, that I didn’t give up, when in the course of this formal education, I discovered that there were rules to learn and to adhere to. I did them, over and over again, and held onto the promise that when I had learned all of them, and had gotten good at what I was learning, I could then break the rules and follow my own thoughts to whatever conclusion I might find. That was something I looked forward to doing.
I, very recently, changed the visual theme on another one of my blogs. As soon as I saw the image of the theme, I knew it was perfect.
In explaining the image, and what it meant to me, I found my father and all of those memories. His curiosity about exploring new avenues, wanting nothing more than to see what lies beyond the next curve in the road.
When I write, I do so off-the-cuff, just following the words, curious about where they will lead me, and what new thing I will find beyond the curves they often create. I did the same thing while attempting to explain the drastic change I had chosen for my site’s appearance. In doing so, I finally put all of my Father’s lessons together on one page.
I could finally see, in those few words, the life lessons my Father had instilled in me. The ones that still form the basis of how I proceed, evolve, and become whatever it is I am to become. I don’t think we ever spoke of sheep, of light and shadow, or of walking ones own singular and solitary path. Yet, those things, those thoughts, were the ones that were most comfortable to me, and came from my Father’s need to satisfy his own curiosity.
I will continue to explore my path, leaning into the next curve, incredibly grateful to the man who structured my life lessons. Laying down the words is a great deal like forming that path one word at a time. I will continue to follow those words and my Father’s example. Besides being curious, he was a very generous and happy individual. And, I believe, I am his legacy.
It is a pleasure to read about the great memories and lessons you got from your Father. Thank you for sharin them and then showing us where they have led you.
Susan, I think they have opened a new door in my psyche, one that is simply waiting for more exploration and discovery. Here’s to even more lessons.
what an awesome legacy! I really enjoyed reading this. I was determined to write a book this summer and it was almost like the decision froze me up. I am going to read this again and again and remind myself that it isn’t a chore (never should be!) it’s a journey down unknown roads. Thank you for this 🙂
How about we both thank my Dad? And I know about that frozen feeling when you finally make a decision. Did it this week with a poem, then remembered my father’s laughter and it worked. Thanks for stopping and commenting,
Exploration and discovery is something everyone needs, and this piece is a great opener of those parts of the mind. Thanks for sharing!
your ID fascinates me because I am very much into animal symbolism and mythology. But then I went to your site and found that we have a whole lot more in common. Love that image.
Thanks so much for commenting and I completely agree with what you had to say.
I liked this post! I was feeling quite uncomfortable with the book on procrastination (I think we’ve been down this road before!) And it was refreshing to read how you and your dad valued going off down mysterious, unplanned tracks on voyages of discovery. You didn’t always get to where you were going, but perhaps adventure and fun was always the aim. Whereas books against procrastination point out that we often tend to chase off after things on a whim, and allow that to distract us from our work. That is a concern when work is a priority, but suppressing all of those fleeting ideas seems a bit… I’ve don’t think I have the right words. 😉
Getting into a ‘flow state’ is held up as a desirable state to be in, and I agree, as I’ve experienced it. But for me flow states do tend to be all about chasing up ideas and checking out new avenues.
Your new blog header is beautiful — I was sitting here admiring it.
“but suppressing all of those fleeting ideas seems a bit…”
Boring? Flat? Gray? Staid? Stagnating? Dull? Depressing? Immobolizing? Wasteful? Unimaginative?
Take your pick, I can list several more, but you get the idea. Following whims is a bit risky, so I usually look for a confimation and it is acutually quite astounding how often they immediately appear. It’s even better when I simply choose to go with the flow and then immediately find three or four varied and diverse confirmations that I followed the leading to the correct conclusion.
Glad you like the new header and theme. I do as well. And did get an almost immediate confirmation afterward, lol.
All of those words! Heh. I don’t mind the idea of noting down things that cross my mind (for dealing with later) but in the book I was reading, I detected a note of “it doesn’t matter if you forget those ideas, anyway!” Probably the writer regarded them as mostly an unconscious mechanism to avoid what we’re doing now.
I find it a bit dangerous to ignore those ideas, and feel that it is very limiting to my person when I do. And it also reminds me of that old saying, “the one-track mind.” I much prefer all of those tangents, even when they don’t necessarily lead me to some tangible conclusion. I’ve learned something, something that might be very valuable tomorrow and how would I know that if I didn’t even bother to go there?
visit my other blog for two awards.
Jingle, I’m unsure about what you mean by awards. I went to your site but don’t know how to accept what you have offered.
Rules to Accept the Award:
1. Thank the person giving you this award
2. Copy the award to your blog.
3. place a link to their blog
4. Name 7 things about you.
5. Nominate 10 Bloggers.
6. Place a link to those Blogger.
7. Leave a comment letting those Bloggers know about the award.
Seven (7) things about you:
list links below to give the award to your friends…
well, good luck!
simply take them and display them,
who give them to you,
then that’s it…
pass them to someone you like, no obligations…either keep them or share them..
Jingle, I am very sorry, but I lack the techie skills to do what you are suggesting. As I told Weasel, yesterday, I have tried several times, but the specific widget to deal with it, seems to be defected or non-functioning on my site. Or, I’m just too stupid to understand what is necessary. I appreciate your gesture, but it’s a no-go on this end.
Thank you for thinking of me,