Loss and grieving

I am in Canberra Australia
Far far from the USA
I grew up in Kansas City
Moved to the San Francisco Bay
Listening to the music
of Soul, Motown
Thinking of that music
today
The hope
The love
The promise
Otis Redding
Aretha Franklin
Nina Simone
The Temptations
Stevie Wonder
Diana Ross
Ray Charles
Smokey Robinson
The Temptations
Sam Cooke
The Supremes
Lou Rawls
Percy Sledge
Margin Gaye
Tina Turner
Gladys Knight and the Pips
(Partial list)
Listening today
on YouTube
after reading about overwhelming
numbers of deaths of African Americans
in the USA
during the COVID 19 pandemic
Mourning the loss
Listening to the music on YouTube
Remembering the joy
in an African American café
in Oakland California
November of 2008
The election of Barack Obama
44th President of the USA
People crying
shouting
dancing
singing
saying “I wish my mother was alive today”
People believing
“A Change is Gonna Come”
(Sam Cooke song)
and yet
and yet
Who is dying today
in the USA
in the pandemic?

Self-made Man

How can someone reconcile with their father decades after his death? The book I’m working on Tracking the Human: nobody is a long time is fiction based on events in the life of my father W. Lon Hutchison. The only clues I have about his life are documented intersections with the United States legal system. I have followed these clues to come closer to someone I never knew, although I lived with him for 18 years.

When my father died in 1971 in Kansas City, I learned about his death six months later.

I was camping on a beach in Northern California when a friend came running down the hill to our tent. We just received a message from your mother. Your father has died.

My father was an impossible being, a man without a past, without a family, who sprang full grown into Christian Science as a successful businessman. That’s how he presented himself to the world.

He was formidable, tough and unforgiving. No one crossed him. If they did, he never ever forgave them. I felt suffocated by Christian Science, the religion of my father and his constant push to make money.

Unless I accepted his worldview, I was out. So at age twenty, I was cast out of the family by my father.

Why fiction? Because a different truth lies in stories where point of view is acknowledged – where readers can draw their own conclusions and think about what happened or might have happened.

Do you think fiction can reveal truths?

Do you think fiction can reveal more than non-fiction?