Thoughts after Big Fish

We watched Tim Burton’s Big Fish this evening, a beautiful meditation on the stories we tell about ourselves and how we know each other through them. The specific theme of knowing one’s father is an extraordinarily meaningful one to me, both in my roles as parent and son. As the latter, I’m still amazed when I talk with my Dad about his life, and unearth aspects of him, of his history and personality, that I never would have suspected. (“You were considering being an artist professionally?” “You ran a coffee shop in Nashville where Bob Dylan played when he came through town?”) That relationship is phenomenally important to me, and has only become more so as time has gone on.

As a father, I’m trying desperately to make myself knowable to my kids — an effort which can be only partially successful at the moment, given youth’s limited comprehension of adulthood. Part of the reason for this site is to leave a bit of a legacy of our stories for them; stories of the times that we’ve all had together as a family, but beyond that, also stories of Kathy and I that will fill in some of our history and let them know where they’ve come from.

One story that Kathy and I have both told many times, but never committed to paper, is that of how Kathy and I met. Big Fish has motivated me to write that story up now; I should have it ready to share in a few days.

P.S. For a more interesting reflection on this film, see Real Live Preacher.