Notebook

It’s forty years since my father died. I’ve often thought about him since, of course. As he was when I was a child, as he was when I grew apart from him in my adolescence, as he was when we became closer again in those last years of his life. I can sometimes still feel some of his expressions on my own face and know, even without a mirror, that I’m looking like him. And yet I’m so unlike him! Slow where he was quick,  scruffy where he was dapper, head-in-the-clouds where he was feet-on-the-ground. And inside, behind our mutual expressions, in the way we think and feel, we’re totally different. Aren’t we? In all the years I’ve spent imagining myself into the heads of characters in plays and novels I’ve never really tried to feel what it what was like  to be that rather striking real character in the homburg hat. Your parents are your parents. They are what they are.

Michael Frayn, “My Father’s Fortune”.

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