I am going to California to see Dad for the last time. He is waiting for me, the last of his eight children to be with him. I packed a suitcase full of black clothes. In Vietnam we used to wear white for mourning, which I prefer. I like to think the color of death is white, which to me implies a possibility of transcendence. Black says absolute annihilation.
6:15AM. I hope Dad is having a restful night. I don’t think he can endure many more nights. He said that he’s “ready to go.” I’d like to hold his hand one last time, and I hope he will wait for me.
I’m working on an idea for a video of Dad.
merci, daniel. cela fait des jours que je pense à t’écrire. j’espère que tout va bien à tokyo. je me sens comme si je flotte dans une rivière inconnue et je ne sais pas du tout où cela va ma mener. mon père souffre terriblement. la nuit le terrorise à cause de la douleur insupportable qui arrive et qui l’empeche de dormir. il cache beaucoup derrière son regard tendre et doux....
Underneath the leaves of life, Green on the prodigious tree, In a trance...– W.H. Auden ”The Riddle”
On the airplane here two nights ago I could not rest and spent most of the time looking out the window at the changing landscape below. It was incredibly varied and beautiful. It was almost magical to think that I was crossing a whole continent in a single night, which reminded me of St-Exupery’s writing on his flying experience. It also occurred to me that I was so far away from Dad....
I am interested in everything.– Lily, 6 years old. Yes! The world is full of wonderful things.
One of the best things about being a parent is the opportunity to experience vicariously the unbounded enthusiasm for the smallest things that we adults take for granted. Lily was deliriously happy to be in Palm Beach, to feel the warm sunshine and to swim in the sea. She bounced along the entire time, her feet hardly touching the ground for three days. “I love the sea,” she roared...
What poetry prompts us to remember alters according to what we are most in peril...– Jeanette Winterson (one of my favorite writers), in a foreword of a book of poems by Ted Hughes.
It’s 4:30 AM. Lily is so excited to be going to Palm Beach. “I love going on vacation,” she said.
The Guardian's list of the world's 50 most... →
Such lovely words to wake up to...
Lily: ”Mama, you are sweeter than all my favorite candies.”
FT's book covers feature from the FT last weekend →
Dad’s cough’s been worsening. Even with the codeine the doctor’s given him, Dad can’t sleep at night because of his coughs. As a result, he is tired during the day and not interested in doing much. He no longer tries to put on a cheerful front. A week ago he still had hope. Now the physical reality of his situation is slowly taking over. What must Dad be feeling right now?...