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San Francisco 2007 Cherry Blossom Parade.

June 17, 2007

A Rising Ocean
Sunday. My fuzzy funky Saturday has turned into a pretty good Sunday, as they usually do. I'll be curious to see what Saturdays are like when I'm no longer working.

Father's Day today. My own father passed away thirty years ago of a stroke when he was eight years younger than I am now. Smoking and blood pressure they say. They didn't have the drugs then they have now for managing blood pressure and smoking, when you start young, isn't something you can always walk away from.

A long time, thirty years. Half my life. I wondered if I myself would see the turn of the century given the family history: my father dying at fifty-six; his father dying at thirty-nine.

But let us not dwell on blood pressure and cigarettes: too many parallels to sake and Guinness. And the day is fine, the sun warm, the breeze cool, someone playing over by the lake on a banjo, the notes floating in through the open balcony door. I don't often think of what it might have been to have been a father. It's interesting to see in retrospect how many of my friends from my younger years neither married nor, if they married, had children.

Not because they happened to be boys who liked boys or girls who liked girls, but because, for whatever reason, we weren't the kind to settle down and have kids. Still no reason not to celebrate Father's Day. Some guys need to be fathers and they make good fathers - I know a number of them. Tough, this fatherhood business; tougher still this business of motherhood (ladies, what were you thinking?).

Some guys shouldn't be fathers and aren't fathers and that's worth celebrating too. The problem arrives when one kind ends up being the other: the father kind without children, the not father kind who has one too many. So let us raise a glass to the fathers who are not fathers, but maybe on another day, leave this day to those who got with the program and brought us, through thick and thin, another generation to load down with debt and deal with a rising ocean.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco Cherry Blossom Parade with a Nikon D2Xs mounted with a 70-200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR lens at 1/1000th second, f 2.8, ISO 100.