I recently discovered that the Uncle Bonsai albums are available on CD. They're still not available via the iTunes Store, so I ordered a couple of the CDs, and imported them into iTunes, and got to listen to some of the songs for the first time in years. (I have them on tape, but haven't listened to tapes in a while.) Good stuff.
When their song "Silent Night" came up in shuffle play the other night, I was hesitant about listening to it--it's a lovely song, one of my favorites of theirs, but it's also very sad, about a young woman whose father has died. But I went ahead and listened to it. A piece of it goes:
Oh you look so pretty
Don't forget to say your prayers
I will rock you 'til you're sleeping
And I'll carry you upstairs
And I'll see you in the morning
I'll see you in your dreams
I will always be here when you need me
I was doing okay until I checked email a little later and found a note from a friend whose father has brain cancer, and it's suddenly gotten much worse and he doesn't have much longer to live.
And another friend's stepfather is also most likely dying.
And then, on the other hand, two other friends have recently mentioned ongoing lack of connection with their fathers, and fathers not being there for them. Interaction with parents is often fraught with difficulty, and freighted with longstanding emotional baggage. As I said a while back: The reason our parents are so good at pushing our buttons is that they were the ones who installed our buttons. So I'm not saying everyone should go out and try to connect with their parents; sometimes that's just not the way things work.
But for those of you who can, and would like to, be on better terms with your parents, I recommend trying to make that connection. A lot of us seem to have reached the age of our parents or our friends' parents dying, and once they're gone, so's the chance of a better connection.
Heh--last night Kam and I watched the pilot the new Flash Gordon series on the Sci Fi Channel. It was terrible; we ended up skimming much of it. But there were many (heavily cliched) moments involving Flash missing his father, who allegedly died in a lab fire when Flash was a kid; and of course (this is a spoiler, but such an obvious one that I don't think it counts) later we learn that there's a chance Dad is still out there, so of course Flash sets out to find him. I wouldn't want to give too much intellectual credit to this particular show, but it just occurred to me that the situation could be seen as kind of a metaphor--the missing father who the kid really wants to please, the long-held belief that the father is beyond reach, and then as the young man enters adulthood and takes on adult responsibilities, the attempt to reach out to the father and make the connection once believed impossible. . . . Okay, so maybe that's a stretch. Just a passing thought.
The other thing that keeps running through my head is another bit of another song. I'll leave you with this thought (not, as the web seems to think, by Pete Seeger (though his version may be the best-known these days), but rather by Harold Rome, from the musical Fanny):
Be kind to your parents
Though they don't deserve it
Remember they're grown-ups,
A difficult stage of life. . . .