I feel compelled to share this beautiful quote from the 1998 film Smoke Signals (based on Sherman Alexie’s “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven”), which I finally got around to seeing tonight. The movie, centred around a son’s quest following the death of his father, resonated deeply with me. These words, which end the film, affected me in a very profound way. Father and Forgiveness are ideas I’ve tiptoed around in my life. It’s a grounding experience, learning you are not alone. There is common experience.
How do we forgive our fathers?
Maybe in a dream.
Do we forgive our fathers for leaving us too often, or forever, when we were little?
Maybe for scaring us with unexpected rage, or making us nervous because there never seemed to be any rage there at all?
Do we forgive our fathers for marrying, or not marrying, our mothers?
Or divorcing, or not divorcing, our mothers?
And shall we forgive them for their excesses of warmth or coldness?
Shall we forgive them for pushing, or leaning?
For shutting doors or speaking through walls?
For never speaking, or never being silent?
Do we forgive our fathers in our age, or in theirs?
Or in their deaths, saying it to them or not saying it.
If we forgive our fathers, what is left?