EppsNet Archive: Fathers and Sons

e e cummings wishes you a happy fathers day

21 Jun 2015 /

e. e. cummings

my father moved through dooms of love
through sames of am through haves of give,
singing each morning out of each night
my father moved through depths of height

this motionless forgetful where
turned at his glance to shining here;
that if (so timid air is firm)
under his eyes would stir and squirm

newly as from unburied which
floats the first who, his april touch
drove sleeping selves to swarm their fates
woke dreamers to their ghostly roots

and should some why completely weep
my father’s fingers brought her sleep:
vainly no smallest voice might cry
for he could feel the mountains grow.

Lifting the valleys of the sea
my father moved through griefs of joy;
praising a forehead called the moon
singing desire into begin

joy was his song and joy so pure
a heart of star by him could steer
and pure so now and now so yes
the wrists of twilight would rejoice

keen as midsummer’s keen beyond
conceiving mind of sun will stand,
so strictly (over utmost him
so hugely) stood my father’s dream

his flesh was flesh his blood was blood:
no hungry man but wished him food;
no cripple wouldn’t creep one mile
uphill to only see him smile.

Scorning the Pomp of must and shall
my father moved through dooms of feel;
his anger was as right as rain
his pity was as green as grain

septembering arms of year extend
less humbly wealth to foe and friend
than he to foolish and to wise
offered immeasurable is

proudly and (by octobering flame
beckoned) as earth will downward climb,
so naked for immortal work
his shoulders marched against the dark

his sorrow was as true as bread:
no liar looked him in the head;
if every friend became his foe
he’d laugh and build a world with snow.

My father moved through theys of we,
singing each new leaf out of each tree
(and every child was sure that spring
danced when she heard my father sing)

then let men kill which cannot share,
let blood and flesh be mud and mire,
scheming imagine, passion willed,
freedom a drug that’s bought and sold

giving to steal and cruel kind,
a heart to fear, to doubt a mind,
to differ a disease of same,
conform the pinnacle of am

though dull were all we taste as bright,
bitter all utterly things sweet,
maggoty minus and dumb death
all we inherit, all bequeath

and nothing quite so least as truth
—i say though hate were why men breathe—
because my Father lived his soul
love is the whole and more than all

— e.e. cummings, “my father moved through dooms of love”

Thoughts in the Shower

19 May 2015 /

If I just stay in here and never come out, maybe the graduation won’t happen and he’ll still be my little boy . . .


Now What?

15 May 2015 /
Sather Tower (the Campanile) looking out over ...

We’re in Berkeley for Casey’s graduation tomorrow . . . we got a text from him earlier this week saying “I just took my last two college exams.” Thus ends a journey that began 17 years ago on the first day of kindergarten, which I feel like I remember too vividly for it to have been 17 years ago, but it was.

Now what? I don’t mean for him . . . he’s got a job lined up in San Francisco. I mean for me. I’ve had the milestone birthdays — the ones where your age ends in zero — that seem to depress a lot of people . . . they didn’t bother me at all. But my boy becoming an independent person in the world is really disorienting me . . .


See You in Hell

31 Jan 2015 /
Satan

Satan

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE]

Greetings from the underworld!

I just read about a father and son teaming up to punch out the son’s high school basketball coach because the teen wasn’t getting enough playing time.

Basketball duo

What a heartwarming story! A lot of young black men don’t have a male role model in their lives.

See you in Hell . . .


Happy 21st Birthday, Casey

28 Jul 2014 /

On this date 21 years ago — July 28, 1993 — our son Casey was born.

On his first birthday, we took him to Chuck E Cheese. On his 21st birthday, he’s in San Francisco having dinner with his girlfriend so we have to wish him a happy birthday over the phone.

“I remember the day you were born like it was last week,” I say. “I was an integral part of it.”

“Yeah, so was I,” he says.

Right, but he doesn’t remember it like I do. And I don’t want to mention it on his special day, but he didn’t really do anything either. His mom and I did all the work and yet he gets all the glory and recognition. Think about that.

“Happy birthday. I love you.”


You Could Be Someone Special

27 Jul 2014 /

Thanks for pushing me and always preaching to me, “You could be someone special, if you really work at it.” I took that to heart, pops, and look at us today.

— Frank Thomas, induction speech at the Baseball Hall of Fame


Jim Fregosi, 1942-2014

15 Feb 2014 /

Jim Fregosi

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/24442867/report-former-all-star-longtime-manager-jim-fregosi-dies-at-71

I grew up in Orange County as an Angels fan. They were a team of losers at that time, but I went to a lot of games with my dad and had a good time watching them play.

Jim Fregosi was my favorite player, usually the only good player on a typical Angels roster.

RIP Jim Fregosi.


It Is Hard Living Down the Tempers We Are Born With

30 Nov 2013 /
Gertrude Stein

Once an angry man dragged his father along the ground through his own orchard. “Stop!” cried the groaning old man at last, “Stop! I did not drag my father beyond this tree.”

It is hard living down the tempers we are born with. We all begin well, for in our youth there is nothing we are more intolerant of than our own sins writ large in others and we fight them fiercely in ourselves; but we grow old and we see that these our sins are of all sins the really harmless ones to own, nay that they give a charm to any character, and so our struggle with them dies away.

— Gertrude Stein, The Making of Americans

And So it Goes

16 Oct 2013 /

Joe Bell, 48, was walking cross-country from Oregon to New York to memorialize his gay son, who killed himself after being bullied.

Bell’s journey began April 20 and ended this week on a two-lane road in eastern Colorado, where he was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer whose driver had apparently fallen asleep.

