One can never underestimate the importance of solitude. Last night I spent the night alone on the boat. I took my latest project - a cardigan I'm knitting for myself - my computer and a couple of DVDs. It was pure bliss. It's the first time in a couple of months that I've spent time completely alone. And best of all I watched a film that was though provoking.
Last night I watched And When Did You Last See Your Father? which, in all honesty, I chose because of Colin Firth. But, I went to bed afterwards thinking of my Dad. My Dad who took the time to meet me at the boat and hook up the power so I could run the heater, the computer and the electric blanket. My Dad who got up on the bow in the freezing wind to tie up the rope that whines across the bow in the night keeping me awake. My Dad who, over the past four months has always been there when I've needed him. While this might sound like classic Dad behaviour, my relationship with my Dad is very much like the relationship Blake had with his dad in the film. He felt like his Dad was never quite pleased with him, that he was always almost a failure in his Dad's eyes and that life might just be a whole lot smoother without him around. When Blake's father finds he's dying of cancer Blake starts to assess his life and finds that, yes his Dad berated him and his choices; he embarrassed him in front of people he'd striven to impress, he reminded him constantly that he'd wished Blake had become a doctor instead of a poet. However, when the crunch came there was a love there that surpasses or outweighs all the inadequacies, regrets, and emotional baggage we drag throughout our lives from adolescence and that, if we were smarter or more able to be self critical earlier in life we'd shed much sooner.
I think I need to remember last evening and try to teach the children how to be self critical, and how to shed useless and weighty baggage. They've been through so much, have so much more to go through and, on top of all they have now, they're going to have a whole lot more that I instill in them (it's inevitable as a parent I've decided). And I want them to have the freedom to say to themselves "ah well, that's who I am, like it or lump it" and enjoy that freedom. Wow, that's a lot to come out of one night of solitude.