October 13, 2014

“A Finger, Two Dots, & Me.” {Video}

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I’ve been thinking about my Dad lately.

It is Thanksgiving in Canada, and we had a special, weird tradition around Thanksgiving that we continued celebrating after he passed away when I was 17.

One year our family went to a good friend’s house for Thanksgiving dinner—for some reason we had missed our own, rather large extended family’s festivities and my parents, sister and I were practically chewing each other’s arms off tasting turkey as we drove over.

Mashed potatoes, gravy, we were all envisioning it, discussing it, drooling, and I think my parents had starved us that day so that we’d especially enjoy supper. (Note: We weren’t a particularly health-concsious, mindful bunch at this point in our lives.)

We arrived for supper and our dear, dear host had unbeknownst to us determined she would try something new for Thanksgiving: soup.

And not turkey soup, or some heart-warming, stick-to-your-ribs concoction. It was a watery, broth-like, tasteless blend of nondescript vegetables. It probably would have been delicious any other day (or not). But, I cannot describe the absolute crushing disappointment it was to our spoiled little selves that day.

Since they were friends of my dad’s from youth, he couldn’t help but say something as we left. I believe, with his typical tact, it was something along the lines of, “What the hell, Shelia—soup?”

And so we started a tradition of celebrating American Thanksgiving as well, with our friend Shelia and whatever random guests we convinced to come over, and someone always told the story of the soup-failure.

My father passed away about two years after that, so it became a bit of tradition upheld in memory of him, and we always laughed about how my mom and sister and I would have gone home, certainly disappointed in the soup fiasco, but far more politely than good old Dad.

So, Thanksgiving’s here, and I’m thinking of Dad.

I’m also almost 32—ten years younger than he was when he passed away, and that’s been in my head a lot. How fast my life is flying by, and how often he must have thought that in the months before he died (of pancreatic cancer).

You know those places our minds go late at night, when we wonder the deep, dark questions: What matters most? What happens when we die? What will I miss? What is important? Right now, what is really, really important? What is holy?

A friend shared this video of poet Derrick Brown reciting his poem, “A Finger, Two Dots, and Me.”

I was blown away by the eloquence and humour that he engages us with, while talking about our soul’s deepest wonders.

Whatever your beliefs, your losses, whatever your heart is pondering right now—even if it’s simply whether or not to have turkey or soup—pause for the few minutes it takes to watch this and listen.

(4:20 is where I really fell in love.)







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Editor: Emily Bartran

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