02 June 2008


When I look back at the pictures on this blog - - I don't know who I am. My father or myself. The only people I recognise are my sisters. They seem to be connected to who they are. Why is that?

I know it's me and my father. But I'm reminded of Matthew Brady tin types of the Civil War. We seem to be distant and alone. Just a figure or face. Long gone and lost in history. I just don't see myself or my father as we were or are.

All along my intent was to help you. The Brat. To share with you my experiences and wisdom. But I'm still lost. So little of it makes any sense to me. I thought I would have it nailed down by now.

I guess it takes time. A lot of time. Especially when there's never anyone you can share this life with. Even when there is...we don't. Or can't. Much easier to tell the good stories and laugh about them. Cry about them. But never reach down and pull up that thing that scares you.


N said...

I find your blog fascinating. The themes are complex but I relate to them all too well:

--How do you come to terms with a father who was, at times, was "far from ideal"? Maybe you never do. Maybe you become a great dad as a result.

--How do you come to terms with a father (brother) who was larger than life, who achieved things you can never hope to match? Perhaps this is easier to one day reconcile. With age comes acceptance.

--How do you look back across a lifetime of photographs and memories and sum it up? Neatly label it so it can be understood?

Keep at it. You have much to be proud of.

tintin said...

Where in the hell did you come from? I guess I didn't do the comment moderation. Well, "n" congrats on being my first comment.

I am lost on this blog. I'm dealing with some dark stuff and I have no idea where it's going. Very much a contrast to my other blog which is a very thin slice of life.

Ideal fathers are, in their own way...Gods. That was my issue. Very unique to the military, I think. Right outta, The Great Santini where Robert Duval addresses his new command, "I don't want you to think of me as your new commanding officer. I want you to think of me as...well...God."

So you did. Or, I did. Not about Duval, but about my father.

I deal with it by laughing about it. There's a lot of funny stuff. He is a funny guy. He just wasn't cut out for the job of father. And he admits it. So now that I know he wasn't a God; I respect him even more.

I'll never accomplish what he did. But he's a part of me. I see him in me every day. Our shared love in music, art, movies, the Army, and finding the absudity of life's B.S. so entertaining. We don't share that in common. We are that. And yes, age did that for me.

I don't think I'll ever sum it up. But my hope is these pictures will tell a story. Up until now, I thought I was the only one reading it. Thank you for your comment, questions and very kind words.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

You know what's funny? I have these great memories of my dad that are, in retrospect, completely opposed.

1) "Your mother and I are very proud of you."

2) "When I want your opinion, I will give it to you."

I'm making a lot of the same mistakes with my children as my dad did with me. I hope I do a lot of the things that he did that are right, too. On balance, I think my kids will come out ahead.

Sorry for not checking in and commenting more; this is a hard blog to read, but rewarding. What's that great line from the movies? "I hate roots. Roots are for trees..."

Keep on, keepin' on. Hope your father is doing well given the circs.

tintin said...

Easy and Elegant- I really do appreciate your comments. This has been hard to write but I also find it rewarding. It's also exhausting. My father has completed chemo and I appreciate your well wishes. I have not given up on Brat, Army but am taking a look at it - - to improve it and bring some humor to it. I think it needs it.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Tintin, the life has got to be a goldmine of humour. Just remembering a CO who would issue his order that "darkness will commence at ..." And the image of my dad dressed for an FTX, what a Sad Sack! He would leave muttering something about "Regular Army... God help us all...." (He was reserves activated out of college and did 22 years of active duty.)

tintin said...

Funny. My Dad was 22 year active reserve commission as well. Said he didn't need the security of an RA commission. He also didn't get his star because of that...and some other things. Suffice it to say, we both have pretty big mouths. Never an enduring quality in the army or the government.