Original Postdate: June 18
I'm sitting here, dimly remembering what it was like to be alive. The things that conjure up such memories - chanced whiffs of the carnival food court, a sight of short shorts rippling and swaying down the event aisle.
I remember the distance between the living moments - the sight of something you wanted, and thought there might be only the least chance of getting, but sure that it'd be worth it, victory or failure. Your friends with you, either way it washed out, the laughs pleased or strained that would flow at the recounting moments, days and weeks later - didn't matter, it'd improve, depending on the drift of the punch line in that retelling, it'd ring your living life true.
The world was, if not ours, at least graspable, and potentially wondrous.
I remember once upon a time, back when I was alive - the sights and sounds. Ahh me.
And now? Am I dead?
No, not dead, but not really alive either, not in the same way at least; it's a cliche, but like most, has some grounding in truth, when young you live for the moment - alive without the constant reflection upon issues of what you should do, must do, is the risk worth doing, and so on. The constant chatter of maturity. It's not bad, not less... but more deliberate, and definitely different.
Kids see it as well, the not quite verbalized, but constant in the back of all their thoughts when they do regard you, is that you're not really a person, you're a grown-up. More a myth than a Man.
So now I'm no longer alive in the slightly dangerous way of youth, but a man-myth, one that my kids halfheartedly believe in - sometimes more intensely than others. Just as God seems real and vivid in times of danger and desperation, so do the dispensations’ of Dad, and his benevolence or wrath impending, his feelings suddenly and surprisingly real, etched about his eyes, the connection between your actions and that etching strangely and jarringly felt within and without yourself. His story suddenly in mind, commandments at the tip of your tongue... Fatherhood is the turning point of your living life into living myth, where not necessarily the actions you'd prefer to take - will be the ones that you do take - no, they must all be passed through the filter of your Pater myth for the higher good of your children.
They are worth it, it is a Choice that you choose, and creations that you would not forgo for anything - but still the memory of being alive tugs at your soul now and again, especially as they walk the paths which you once trod (unknown to them - you hope). At those moments, you seem to be living within a strange kaliedescope, memories of your past life superimposing themselves across the images before you and them - memories clang about your brain as you tell them the requirements of your mythos, even as you find yourself screaming it above what you wish you could DO in those blessedly unreflective moments.
Not yet, you wish, not yet... But then you do think beyond the moment, and two or three levels deeper, and you make the proper choice, the choice required of your mythos, but more importantly, by their lives being lived before you, which you value more than living, and that they need to be guided by - even if they don't do as you say, the pronouncement will be lodged into their minds, and it will work it's magic into their lives now - or in the life to come for them, when they remember too, the memories of being alive.
And they too will remember the need to live the myth, and pass on the mythos, revised and improved, to guide the lives that they've created and are responsible for - more precious than living itself.