Maybe I Have His Smile

Today I decided I wasn’t a writer.  I was done.  Not up to it.  Why did I want to write anyway?  Didn’t all that time spent jotting down ideas, taking notes and blogging simply distract me from my “true” calling?  Didn’t it take away from the time I could be practicing Yoga, nurturing a tenuous connection to what might be the beginning of a social life, or watching So You Think You Can Dance?  Besides, the plastic bins of research gathering dust in my kitchen took up too much floor space in my already cramped studio.  I’d be better off taking them down to my storage locker.

Nope.  I was done.  Finished.  Finito.

And then this happened:

I went back to the family photographs my mother gave me when I visited her last September.  Only a few include images of the father I never met. I have no idea if I walk like him or if I have his sense of humor.  I won’t find out if I’m impatient because he was, or if he liked spicy food.  But maybe if I looked hard enough I could see something in his face.  Tonight I needed to be convinced he and I shared something.  I held the photographs close and then, with my face just inches away from the mirror, I searched my eyes, my cheeks, my nose.  Like almost every other middle-aged woman, all I could see was my mother looking back at me.  I stared at the photographs and back again at my reflection.  I compared his image to my mom’s and then me until finally I could see it.  There it was.  His smile.  I’m pretty certain I have a bit of his smile.

As I slipped the photos back into the treasure box I keep them in, I thought about the protagonist in the manuscript taking up space on my kitchen floor.  She’s just sixteen, but she’s missing a dad, too.  I wondered what she might feel, how she might react, seeing her father for the first time.

I opened my laptop and took a few pages of notes for a manuscript I haven’t touched for three months.

It turns out maybe I am a writer after all.






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