Via Basel: Writing to My Son
At Thanksgiving time, Basel Al-Aswad retreated briefly to his son’s house to meditate and ponder the future. He wrote this letter that transformed into a poem.
Saturday, November 29, 2014
It is a privilege to sit here in your library at your house, in your comfortable chair at the desk you usually used, writing with your pen given to you on your graduation from DePaul. Initialed CRA, its wooden container says:
Class of 2003
Solitary, sad, reflective.
Silence except for the rustling of the wind.
Darkness everywhere except some of the neighbors’ street lights.
Among your journals and superb book collection.
I come here to meditate, read and write,
to rest from the busyness of life,
of work, family, social actions.
Escaping to this refuge in your company,
I cannot escape the tears flowing
as I remember and feel you close to me.
Chris, guide me. What should I do?
Tell me what you want me to finish, to write.
It is such a big task to follow your footsteps.
I am not sure of my stamina and my abilities.
You know I am getting weary and up there in age.
What is your wish? I promise to follow it
till the day that I die.
Your loyal and loving dad.
Basel Al-Aswad, father of EIL founder Chris Al-Aswad, is a yogi trapped in an Orthopedic Surgeon’s body. His loves in life include reading, hiking, enjoying nature, meditation, and spending time with his large Iraqi family.