Before the muse was my Dad

This post is in part inspired by a conversation I had this week with my father and by Writerdelic’s touching post about her father.

The work for my muse was painstakingly laid by my father.

When I was 5 my father got me all pretty and dressed up and took me on a solo trip, to the National Public Library in the Johannesburg CBD.

He introduced me to the very friendly and efficient librarians and asked them to show me around. I was given a grand tour of the huge library, shown secret enclaves and told snippets of history that I would dream about for years after that, dreaming of the treasures they told me could be found there.

The librarians sat me down and gave me the low down of how to be the ideal library patron. Showing me how to take a book out, how to turn the pages and whispering that I should NEVER EVER lick my fingers when turning the pages.

It was my induction into a great society. And the whole time I was being instructed on the ways of being a great reader my father stood at the side, watching, with a look of pride etched in his face.

As soon as we got back into our neighbourhood, my father got me a library card at our local library and I proudly took out as many books as I could. I was not in school yet. I do not think I could read properly yet. But I was the happiest girl in the world.

That moment paved the way forward for me. From that moment I knew that I would forever have a deep and meaningful relationship with books and words.

Our little adventure did not end at the library either.

My father wanted me to have a two way relationship with words, he told me that he wanted me to write a book one day. Being a man that was not limited to words, he supplemented my school work with special exercises to groom my creative skills. Making me build setences from random words we picked from the books. He was the ultimate coach, not pushing too hard but always letting me know I can do better.

It is many years since that first trip. I have been sending my father links of my blog, so that he can see that his efforts were not completely wasted. In a recent conversation he remarked that he finds inspiration in my words and remarked that I should always keep dreaming as I can always do better.

I am forever thankful to him and hope to keep making him proud.

Image by SteelWool