Saturday, August 11, 2012

I set all my regrets on fire

In this moment now, capture it, remember it. You pull me in and I'm a little more brave, you take my hand and drag me headfirst, fearless.
Last night in Colorado
Mallory / Taylor Swift

Music and Mallory have always seemed intertwined, so perhaps it was fitting that as we pulled into the parking lot at the airport this morning, this song and these particular lyrics were playing…

We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

Fitting indeed that the next chapter of what has already been an amazing life would be in New Mexico, “The Land of Enchantment”, whose state symbol is the Zia, symbolic to some of the original pueblo people as the sun.

Mallory’s last blog post (if that’s what you do on Tumblr) started with this quote
“The wild passion of letting yourself be transported by wind, by burning heat and by cold space… The pleasure of being anonymous, of being quiet for a long time, of existing in no place at all… The pleasure of leaving, of being far away, of being missing… The subtle pleasures of erasing the presence of your body, your words and your shadow, of counting for nothing, of hiding yourself, of becoming so light that you fly away…” Michel Sierres

I encourage you to read the whole thing (post titled “Now Boarding”) – and a lot of here other thoughts as well at

In essence though, Mallory writes about the excitement she finds in airports, as much as anything because of the anticipation they hold – the promise of things to come.  Fitting too then that the quote she has chosen to reflect herself on Tumblr is from Henry David Thoreau;

We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn

Today is hard.  I suppose I always knew it would be.  It was not something I was dreading and this past week – the culmination of a years of “lasts” has almost seemed anticlimactic.  Indeed, that Mallory is so ready for this is certainly helping a lot.  But bittersweet is just that.  Today is hard!

In the movie Saving Private Ryan, an elderly Ryan talking at the headstone of the leader of a group of soldiers who sacrificed his life as a young soldier getting Ryan out of the battlefield,
I tried to live my life the best that I could. I hope that was enough. I hope that, at least in your eyes, I've earned what all of you have done for me.

This and then the question he asks his wife,
Tell me I have led a good life.      Tell me I'm a good man.
have always been to me a question I always want to feel I am on the right side of – in effect – have I made a positive difference – did I do more good than harm…

Today we pass a milestone where in part I find out.  Mallory will always be my little girl, and I will always be her papa, but the formative days are largely done.  So largely I am find peace in the fact that Mallory will shine, continue to shine really.  Whatever small or large part I have had her doing that and becoming the beautiful young woman she is brings comfort to my soul.  As I said in a short speech I made at her Sweet 16 celebration not all that long ago when reflecting on the notion that our children are mirrors, reflecting the best and worst of our character, that with Mallory, sometimes I fear as a parent I may get too much credit and my many failings are obscured. 

It Goes by in a Flash

I am indeed, a fortunate father.