Saturday, September 3, 2016

Beyond


Life takes so many unexpected turns.  One consistency in my life is the love of literature.  No surprise with that statement for those who know me.  I always find it surprising that literature in the form of books, plays, television, and movies help me through difficult times in my life.  Literature transports me beyond the reality of my world to give me strength, to let my imagination sore.

As a child, I missed a lot of school my first year.  I struggled with reading due to the inconsistency of being taught on a continuous basis.  When my dad found out in the spring, he worked at changing my days.  Each night after work, he checked in with me about school to make sure I attended.  My presence at school picked up, but he didn't stop there.  He took me to the little town library.  We read constantly.  We swapped books, which continued through the rest of his life.  He opened up my world to so many other worlds, past, present, future, and make-believe. 

The two of us also watched television drama.  Two of our favorites were TJ Hooker and Fantasy Island.  We threw in the Love Boat for good measure because of the programming.  My sister and mother usually went to bed early so it was just the two of us.  I loved out time together watching the shows.  We discussed the plot during the commercials.  TJ captured the villains.  The crew explored foreign countries and cultures.  Mr. Roarke creating new worlds.  A bowl of popcorn also was in the mix. 

Dad didn't take me to too many movies because he worked early in the morning.  He made an exception for Westerns and horse movies.  One night we went to the Black Stallion at the drive-in and ate dinner at King's Pizza.  I loved that date.  Another movie favorite was The Man From Snowy River.  I still listen to the soundtrack.  During the summers, Dad always handed me money to go with my cousins to the movies.  Again, we talked about the plot the next day.

Dad passed away last month.  I struggle with explaining my feelings.  I feel his presence; yet, I feel a void.  I can't share with Dad my latest word count or the ongoing battle with weeds.  He will never read another one of my books.  He will never give me the name of an author he just discovered.  I know he is cheering me from heaven and is still in my corner.  My drive to garden and write has dried up, but I feel his nudges.  I turn to literature.

Last night, my husband and I went to a movie.  I flew through space.  Good battled evil.  A father died, leaving a son questioning his path in life.  Should he stop what he was doing and follow in his father's footsteps?  I have thought of that a bit.  I look out at my appalling garden with weeds taller then the plants.  My dad would shake his head at the atrocity.  I contemplate taking September off to fix my gardens like he would.  However, Dad would also have a glint in his eye looking at me through the window typing away.  He loved my second book more then the first book and looked forward to book three. 
I know Dad wants me to continue writing.  The garden will wait.  The son in the movie was reminded by his father that he too must follow his true path, not that of his father's.  The main character will use his father's skills in his life, as I will use my dad's.  When I find myself struggling in my writing, I will turn to the dirt and weeds for inspiration.  I will go beyond.

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