A video by Scott Wenner based on a poem by Mark Strand:
This could almost (but not quite) as easily apply to mothers. Regardless, it certainly applies to many adult children for whom their parents are something of a cipher apart from being… parents. And of course, despite being firmly imprinted by the behavior of said parents, the same children could easily end up being something of a mystery to the parents. Remember the “Generation Gap”?
A poem by Steve Scafidi, video by oddfellows:
This reminds me very much of a Tobias Wolff short story.
The turbulent wind of an open convertible at highway speed rattled the envelope in his hand. It shook and bobbed like a leaf on a tree. From the driver’s seat, Maeve looked across the car. Soft spoken, her voice was hard to hear against the wind: “It’s from your father. Aren’t you going to open it?”
Was he? Dad could have called. He could have emailed. He could have knocked on their door. And he could have done that months ago. But now, a letter? What could that mean? With Dad, the medium was often the message; did he really want to know? Instead of answering, Dan sighed. After a moment he awkwardly torn the end off the envelope and extracted a sheet. It said:
Four months have gone by since we last spoke. I am doing something that I hadn’t planned to do, and that is, to make one more try if you will do the same thing also. I shall offer you what you wanted for a starter, so here goes. I apologize. Now, I expect you to come through with your part, namely, a two way, one on one, thoughtful, equal, sensitive and not insulting start at communication with an end goal of bridging over the gap which separates us. Agreed? Otherwise, J’ai fini, this time for real.
“What did he say, Dan?” Maeve asked.
Dan held the letter between two fingers while it gyrated in the wind. After a moment he let go and it flew away.
“Nothing,” he replied.