I am one and the same, I am useful and strange.

There is not a break in life. I find myself saying yes to everything and wanting more. I find myself working hard and still wanting to create at the end of the day. I love this. I get this from my father.

He would work all day at the post office then come home, put on music, open a beer, and go out to his studio to paint.

Sometimes I want to thank my father for this work/creating ethic. Sometimes I want to curse him for it. It’s exhausting to want so much out of life, to expect so much of your own creative soul… and then also hit all the concerts and shows and events that inspire you. Exhausting. Beautiful.

Like when I called him today and he said that they had a great time out in Austin with old friends, but today he wanted to finally write down the poem that’s been in his head and maybe finally submit that comic to the paper.

It made me pick up the closest poetry book to me and read something I thought my dad would appreciate…

Roadside Flowers- Billy Collins

These are the kind you are supposed
to stop to look at, as I do this morning,
but just long enough
so as not to carry my non-stopping
around with me all day,
a big medicine ball of neglect and disregard.

But now I seem to be carrying
my not-stopping-long-enough ball
as I walk around
the circumference of myself
and up and down the angles of the day.

Roadside flowers,
when I get back to my room
I will make it all up to you.
I will lie on my stomach and write
in a notebook how lighthearted you were,
pink and white among the weeds,

wild phlox perhaps,
or at least a cousin of that family,
a pretty one who comes to visit
every summer for two weeks without her parents,
she who unpacks her things upstairs
while I am out on the lawn

throwing the ball as high as I can,
catching it almost
every time in my two outstretched hands.

And it helped assure me of the little gift I gave him. In all of the hustle and bustle of last month, I forgot that I had bought Neko Case tickets with a handful of friends. It felt like too much to make the show, but we made ourselves go. Damn, I’m so glad we did.

We sat in the balcony of the Wilma and drank local microbrews and were in total awe of Case. Everything sounded even better than the album. Our friend, a musician himself, would tap his foot along to the music and when there was an especially amazing lyric he would shake his head, smiling, and turn to me to repeat it…

You know you do, all of you, shame on you, all of you lie… Holy shit, that’s good.”

You never held it at the right angle… Damn.”

I can’t look at you straight on… So good.”

And I knew my dad should be there. I wanted him to be there with us.

I hope you like the album, Daddy. [we can’t stop listening to it at the Smeethens’ household.]

Thank you for this amazing curse of creativity and all of your support and love throughout it all.

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I love you to pieces.

Happy Father’s Day!

[xxo.]

 

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