Joe Bell


Happy Fathers Day

16 Jun 2013 /

I’m writing this in part to tell you that if you ever wonder what you’ve done in your life, and everyone does wonder sooner or later, you have been God’s grace to me, a miracle, something more than a miracle. You may not remember me very well at all, and it may seem no great thing to have been the good child of an old man in a shabby little town you will no doubt leave behind. If only I had the words to tell you.

— Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

We Know What You Like: Cox

8 Jun 2013 /
Cox Communications' "Digeez" mascot

A commercial for Cox Communications comes on the TV, the gist of which is that no one knows what the young woman in the ad likes. A sushi chef, for example, serves her an oddball concoction that she doesn’t like, and I forget the rest, but you get the idea.

“But here at Cox,” the ad goes on to say, “we know what you like.”

I say, “She likes Cox.”

My kid gives me a look.

“C-O-X. Cox. Come on, man.”


Advice From My Dad

1 Apr 2013 /
Taking a nap

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.

“If it’s not your tail,” he told me, “don’t wag it.”


Socrates’ Apology

17 Mar 2013 /
The Death of Socrates

The Death of Socrates

When my sons are grown up, I would ask you, O my friends, to punish them; and I would have you trouble them, as I have troubled you, if they seem to care about riches, or anything, more than about virtue; or if they pretend to be something when they are really nothing . . . And if you do this, I and my sons will have received justice at your hands.

The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our ways — I to die, and you to live. Which is better God only knows.


Why Kyrie Irving is a Better Basketball Player Than Anyone in My Family

16 Jan 2013 /
Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving

My son (age 19) and I are driving to Staples Center to see the Lakers take on the Cleveland Cavaliers, listening to the pre-game show on the radio. Because the Cavs are basically a one-man roster, and that one man is Kyrie Irving, there’s a lot of talk about Irving on the pre-game.

One of the analysts offers up his opinion that Irving is as good as he is at such a young age (he’s 20) because Irving’s dad was hard on him as a kid and pushed him and didn’t let him take breaks.

As always, when the topic of someone’s dad bullying him to greatness comes up, the boy gives me a melancholy look to say that my lack of abusiveness as a parent is the reason he’s not a professional athlete. “You let me take breaks,” he says.

“You know,” I say, “I think for every guy who says, ‘My dad wouldn’t let me back in the house until I made 100 layups with each hand and now I’m in the NBA,’ there’s 900 other guys whose dads tried the same shit and these guys got nowhere and now they’re extremely angry about it. You just never hear from those 900 guys because they’re nowhere, as I just said.”


I Have Kids Older Than NBA Players

19 Dec 2012 /

My boy, a college sophomore, and I are watching the Lakers play the Charlotte Bobcats on the TV . . .

“Did you know,” he says, “that I’m a full two months older than [Bobcats forward] Michael Kidd-Gilchrist?”

“Hmmm . . . really?”

“He grew more than me.”

Kidd-Gilchrist is 6’7″, 232 lbs. He turned 19 in September.


Mr. Blackwell Lives

19 Oct 2012 /
Mr. Blackwell

American fashionista Richard Blackwell (1922-2008) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My kid calls me out for wearing white socks with black sneakers . . .

“Thanks, Mr. Blackwell,” I say to him.

Then it occurs to me that a 19-year-old is not going to get the Mr. Blackwell reference.

“FYI, Mr. Blackwell was a flamboyantly gay fashion critic.”


The Chevron Guy

15 Oct 2012 /
B for Beggar

My boy and I are buying sodas at the Chevron station . . .

I notice they’ve got the place plastered with breast cancer donation stickers . . . donate a buck to breast cancer research and you can put your name on a 3×5 sticker with a pink car and a Chevron logo and they’ll stick it up on the wall.

I object to that. Let Chevron donate their own damn money instead of shaking down the customers.

“Would you like to donate a dollar to breast cancer research?” the attendant asks.

“No,” I reply. “Shouldn’t Chevron make their own donations? They’ve got more money than I do.”

It takes the guy a few moments to pick up on my theme, but as we’re wrapping up the transaction, he grabs the ball and runs with it.

“Yeah,” he says, “and the price of gas keeps going up.”

“It does, although I have to admit it’s down a little bit in the past week.”

“They bounce it,” he says, “but in the long run, it always goes up. It’ll be five dollars, then seven dollars. And they control everything so there’s nothing you can do about it.”

“You’re exactly right,” I say to him.

When we get outside, I say to the boy, “Chevron should fire that guy. Not a good company man.”


The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

9 Sep 2012 /

The author, a Russian, displays great heart and insight in this philosophical novel, but at 900+ pages, he needs to learn how to get to the point.

I look forward to his next project, perhaps with a better editor.


The Game Blame Game

22 Jul 2012 /
Washington Bullets uniform

My boy is playing NBA 2K12 and points out that my Where’s Waldo shirt looks like the Washington Wizards (nee Bullets) throwback uniforms.

“Where’s John Wall-do?” he says.

Ha ha. I get my comeback opportunity a few minutes later when his game player passes to a teammate, who scores, but his player doesn’t get credit for an ssist.

“HOW CAN THAT BE ANYTHING BUT AN ASSIST FOR ME?!” he shouts in disbelief. “That’s bad programming.”

“Oh I doubt that,” I say. “The people who program video games are a lot smarter than the people who play them.”


It’s Not Nice to Make Fun of People’s Clothes

31 May 2012 /
Striped T-shirt

I picked up a red striped T-shirt on sale at Old Navy. My son saw it and it seemed to me that he chuckled a little bit.

“What’s funny?” I asked.

“Where’s Waldo?” he said.


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