Some rambling about my daddy…


Hi everybody. I’m the long-lost older daughter, Shaun…There are so many different versions of each of us, aren’t there?  Right now I’m missing a very long ago Michael Griffen, because strangely the more recent version of him seems like he’s still right here… So, in a rambly manner: He was my daddy. He was very big in many ways – but not in others! He was actually quite skinny and I have always been able to reach all the way around him with my arms. He sang alot and often whooped.  In fact, he worked on his whoop off and on for many years. He said I could make it across slippery logs over streams, and he was right. Every time! With an impish grin, but while still trying to look serious and philosophical, he asked me alot of questions that did not have answers but appeared for a moment as though they did. He often said, “Work it out between yourselves,” “Wait ’til I finish my coffee,” and “Go look it up in the dictionary.”  He was one big idea after another. He was very good at rooster-crowing, banjo-playing, and grinning.  He didn’t want to talk about his parents. They didn’t want to talk about him either. He loved just about everybody, but sometimes he loved just me. Which was good. Both.  When I was a medium-sized girl, he had a way of holding me as he was tucking me in while sitting on the edge of my bed, letting me lay my torso in his arms so I could feel cradled, like a baby.  I was especially happy when he let me hold the match over the bowl of his pipe while he was lighting it. He made delicious pancakes. Oh, he loved peanut butter! And coffee! Oh. He melted several old aluminum coffee pots completely into electric burners because he would go off and paint and forget them on the stove.  We wondered about a lot of things together, and I am a very good wonderer now.



3 Responses to “Some rambling about my daddy…”

  1. aralgriffen Says:

    Shaun, yay! I’m so glad you posted this. I have oddly not felt like writing much at all, but I’ve just slowly started getting some feelings about things to write about. We shall see. But this is wonderful and recognizable and specific and lovely, and it makes me want to hug you both.

  2. shaunhelen Says:

    Hi Aral! …I know, it’s odd to even start to think about writing anything down. I felt like the very specific was all I could manage and the most important to me at the moment, anyhow. The minute I think of one thing that sparkles up about him, another whole bunch of experiences, or things he said, or – oh, the deep earthy smell of his pipe tobacco pouch – will pop up and demand my attention. And then a whole cascade of feelings about him, which are complicated and make me cry in that way where I can’t tell if I am happy or sad, or whether I am crying about the past or the present or the future or myself or everybody…I really just wanted to write something here to say hello, in a way, to all these people who knew him as their friend, comrade, no – co-conspirator! I think he’d like that infusion of the tidbit of the word “inspiration” hiding in the middle of that word, and the way it turns the whole creative process into a collaborative effort and makes it all about busting out of something in a sort of spurious way, don’t you? [Hmmm, interesting and ironic thought about him ending up with lung issues…He died of too much inspiration?] SO, hello all you peoples out there who knew my dad! I am happy he had such bright shiny minds and hearts and hands to share his particularly singular journey…I know he loved you all, and so do I.

  3. jodawi Says:

    thanks. that’s a perfect description of the person i remember.

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