|Thomas Builds-the-Fire and Victor Joseph|
The journey is about coming to terms with absent fathers and making peace with discordant memories that weigh heavy.
And so the question of "how do we forgive our fathers" is brought to bear on the consciousness of both young men.
I saw the movie in Seattle about 8 years ago but rented it again and watched it alone in Portland a couple years later.
Both these cities are in the Pacific Northwest.
It struck me that in the decade that I lived there I never met more than a handful of folks who were Couer d'Alene. They have been made to disappear.
In this movie we meet Native Americans who are real. Not stereotypical Injuns of the American West that played under the racist boot of John Wayne.
Tonight I caught about an hour of the movie on a local satellite channel and it reminded me of my own struggle to come to terms.
One scene that stuck out tonight is one I would not have paid too much mind to when I saw the movie previously because my dad was still alive.
The scene has one of the lead characters driving his deceased dad's beat-up beige pick-up truck.
It is a Ford F250 and it is a bucket of late-1970s vintage.
My dad's pick-up truck is a beige Isuzu 250 Diesel and it is a bucket of mid-1990s vintage.
Just made me smile that's all :0)
The journey to forgiveness, or at least coming to terms, is about confrontation. The past is never just about stuff that happened before now.
We must confront the past or live on in denial forever. Confrontation promises freedom through greater meaning, and even resolution.
To live in denial is to live suspended.
This is true at the interpersonal level or the societal (nation) level. No nation can unburden its past without a measured and purposeful confrontation.
Denial is not a reasonable option. Not for individuals and not for nations.
Read the poem below and see the movie if you have not already. And it is OK for men to cry about their fathers. You too Guru :0)
Life is too hard without the comfort of tears.
The closing question is deep. Would like to know what you think.
For me the journey has been a reaffirmation of how fragile and human we are. I have learned to accept that life is not about controlling outcomes.
And I now know that to really love your father, you must learn to forgive yourself too.
How do we forgive our fathers?
Maybe in a dream.
Do we forgive our fathers for leaving us too often,
when we were little?
Maybe for scaring us with unexpected rage,
or for making us nervous
because there never seemed to be any rage there at all?
Do we forgive our fathers for marrying,
or not marrying,
or not divorcing,
And shall we forgive them for their excesses
Shall we forgive them
For shutting doors?
For speaking through walls?
Or never speaking?
Or never being silent?
Do we forgive our fathers in our age or in theirs?
Or in their deaths,
saying it to them,
or not saying it?
If we forgive our fathers, what is left?
- Dick Lourie-