Yesterday was Father’s Day. Another year has passed without him. Yesterday morning the landlord called saying she will send a plumber to do I don’t know what on the roof. I politely declined saying it was hard for us to stay home on this day and that we were going out. Because somehow being outside the house made it more bearable.
Yesterday my mind had gone completely blank and I couldn’t write anything. Personally I have to distance myself from my pain to be able to write objectively. And as always with my blog the first thing that comes to mind is will people read what I write? Will there be anyone who will like it? And that’s when I get blocked.
And yesterday morning I spent the entire morning thinking I should have written, no matter what. That’s when I read the following words in an email I received from my uncle Setrak in Beirut:
“So, dear Shogh, no matter what you write, or how you write, there will always be people who would criticize, or who would see “the little empty part of the glass which is full of water.”
Please write when you feel like writing, write what you wish to write about, and write whenever you feel like writing. Don’t pay much attention to little-minded people. Try to be proactive. You decide what you want; you decide how you want or when you want anything, especially when it comes to writing. Even when I make comments, don’t get offended. Think about it and then you decide what action to take.”
The best advice a writer can get. I knew then that I should have followed my heart and written. In his email he had also included one of Aesop’s fables which I would like to share even though you are probably familiar with it.
The Miller, His Son, And Their Ass
A miller and his son were driving their ass to a nearby fair to sell it. They had not gone far when they came across a group of girls returning from town. They were in a merry mood, talking and laughing, and when they saw the miller and his son, one of them cried out, “Look there! Did you ever see such fools like those two, trudging on foot when they could be riding?”
Upon hearing this, the old man told his son to get on the ass while he walked along cheerfully by his side. Soon they came to a group of men who were having a serious argument.
“There!” said one of them. “That proves what I was saying. There’s no more respect shown to the old nowadays. Do you see that young loafer riding while his old father has to walk? Get down, you miserable creature, and let the old man rest his weary limbs!”
Upon hearing this, the father made his son dismount and then got on the ass himself.
They had not proceeded very far when they met a company of women and children.
“Why, you lazy old fellow!” cried several tongues at once. “How can you ride that beast, while that poor little lad there can hardly keep pace with you?”
The good-natured miller stood corrected and immediately had his son mount behind him. They were now about to reach the town, when a townsman said, “Tell me, friend, is that ass your own?”
“Yes,” answered the old man. “Oh! I wouldn’t have thought so by the way you’ve loaded him down. Why, you two fellows are better suited to carry the poor beast than he you!”
“Anything to please you,” said the miller. “It wouldn’t hurt to try.”
So, dismounting with his son, they tied the ass’s legs together, and with the help of a pole, they attempted to carry him on their shoulders over a bridge that led to the town. They made such an amusing sight that the people ran out in crowds to laugh at them. However, the ass – neither liked the noise nor his situation – began kicking at the ropes that bound him to the pole. As a result, it tumbled off the pole and fell into the river. Thereupon, the old man, angry and ashamed, made his way home as best he could, convinced that by endeavoring to please everybody he had pleased nobody and lost his ass in the bargain.”
Happy writing everyone!