Letter to a Father with Alzheimer’s

Dad, self-portrait, 2020. I think Edvard Munch would have approved.

Dad,

So, I have this memory. You were there, too; but don’t worry if you don’t remember. I can remember for you.

It’s a hot, breeze-less summer day in 1971, and Hatzic Lake is lukewarm and the color of milky coffee that’s been left on the counter all morning. Motorboats tear across the water, yanking water-skiers across the surface of the lake, filling the air with a sound like a swarm of angry wasps. You are chest deep in the water, with your feet braced in the soft, muddy lake bed. …

Here’s what happened when a sensitive, liberal, bookish musician asked for the hand of this man’s daughter

My father-in-law, Weston, in his natural habitat: at the helm of his half-century-old motorboat on Vancouver Island’s Alberni Canal.

To understand my father-in-law, Weston, you need to see his man-cave. His wood-paneled basement den in Nanaimo, British Columbia is a cozy but somewhat cramped archive of the wildlife that Weston has, in his lifetime, either shot, fished or wrestled to the ground with his bare hands. Represented are: two species of African kudu (a reclusive, jungle-dwelling deer), a warthog, two different kinds of impala, a blue wildebeest, an eland, a gemsbok, a blesbok and a magnificent Cape buffalo. Rounding out the collection are a Fallow deer and a Blacktail deer, more antlered ungulates that Weston shot locally. It’s a…

Go Ahead and Laugh: Writing Letters Was Actually Pretty Radical

I miss writing letters.

More truthfully, I don’t miss the cramp in my right hand. I don’t miss running out of space and having to jam run-on thoughts up the margins of the paper. I don’t miss how long it took to get a response to nagging questions, such as “Are you still my girlfriend? I had to ask, since you referred to me as ‘Richard’ in your most recent salutation…” What I do regret, is the loss of the intimacy.

In my writing studio, I have a cardboard shoe-box in which I keep all the letters I received between…

Steve Mitchell

What Resonates is the newsletter of writer/musician Steve Mitchell, who is interested in love, family, music and foraging for edible weeds.

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