In a previous article this writer told about his realization that what he had before him was not the dish he had ordered for his forties
The Crack Up – F Scott Fitzgerald
from the anthology of Best American essays, in our Home Library in Mississauga, Ontario.. got this book from Chicago in 2010, from Barnes and Noble in front of Art Institute of Chicago
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My elder son Sagar completed 20 years on Feb 28. Around that time, I used Letters as a Thinking Tool – to shape our joint thinking.
In his book -15 laws of growth Writer Speaker John Maxwell writes that his highest highs and lowest lows both have come from his family. He writes how he has learnt to be available, but keep out of his growing children’s decision making unless asked. That can be difficult for a person of his personality, he acknowledges
Around 10 years ago the children used to stay in Malad Mumbai
Then in 2010 , we shifted to Sweiqi Malta , in 2012 to Mississauga Ontario.
THE LETTER AS A THINKING TOOL
One of the tools of reflection I have jointly engaged in , with my sons is to write a letter to a loved one who has passed away. Over the years, this exercise has helped shape our joint thinking as I encouraged the children to write under the following headings
1- As Life Is
2- What we are as a group or people
3- What we can become
TO MY GRANDFATHER
I write to my grandfather, just as I encouraged my sons to write to their grandmother, and they wrote about their classes in Peel ( Camilla, Gordon Graydon, Glenforest) and now Ryerson University and the different walks taken in art galleries, parks and museums
Some walks in year gone by – Drummond Hill – Niagara region
THE ZERO HOUR … This is a technique to incubate and simmer various thoughts
LEGACY … they say, grandchildren are the legacy which one will never see physically
THE HOME LIBRARY…is a resource built intentionally to read and reflect on works of literature, self improvement, art and also included in these are the personal photo-albums, and journals.
The Malta Years 2010-12.. when children were in middle school- St Edwards Cottonera , just before their Teenage years
Some Memories of Walks – Thinking places (Is there some magic in creating a Thinking Place-Answer -No
But if you create a thinking place, and schedule a time to go there, chances of your intentionally thinking and reflecting grow manifold
BLUE MOUNTAIN AREA COLLINGWOOD
IN DETAILS ( an edited version of my letter to loved one who has passed away.. my maternal grandfather GPU Ganesh Prasad Uniyal. I often use the framework of Literature to write to GPU who was a University professor of Political science ( Banaras Hindu University and Sagar University)
… Around the 20 th birthday of my son Sagar, I write to my grandfather. The milieu of India of 1960s/70s and the campuses where we stayed comes alive. In our home library is an anthology of essays, and I picked up Crack up by Fitzgerald again .
The writer speaks about the dish which he had not ordered for his forties and how he and the dish were one. He described himself as a cracked plate, the kind that one wonders is worth preserving… sometimes though the cracked plate has to be retained in the pantry, has to be kept in service as a household necessity. It can never be warmed on the stove nor shuffled with the other plates in the dishpan; it will not be brought out for company, but it will do to hold crackers late at night or to go into the icebox under leftovers…..
I studied ‘ Crack up’ again and thought of the family journeys and collections of past ten years. We have direct experiences of the Diaspora in Libya, Malta and Canada. In supporting and furthering these, one gets a feel of the shape of the family and community, the scopes, limitations and possibilities
SUMMARY AND ACTION POINTS
Using thinking tools like Home library, Zero hour, legacy, as life is, what we are as a group or people, what we can become, what are our highest highs and lowest lows.. we drafted letters to loved ones who have passed away
This helps shape perspectives.