Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist

Once around.

Robin-1-yearToday I imagine the sun with a sense of memory, and it looks down on this speck of the planet to observe that you’re still here, one year later. And although I can’t imagine the sun with a sense of satisfaction, per se, I do imagine the sun smiling, in whatever way a sun smiles. There’s been an entire year of you, now, and the joy inherent in that knowledge is its own source of warmth and light.

At this time last year you were still somehow theoretical. You were on your way and your mother was patiently working through the very difficult process of bringing you forth into the world. For as actual as you were you hadn’t yet become completely real; and you won’t understand the distinctions between those words yet because you don’t understand them individually yet, either.

Your language is instead its own art form, unique because of both its opaqueness and the confidence with which you speak it. Every consonant sound issues from you with such force and with such shades of inflection that I have to believe it means something to you, and instead of wishing you could translate or accelerate your development I wish that I had the time and skill to pick it up in all its subtleties so we could converse in our own alien way. It is as beautiful as you are and like many things of beauty it is appreciated most by the person willing to make the effort to behold it.

Nearly a month ago you managed to take two steps independently of furniture and your mother and I were fortunate enough to be watching you when it happened. You haven’t repeated the trick since, although you will more regularly stand and squat of your own balance. You still prefer to crawl with steam engines and battle cries, from point A to point B in a literal eyeblink. I get the impression that you tried walking just to see that you could do it, but you haven’t yet developed a desire to make it your regular mode of transportation. Soon enough, I’m sure. Like your language, your time is your own right now and I wouldn’t deign to take it away from you.

I wrote you one of these letters every three months of the past year. I don’t anticipate maintaining such a schedule this coming year, although I do expect that the next time you achieve a solar orbit I’ll feel ready to write another, and every time after that. It has been useful for me to take the nebulous plasma of my love and turn it into the only matter I know how to shape.

It’s just that I’m so looking forward to expressing that love to you in my language as you gain the understanding of it, and it makes me a bit selfish with it. I’m hoarding the words for the moments still to come within you. It won’t sound nearly as composed as these letters have been but I think it will be more true, somehow, even for as true as these have been. It will be actual and real at the same time, the way you were when you finally emerged.

Love and understanding, Dad. And Happy Birthday.

Current Music, Florence + The Machine, “Leave My Body”

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This entry was posted on January 22, 2013 by in Essay, Fatherhood.
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