Father - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
In his dreams he heard the sound of his children's feet, of their laughter and impromptu song lyrics. He would be so asleep and so awake in his soul, reliving those perfect moments of fatherhood. There were days he'd recall those adventures of the nighttime and lavish them upon us over breakfast, no doubt with a few beautiful details added on the fly. And he was so handsome as he slept, that steady heart, those steady breaths, more than enough to make me fall in love with him all over again.
Alexander looked upon his withered father, and King. Benedict grew more wrinkled with each day; looking as though he had too much skin to cover his wilting frame. His face had lost is healthy brown colour fading to an ashy grey, looking as though dust had begun to gather on his rotting body. Alexander remembered when his father looked a powerful man, when he had hair and a beard so long that he could not tell where one ended and the next began. Now though, the king had lost his youthful and handsome looks. He was clean shaven and his hair was trimmed short, revealing a decrepit mask where every wrinkled, blemish and imperfection could be seen.
Alexander hurt when he looked at Benedict like this. He wished to remember the mountainous man he had been; the strong willed and merciful King, the gentle and caring father, the adoring and passionate husband. Yet when he looked upon him now all he could see was a wizened and frightened old man. As he looked upon him, Alexander wondered if his father was more scared of living or of dying.
Father never said "I love you." He wasn't one of those fun parents who spun you around by your arms until you were dizzy. He didn't build me a go-cart or dance with me to rock 'n' roll. He watched his money and he took care of the car. He didn't gush over my art work or inflate my ego in any way. Mostly I only saw him on the weekends when he fell asleep in front of his soap operas, beer in hand and chips in easy reach. But every ballet recital he was in the front row, regardless of who's view he blocked. The first day Dave Thorpe followed me home from school with his gang he went to the police, the second day he went after them with a baseball bat. He spent eighteen years filling a college fund so that I could have an education at any university I chose, but he never told me what to study. That was my choice. He never gave advice unless I asked for it, he never really spoke unless someone else did first. Now every time I visit he checks my tire tread and air pressure before he lets me go.
He had never known what love was until that cold January morning in the hospital two years previously. He had been brought up in foster homes, many of them. He had known kindness, but the negative influences in his life had outweighed the good. That morning he held his new daughter, the mother had given her up to the authorities and named him as father. She was his. The most perfect feeling he had ever known had swept through him. He was rocked to his core, He knew he would do anything in the world for her. He would be her hero, her keeper, the one who gave her cuddles and kept her safe. He would be her Daddy. Now he stood in front of his home restrained by the neighbours as flames licked through the house. The babysitter sat crying on the wet grass. With super human strength he broke free of the grasping hands and disappeared into the black smoke. Either they both came out or neither of them would. He loved her.
My father was frequently away from home, travelling the world between choreographing fight scenes and being stunt doubles. I'm not complaining mind you, we lived well and he brought back such rich stories and new martial art techniques. My friends and I were his only students. We filed into his dojo every time we could and listened in rapture to the new methods and cultural teachings he had acquired. Of course we all dreamt of being in the movies just like him, we were the Avengers, Charlie's Angels and Marvel characters all rolled into one. We were invincible. Away from the dojo he just did task after task that my mother wanted doing, never sitting. He could have paid someone to do these things, some handyman would have been glad of the cash. But he liked fixing things for her, he liked being the man who got things done. He knew that when he was in China, Japan or off in the Burmese jungle my mother would turn on that faucet and recall how he toiled to stop the leak.
Found in Darwin's Ghost - first draft, authored by .
My father was a proud man. He was strict, disciplined and of high principal. He was short tempered and did some wrong in his life but he wasn’t a bad man. He had just been washed with bad experience and born more short-tempered than most. He wore his pride like a parapet. I didn’t know whether it was to shield him or not let anyone in. His judicious intellect, precise eye and impetuous anger led to a profoundly tarnished reputation amongst his distant relatives. From my memories of him, I can recollect his leathery skin; it had seen more distress than happiness as if he had been fighting with life, all his life. He had his dusky hair that rested atop his herculean sallow figure. A disorderly mess of hair and wrinkles sat on his brow bone, forehead and under the green eyes that never smiled. His hands were withered and his fingers were like an insect antenna. He was bold. He had the resounding presence of a fiery phoenix but the quiet yet strong aura of a Boilam Brikkho he didn’t have to talk to be the loudest person in a room.
In fact he was much like a Boilam Brikkho tree with great boughs striving to touch the sky and its noble roots strengthening its hold on the ground; he was very ambitious man with firm roots to his past and great ties to his land. The native Bengali-speakers would often talk of the legend of how God stopped the Boilam Brikkho from growing because it worried too much about growing more rather appreciate what it had. But this led to it cutting itself off from the other trees and being consumed by its anger. I never understood why stopping the tree from growing even mattered because the Boilam Brikkho was the tallest tree in all of West Pakistan anyway. But when I think about how my father once only cared so much of our future but had stopped, with a newly founded petulance overtaking his once slightly optimistic demeanour, I wondered if God did to him what it did to that Boilam Brikkho.
I choose the most perfect memory of my father and cling to it. I choose it because in that moment he was the person he should have been, would have been, had it not been for the stress of life. In that snapshot his unwarped personality was something so golden and sacred I want to keep it forever. Like an old movie reel I can play it at will; it's 1979, on the back lawn of our old house. He's laughing, relaxed after mowing the lawn. He asks me if I want an aeroplane ride and of course I do, what four year old doesn't? In moments he has my right wrist and ankle. He spins like a shot-putter, but he never lets go. The garden turns into a green blur, I'm flying- flying until he can spin no more. The memory has no smells or weather, other than a lack of rain. The garden is in fine detail: the crab apple tree, the rhododendron bush, the weeds in the flower beds. But the finest detail is his face, creased with love and my joy- not only for the ride but for being with him, for being with my Dad
Once upon a time there was a baby called Einstein, not the famous one, but another. When he was five years old he wanted to know about life the universe and everything. But first he wanted to know what he was made of.
