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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Demosthenes declared that "[n]othing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true." I wonder if many of the things I hold true today grew out of self-deceit. Determining this is no easy task. This is an issue that has come up in recent conversations with an acquaintance about my perception of my father after his death. It seems to me that this acquaintance of mine wants me to pursue the idea that deep down inside I resent my father for his emotional neglect, and that the idea of my father as a great man is only a cover up for angry feelings inside of me. I don't know how to rebuke this even though I don't believe an ounce of it. All I can say is that my father was a product of his own upbringing, an upbringing which probably offered little to no emotional sustenance. My father was a very quiet man, stoic, seemingly unfeeling. Deep down I believe he was different but was unable to show it. My defense stems from the fact that I did recognize the genius of my father before he died. I didn't expect to bond with him in his old age and a great distance between us made sure it didn't happen, but a sense of reconciliation grew inside of me as I recognized, one by one, the great qualities of the man. I didn't get to see him much in the last ten years of his life, and our conversations on the phone were brief and dull. I can only conclude that the construction of meaning and the image I have painted of my father as a good father comes from love... and that is perhaps the greatest proof that my feelings are no self-deceit.

1 Comments:

At 5:00 PM, Blogger Bug said...

This is a really touching post. I love how you describe getting past whatever feelings you had before to a feeling of love and acceptance. I really hope we can all do that with those we love who disappoint us in some way.

 

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