Tuesday, March 17, 2015

It's finally happened. I've lost . . .

the beginning of a blog post. I know I started one before all this PowerPoint nonsense, (and by the way, I was absolutely brilliant at the VSRA conference in Richmond).

The blog post was going to be brilliant too. I'm sure of it, because I saved it so carefully, in such a safe place. You know those sorts of places, the spots where you store special things so you won't lose them and then can never find them again. Yeah, like that.

Brilliance, and the expectation thereof.  Or if not expectation, then at least hope. I don't know if it's the same for everyone. Perhaps a few of you non-A type personalities have managed to learn, somehow, to expect only what seems achievable.

Not me. I have never thought to myself, "Tonight I will make a perfectly adequate dinner that will fulfill everyone's needs." Or, "I think I will write a poem about that tree, and that deer, and it will be a good poem, one that will say what I want to say."

A friend sent my wife a wonderful book by Harry Roberts. Our friend had marked a place inside with a quote from Roberts:

"Today I have done the best I could with what I had to do it with today."

Today is March 17. St. Patrick’s Day. The Ides of March passed without incident. Basketball’ s March Madness is upon us. It still seems odd that the college basketball playoffs can go on without me sitting by my father, trying to understand this game he enjoyed so much. For a while there it seemed like every March my father had a health crisis, and at some point I was there with him and we were watching March madness.

Next week is the five-year anniversary of my father’s death. I will light 24 hour memorial candle in remembrance. I don’t really need the candle though. Not yet. He is still a presence in my life far more often than once a year. He comes to mind at unexpected times, for unexplained reasons. More than once lately it’s been because I wish I could’ve shared something with him.

My father did many things very well. He also did some things merely adequately, and yet he continued to do them because he enjoyed them. My father wanted to be a writer, and he ended up running a factory. In college he thought he’d be writing plays, but the closest he came to that was acting in community theater. He played golf his whole life yet rarely broke 100.

And yet, if you had to say one thing about my father’s life, I think it would be safe to say that he had a good time. Almost all of the time, regardless of what he was doing. And other people around him had a good time because of that.

My father did the best he could do with whatever he had to do it with (or make do with it) on just about every particular day.

Now that is brilliance.