In Memory Of My Lion King

The Inner History of a Day 

No one knew the name of this day;
Born quietly from deepest night,
It hid its face in light,
Demanded nothing for itself,
Opened out to offer each of us
A field of brightness that travelled ahead,
Providing in time, ground to hold our footsteps
And the light of thought to show the way.
The mind of the day draws no attention;
It dwells within the silence with elegance
To create a space for all our worlds,
Drawing us to listen inwards and outwards.
We seldom notice how each day is a holy place
Where the eucharist of the ordinary happens,
Transforming our broken fragments
Into an eternal continuity that keeps us.
Somewhere in us a dignity presides
That is more gracious than the smallness
That fuels us with fear and force,
A dignity that trusts the form a day takes.
So at the end of this day, we give thanks
For being betrothed to the unknown
And for the secret work
Through which the mind of the day
And wisdom of the soul become one.
– John O’Donohue / Benedictus

*** In Memoriam: Pedro A. Castillo (February 23, 1937 – September 22, 2016) ***

My Lion King ©MTHerzog 

Hard to believe that one year has passed since my father’s death. He was my lion who bravely fought his battles until all his willpower left him, and no words could express how much he loved my mother. Only a feeble hand squeeze and the faintest of caresses with his fingers let her know that he would go ahead and prepare the way for her.

Daddy was very meticulous about everything, paying close attention to details and ensuring that things were in place before he took action. That is how he proposed marriage to my mother – with a job, a furnished house, and a promise. The house is ready, he said to her, all it needs is the queen. Even in death, he went ahead of Mommy to prepare the way, and welcomed her back into his fold a month later.

Ours was never the closest of friendships, and there were certain lines I never dared to cross with him, such as answering back, or defying him. The lion was to be obeyed and the king to be respected, and as a child, also feared. It was only when I finished my studies and started working that he began to see me as a capable adult, and some semblance of friendship emerged. Later on, as I began to write, he and Mommy became my most loyal fans, and if  it weren’t for Daddy, I would have given up blogging ten years ago.

In the good old days when people still wrote letters to each other with actual pencil and pen, Daddy would bring home the mail, place it on the table, and when we sat down for dinner, Mommy always opened the letters, passed the empty envelopes to him so he could cut out the stamps, and then she proceeded to read the letter aloud. This is how mz stamp collection began. Later on, when the world switched to emails, Daddy would print out the emails, place them on the table, and wait for Mommy to read them aloud. He did the same for all my blog entries, even though it would have been much easier to call Mommy to the computer and have her read it there.

On days when I am at a loss about what to write, I stop and wonder what Mommy and Daddy would enjoy reading and the words find their way to my keyboard.

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