Sunday, June 17, 2012

Furrowed Brows

I know this man with furrowed brows and a deep stare. There's an air to his gait and no hesitation in his steps. Even though he appears stern, in his eyes and smile lives a gentleness that has no boundaries. I know this man very well and yet it seems I don't know him at all. Thirty years ahead of me and I wonder what life was like for the boy with furrowed brows learning and discovering the world on Haitian soil.

With a magic mirror, I'd travel back in time and sneak into his room fifty years ago to watch him closely. I'd see what familiar signs, I could recognize. I'd watch him wander through the fields and hear him speak his native tongue. I'd look for his mother and sit with his family during dinner, wondering what conversations I missed and never heard. 

I'd follow him to New York and watch him drive a cab. I'd go with him into the Air Force and be an invisible navigator. I'd watch him in his classrooms, unable to back down from a debate. I'd recognize the flamboyant Devietro, a classmate he told me about with ruffles and dainty embellishments.

I'd glance at him carefully pull a newly purchased jazz album out of its cover and set it down for the first time on his record player.

I would flash forward to the day his first son was born and watch those furrowed brows closely to see if I could understand how he felt the moment he became a father for the first time. After his second son was born, I'd sit there invisibly watching him gaze at his two sons play together (the youngest one, a bully) and think of what dreams he might have lingering in his head at that moment.

If I could rewind time to watch the life of the man with furrowed brows, I could wage the gap of thirty years between my father and I. It's hard to imagine their lives before us because we are so defined by them being our parents.

But today, on this day, in this quiet moment...



I think of the boy, teenager, and young man who became my father.

8 comments :

  1. I really enjoyed reading this post about your father. What a great though it is to be able to go back and see just how our parents came to be who they are today, and why they do the things they do, and to see how they lived their lives. Very nice and well written post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a touching and loving tribute to your father, and that’s a beautiful photo! I love your imaginative use of a magic mirror to travel back in time to imagine his life over the years before you were born. You are wonderfully creative and thank you for sharing this with us! (Btw, I love that your father is a jazz fan!)

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's beautiful beautiful and heart-felt. What more is there to say?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh Shaharoh such a beautiful ode to your dad :). He must be so proud of you.. And he is so handsome, he looks a bit like Barrack Obama :).

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you everyone for your lovely comments. I feel very humbled and appreciate each and every one of you!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh this is a beautiful piece of writing you are a very good daughter. You must have had a incredible Dad to stir such love and emotion. I too had an incredible Dad we are the very lucky ones. Just beautiful thank you for stirring my memories also. Hug B

    ReplyDelete
  7. I forgot to say love the photo. B

    ReplyDelete