|My father as a young man|
Sometimes it happens as I walk down the street. I out of the blue glimpse him out of the corner of my eye and the familiarity makes my heart start to pound in my chest, taking moments to steady again. Sometimes it happens when I'm on the bus or a train. I might not see a resemblance in the face or the eyes but I glance down or across from me and see gorilla black hands with their line after line of assembled history. Right there I see him, perhaps older than I remember. In that moment I let my mind wander as I make believe that it could be true, that I could know him through eyes of the me now and not just experience it through the cloudiness of the me then. It may sound a little sad and at times it is but mostly it is a longing that is good. A part of loss and what has been lost, a pleasure in constantly seeking what is lost and cannot be found. A restlessness in persistently searching, persistently searching, persistently searching ....
Sometimes it happens just when I think it has been a long time since it happened, just when I begin to believe I may be cured. It is unexpected and the familiarity makes my heart pound in my chest, taking moments to steady again.
It happened just the other day in a busy art gallery as I navigated my way around colour and faces. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him, the him as a young man. The him he so often spoke of, the one who had not yet travelled, the one who had not yet studied medicine, the one who had not yet met my mother. The him that is one of the many him's that I seek everywhere.
|Portrait of Charlemagne Peralte by Philome Obin|