Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Emails from an estranged, and alien father

My father and I have had what can only be called a non-relationship ever since my parents divorced 30 years ago. He would call from time to time, usually every two years or so, to wish us happy birthday for the missed years, to say he would be visiting my sister and me.

These contacts became fewer and fewer as time passed. (Someday I'll share one reason why -- he was in a Saudi Jail. But that was hard enough for a teenage son to deal with (How can I be mad at my dad when he's being tortured in a Saudi jail? How can I just out of the blue love the man when he has done nothing to earn that love?), that I'll just as soon put off any details on that until some other date.

After a few more years, we suddenly came into contact again, this time while I was studying world religions at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Suddenly things had changed. Like magic, I was now in contact with someone whose intellectual curiosity was very much in tune with mine. My father, as a sometimes-student of religions himself, was asking questions, and providing new ideas, that were very much in line with things I had become interested in as well.

No comments: