Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

As secular holidays go, one of my favorites is Father's Day. Although I am almost 30 (in six days), I do not have any children yet. My Father and I took a ride up into Tionesta, PA, and sat reading. There were sharp divisions between us. I pulled out a book on Husserlian phenomenology, and my father had a book by Conservative media pundit, Mark Levin. As we hiked down to the lake, he said as I politely put his book into my messenger bag, "Won't that contaminate your books?" I laughed, and said "You'd better carry this chair. Your book is weighing down my intelligence." We jibed at our respective differences not forgetting the bond we've always had.

When I think about it, I get a lot from my father. He's incredibly political, as I am. He always taught me the value of voting, and being part of one's community. I chose to study political science in addition to philosophy because of the instilled love of the political. When I found my own voice, as people often do in philosophy, I soon realized I disagreed sharply with him on many issues. For one, I do not ground religion and morality together as Baptists do, nor do I revere tradition in the same way. However, I like older stuff. I like Aristotle, and jibe back that I am even more conservative than him!

In the end, Father's Day is a lovely gesture. Without my father, I could never be where I am going. My father has always been an inspiration. When he said goodbye to me after we had moved in all my dorm stuff my freshman year, he hugged me, and said, "Make good choices." That's all he said. I have always loved how fathers and sons keep it simple.


C said...

From a Fellow Canadian:

Lovely post! My father and I did not see eye to eye on many many things, and as I get older I still have not entirely synthesized where some of his beliefs originated. But - scarily - I notice that many of the reactions he would have expressed in certain situations seem innate to my character, and I catch myself reacting as he would. So this Father's Day, as I think of my dad, I vow to embrace the good he did in my actions, and to consciously reprogram the rest!

I found your blog by chance, Pre-Carbondale Philosopher, when I did a search for anyone looking for housing in Carbondale. My son is doing a Masters at SIUC. It has been an interesting adjustment for a Canoochie in Carbondale, and I am sure he would have some essential insights for you when you get there. He is currently away on an (unpaid) internship, and his spot in a lovely apartment in Carbondale that he shares with one person is sitting empty 'til August 15th. If you have need of accommodation while you look for permanent housing, please contact us.

And if you would like a Canadian perspective on life in Carbondale, please drop me a line and I will put the two of you in touch!

Pre-Carbondale Philosopher said...

Thank you fellow Canadian. While it might not be exactly clear, I am an American that lived up in British Columbia for three years. I am not exactly in need of a Canadian perspective, but I wholeheartedly recall the fond kindness many Canadians showed my wife and myself. If your son needs an acquaintance that gets all his Rick Mercer jokes and misses The Hour on the CBC, then feel free to look me up when I get there.

We already have a place mind you.

Tell your son I said Hi.