I would have put “10-year blogging journey” in the title, but that was starting to become clunky, and so I omitted it. But just for your reference, dear readers, I’m picking up where I left off from New Life and the VOX years.
“One must have a faith that the father is merciful, and then a reliance on that mercy.” — Joseph Campbell
I had very mixed feelings about having a boy in my family. Memories of being bullied by boys was too fresh in my mind. Middle-school classmates called me “faggot” and “queer”, and chastised me for discovering I was into hardcore porn. I was deathly afraid for years that the homoerotic aspects of my otherwise heterosexual fantasies would be discovered. It took me a lot just to admit this to Cimmorene, much less to anyone else. I also repressed a lot of memories of my father beating me as a child– it wouldn’t be too much longer until I remembered.
Masculinity was in turns fascinating and repulsive to me. How could I be a good father to a boy with that conflict churning inside of me?
I had already come a long way in understanding the buried rage at my mother, for all those years she chipped away at my self-esteem, then strangely turning to me as some sort of surrogate husband. But I was only just beginning to understand the anger I had towards my father– not even so much for beating me (that did terrify me)– but for not protecting me from my mother and grandmother.
“The problem of the hero going to meet the father is to open his soul beyond terror to such a degree that he will be ripe to understand how the sickening and insane tragedies of this vast and ruthless cosmos are completely validated in the majesty of Being.”
How do I describe this? It was one thing for me when my daughter learned to say “dada” and then “Daddy”, but yet another when my son spoke those words. I knew I was a father to a boy! But how to reconcile mixed memories of my father? There were good ones as well as bad ones. As my son grew, it slowly became apparent to me. My son demanded my physical touch. It didn’t matter too much then whether I was paying full attention to him or not, as long as I put my hand on his head, shoulder… he was satisfied.
It awakened something deep inside of me. Something that had been missing, for a long time.
Some time later, I remember my father telling me how much I had matured over the last five years. When I told a friend of mine about it, she didn’t miss a beat. She said, “That’s because that was when your son was born.” Indeed, it had been five years since he was born.