Father’s Day and (in)gratitude

Enlace para español/Link here for Spanish

rembrandt autorretrato viejo

My father loved this self-portrait of Rembrandt, and for me it has become almost a portrait of him.

(Part of having a father is not always being grateful for what he does, or did, for us… Or not even being aware of most of it. Usually it takes growing up, living, taking our share of hard knocks, and then a few years of doing that pretty tough job he did… to open our eyes. Happy Fathers Day to all, and loving thanks to our own, RIP.)

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?

–Robert Hayden (1913-1980) “Those Winter Sundays”.
With thanks to Garrison Keillor for introducing us to this poem one day, many years ago, on his radio feature, Writer’s Almanac.

About Pablo Julián Davis
Pablo Julián Davis, PhD, ATA Certified Translator (Engl>Span) and Supreme Court of Tennessee Certified Interpreter (EnglSpan), offers world-class Spanish/English language services including translation, interpreting, copywriting, and editing in both languages. His specialties are legal, business, medical, and humanities/education; he has wide experience in other fields as well. Also offered: interactive and transformative cultural-awareness training for companies, non-profits, communities, government agencies, institutions of faith, and other audiences. (See just a small sampling of testimonials from happy and satisfied clients: interfluency.com/testimonials.html) The ability to move effectively from language to language - which necessarily also means moving between cultures - has likely never been at a greater premium than it is in today's world. That ability is what we mean by Interfluency TM.

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