His father sat him on his knee and said you are food, you are water and you are love. Einstein looked thoughtful. Okay, he said. "I can see food and water, but love, can I see that too, Daddy? "
His Dad grinned. "You sure can he said. Everytime I look at you it will be there in my eyes, but most of all it will be felt inside you because that is how God connects to you and He is love. That's what makes all children so special, a gift of love from our Heavenly Father."
Einstein had lost focus, he was watching a dog run up the street without an owner... just as well, his Daddy was welling up and he preferred not to look to soft, a man can have some pride, right?
The man was obviously a father. On top of his bland suit lay a crudely knitted scarf in neon wool. It was unusually short for an adult and somewhat thin, you couldn't help but think it would be more appropriate on a teddy bear. But without it this man was just another faceless corporate executive, two dimensional, flat. With it he was someone loved, someone so sentimental that he didn't remove it once his child was out of sight. I could just see those grey features lighting up at the end of the day to tell nine year old he wore it all the way to work and it kept his neck toasty warm. Which in this unseasonably warm weather I don't doubt it did.
They brought out the very worst in each other, each of them backing up the other's vices as if they were virtues. It was the "right" thing to spend all of their money on themselves, to not let others "push them around." And while I like to buy some nice things too, there's just nothing right with taking off for an expensive vacation when you "can't afford" to feed your daughter non-processed junk food or buy new clothes for her when she's outgrown the others. But that's just the way he was and there was nothing I could do. The court ruled I had to send you fifty percent of the time, so he and his "beautiful girlfriend" could ignore you and feed you hot-dogs and chips. I know they left you with the television while they went to the gym and sucked back nutri-shakes. I'm sorry. He wasn't like that when we were together, he had the selfish streak for sure, but he wanted me to like him then and, in hindsight, that was all that made him behave.
Hands like spades, eyes that twinkle with untold jokes, telling tall tales of his youth, black craggy skin, short cropped black hair sprinkled with white, quick and ready smile radiants warmth, kindness, calm. Brave as a lion, determined, hard working. Battered hat perched on top of the salt 'n' pepper hair.
I broke down and dropped to my knees,
The last breath had been pulled from my lungs.
Father, he reached for the cheeks and spoke,
“Find your faith, speak with no man’s tongues.”
Black traces of sin began to pour from my mouth,
And the devil stood to applaud.
Father stepped back in fear,
“Look within yourself to find God.”
But there is no God here,
Only a lost, broken soul.
A place where demons raise their young,
A place where shatters of glass are added to the coal.
But yet you tell me to look deep down here,
The place that harbors the secrets that never left my lips,
The place where my greatest of judgement trips.
The place that provides the solution my mind sips.
Don’t tell me to find my faith within,
Because the hell inside doesn’t allow a god.
What good is it to listen to myself,
When all the voices inside are leading me to the spinning rod.
So Father, forgive me when I say,
That you have done no good.
I think when I told you I was dying,
You simply misunderstood.
There is no light hiding in the darkness of these shadows,
The pieces inside don’t all fit.
You can’t just raise your hands and say a prayer,
Because upon entering the Holy Spirit got the faith scared out of it.
I called to you in need of a miracle,
And you looked at me with pity.
You turned from my cry,
As if I hadn’t tried everything already.
Father, look with your eyes at the worst of failures,
See what happens when you let the suppressed come out to play.
Do you not understand what happens when you’re four months overdue,
And the devil tells you it’s time to pay.
But look no more,
You have absolutely no reason to cry.
Father, I have only one request;
When the next scream calls your name,
Promise to at least try.
Leon followed the sound of the sobs. Lucky for him Gayla always cried like there was a gale inside her fighting to get out. He sat on the damp pavement right next to her and followed her gaze to the moon, saying nothing. She wiped her nose with her sleeve and glanced his way. “I always fail, Papa. Always. Why do you even bother?”
“Gayla, I was there when you came into this world. I know you, the real one inside, not the one you show the world. You're beautiful.”
“But I rage, I get angry, I forget what you said and I mess up all over again.”
Leon held her gaze, “I love you and that will never change. You are human like the rest of us and you make mistakes. You will continue to make them too, as do I. But what's so special about you is that you own them, feel the hurt and force the pain to make you better.” Gayla's sobs had ebbed to a trickle and she took Leon's hand. He gave it a gentle squeeze and together they walked back into the house.
Father was impossible to take out for dinner anywhere other than his own restaurant. Whatever he tasted elsewhere he knew how they could have improved it and assumed the chefs were lazy and inept. So eventually we gave up trying. Instead, even on his birthday, they would arrive at “La Luna” at the designated time, order, and then wait while he went to the kitchens to “supervise.” But at least then everyone could all enjoy the meal, showering praise on the chef.
Papa told me how much life meant,
Over tea, on my sixth birthday,
My dear, it is worth so much,
He told me how life isn't fair,
Over my first broken heart,
My dear, he said, how often life is cruel to you.
He told me how life is full of surprises,
Over an acceptance letter and sparkling eyes,
My dear, he said, it can delight you on your worst of days.
He told me how life doesn't stop for anyone
Over happy tears and a diamond ring,
My dear, he said, how the clock never ceases.
He told me how life destroys you,
Over divorce papers and an empty bottle of wine,
My dear, he said, it can break you again and again.
He told me how life can berate you, betray you,
Over the beat of his weak heart,
He whispered, life has deceived us, my dear,
But beautifully so.