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The Linguist

I don’t remember how old I was when my father began to teach me about the world. I only remember it as ‘something that has always been’.

Whereas other children climbed onto their father’s knee to be regaled with Alice’s adventures and other assigned age-appropriate reading material, I was given The Rise and Fall of the Human Empire – a lesson in the importance of being earnest.

He would break into his stories wherever we happened to be:
between juicy mouthfuls of apple chunks at the park;
between the press of hurrying bodies on Oxford Street;
between spelling and that night’s trigonometry homework.

And it was an epic in the telling: covering my childhood and my aging in volumes of rare beauty and poetry.

Now of course, I am older – as he is again. And though no longer fit on his knee, the narratives continue. And as I age, I begin to realise how brave he was to entrust those tales to me: to show himself as he had been; and in doing so, to build in me a spirit of adventure.

And so I offer these simple chapters in return for a lifetime of honesty. That he may know:
                that I listened and learned – even when there was no proving what it was that I learned;

                that his tales helped me live through the light and the darkness – teaching me to acknowledge the one and not to fear the other;

                that he taught me the love of words: to treasure them, and to be true in what I shared of myself in my words.
Dedicated to: Daddi – because you chose to be true and lived by that choice despite history and fate: thereby teaching me that I was capable of doing the same. Thank you.

This is where you click on Page 2. Trust me, it’s all part of the Clicking Through the Pages Weekly Writing Challenge.

13 thoughts on “The Linguist

  1. A father is an essential part of growing up – to build a balanced human being.
    And yes, there are so many beautiful fathers out there – we need to hear more from them so as to make a difference in the fathers who are not taking their responsibilities seriously.

    And you speak so lovingly of your father. I guess we need to hear similar stories more often too – to make its mark on all men 🙂

    1. I agree with you, amira. We do need to hear from fathers more often. One of the sites I love to read is I just like how Dadicus speaks so openly about his struggles to be the best father that he is able to be and what the experience teaches him about himself. Have a look: it’ll leave with you with a warm feeling inside and a big smile.

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