"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

17 November 2010

Sweet Sixteen

The true love of my life, my daughter, standing atop Buffalo Mountain, a twelve-thousand foot peak she ascended with my sister, this summer.

Do you remember sixteen? That mystical time spoken of in story and song? The right to operate a motor vehicle, a fetish of ultimate freedom in some parts of the world, comes at sixteen. In Tibetan Buddhism, the bodhisattva, Tara, is depicted as a sixteen year old girl. Sixteen being the perfect time, when one is at the peak or their beauty, ability, and all the other kinds of y that count.

When I was sixteen, I had what might be called my first serious relationship with a girl, although, these days, I'm more inclined to called a comedy of adolescent errors. It was an interesting time, certainly. The Game Boy came out, Hurricane Hugo bitch-slapped the south, and Voyager II reached Neptune. I got braces and my family moved back to Colorado from that three and half year stint in North Carolina. For all it's mysticism, it wasn't a time of unicorns and fairies and rainbows and chocolate and wine and roses that the stories and songs made it out to be. It was an orbit around the sun.

My daughter has turned sixteen, and I am not sure how to approach the subject. I know I am not the first parent to look upon the event with a certain amount of fear and loathing mingled with hopeful anticipation. These days, my daughter is five foot nine, instead of the length of my forearm. She and I can have more adult conversations, which might say something, since some of my friends are convinced she was born an adult, or at the very least, a late teen.

It is said sixteen is magical time. Over the years and lifetimes, I have called my daughter fucking magic more times than I can count without the help of an abacus. Perhaps, for my daughter, this orbit around the sun will be a time of unicorns and fairies and rainbows and chocolate and wine and roses that stories and songs made it out to be. At the very least, I am certain she'll find it to be an interesting time.


  1. I like reading clever, eloquent people on parenthood. I'm not a parent, and I enjoy seeing it through the eyes of people like you.