Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Father Thing

I might skip the whole excuses and assurances thing and get on with this.

I have sortof decided to restart this because there is something going on that I feel I should document. I am not a particularly good documenter, but I did manage to write three hundred thousand words of this back in the day, so the track record isn't that bad. It's something that will be difficult, and I have given more than half a thought to turning off comments and just writing this into the dark, but either way, I am going to give this a go.

My father is dying.

More details will emerge, but the way it has worked out is he had lung cancer, advanced lung cancer, too far gone for surgery, only minimally responsive to chemo. The relevant equations indicate that most people with what he's got die in eight months, of which we have had one. One in five is alive at the end of a year - that will be Christmas next year. Almost none survive longer.

Anyway - more on this soon. I am reticent about posting about this ongoing because it is not a request for sympathy, it is not a seeking of communion, I am not asking people to comfort me. But he grew up in a small town in Ireland, he rode a motorbike, he had to stay one time with people who could, but would not, speak English, and so for three years he only heard Gaelic. I don't know much else about him.

I don't know whatI want writing about him to achieve. I don't know what I should be thinking. I know that the mood is precarious at the moment, I have to keep an eye on that.

But a month ago we were talking about how to train the grapevines that have sprouted green, soft tendrils that curl around the trellices in the cattery. They are merlot, they make loose bunches of large, soft grapes, a rich purple sheened with a dusty colour. They row in cold soils, in clay, in full sunlight. They fruit in the second, maybe the third year. He has planted them but will not taste the fruit.

Anyhow. With this, it is the process, not the product, that is important. This is not a mathematical equation with a specific answer. It is about putting down roots and groping towards the sun so that come wintertime, we can survive.

Thanks for listening,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It is about putting down roots and groping towards the sun so that come wintertime, we can survive."

May you and your dad have a great summer, with everything you need to grow strongly.

Best wishes. It's good to be reading your work again.

- Deirdre

12:16 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home