Eyes of My Father

by Chris de Serres

I like to think I am just like her.  That I can turn it on. The joy of being here now.  The acceptance of just doing this simple thing. Tomorrow doesn’t exist.  The next moment doesn’t.  Life plays like a VHS tape, only picking up the tape that runs between the reader.  Wedged and bottlenecked and with no foresight.

I am only frustrated.  Worried about the world.  My job.  It is raining now and we should be climbing dry rock.  We walk from shop to shop.  What i’ve done hundreds of times.  The space lived in her only now.

What else should I be doing?  I check the weather report, but I know it already.

Then we climb, but she is too distracted.  There is too much happening now to climb, to be driven up broken granite by dissatisfaction.  It fuels my limbs, reminding me when I am hampered by my range of motion.  42 year old body willing the spirit of a teenager.

She moves like the child that she is, I was.  We move to a different song.  We move together, sharing this day in different ways.

The climbing is not important.  It symbolizes the passing of knowledge, of passion, of finding barriers, of passing ourselves existing only seconds ago.  She is so much like her mother.  There is a desperation to leave something of myself in the dirt here.  This pile of rope.  Our clasping of chalked hands.

The climbing.  The looking down to see it far below.  The fear in us resonates in our belly, our jelly arms.  It makes us numb.

Five times she says let me down daddy.  Five times we speak of it.  She carries it, in this moment.  Five times she says I release you.  Only one time does she stand at the top of the climb.  It is only then that I see something in her.  I see the eyes of her father.

I release you father.

I release you.
I release you.
I release you.