My Father’s Dancing Eyes: A tribute to My Father

[First Posted on June 11, 2008, on Gita’s Blog]

— Father’s Day 2008 By Gita Saraydarian

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My father had eyes that danced. They carried a rhythm all their own. They spoke without a word; they communicated depths and horizons so wide that they impressed you even though you may not have noticed all the nuances at the time. Years would go by and, suddenly, something made you remember those eyes and the context in which you saw them.

One day in the Summer of 1979 I saw my father’s eyes and all of a sudden, I noticed the passage of time. I remember looking into the eyes first and then my eyes wondered around to the other parts of his face. My father’s face was changing; it was getting old. How could that be?

I never thought of my father as getting old. I thought he would always stay young and fiery. The changes that I saw on that sunny day shocked me at the time, but now, these changes seem all too familiar to me.

I had driven up to the Temple in Agoura, California. It was on a Sunday, after the morning services. The hall had a feeling of meditative calm. I was sitting and listening to a lady playing one of his compositions on the grand piano. He was looking at the piano and listening with a twinkle and expectation in his eyes. His eyes captured me; he looked as if he was pouring each note into the piano and taking back each note as it rolled off the sound waves. He was completely absorbed in the music and its rhythm.

All of the little movements and sounds receded into the background as my gaze focused on his face, lit now by the bright light of the window. The piano was next to a large arched window. Dad was sitting on a low chair behind the piano, and I was sitting across from him on the podium, raised a few inches from the floor. I was looking at his face and the light was shining on his skin. I looked for the first time on his cheeks and saw brown spots; sunspots! My eyes traveled to his ears, and there, for all to see, a few wrinkles had gathered around his

ears. I looked at his eyes, and yes, on the corners were more wrinkles. I looked closely at his face, and yes, signs of aging. My heart sank and I felt tightness in my throat and the sudden passing of time. My father was only 62 years old at the time, the same age as I am now, and he seemed old! As I focused on the face, the eyes, and the skin, the sounds of the piano receded into the background and for a moment my heart sank: My father, getting old?

Years quickly passed and suddenly, he was moving slower and was looking more intently at people. His eyes were still dancing, but a slow dance, a deliberate and well-placed dance. The rhythm was different now. We had blinked, and the time had already gone by. Suddenly, my father looked like an old man on the outside but seemed clearer and sharper on the inside. The outside seemed to be melting into the ground, the inside removing itself high above into the ethers. The two parts were more distinct and more pronounced.

He once remarked, “I blinked, and my hair became white…”

Time indeed moves quickly. I wonder now, did I say everything I wanted to say to him? Probably not! Who does? And yet, as we near Father’s Day and we focus on the role our father played in our life, we can take the time to say, “I love you, I remember you, you had a great influence in my life. This was once in a lifetime moment for both of us to be father/daughter.”

I remember him and his dancing eyes this month on Father’s Day. I honor him and cherish his memory. His eyes showed infinity every time he looked at me. They were timeless, fresh, dancing with the joy of things yet to be discovered, always with the rhythm of notes floating in space, going in and out of his very eyes. Who knows what notes he was hearing and to what music he was dancing?

I have forgotten most of what he said to me, but the color and movements of his dancing eyes remains etched in my memory, the dance of infinity.

Today, I am fully aware of how fast time moves and how important it is to grasp the notes of life as they fall into space and cycle them in and out of our essence. Time moves on, waiting for no one. Grasp it and say to your father, whether he is alive or in the higher worlds, “Dad, I love you, I will always remember you.” He will hear you and your loving words will add to the dancing rhythm of his eyes.

I want to share with you a beautiful poem that he wrote about the passing of time. It is one of my favorites:

My Lamp (by Torkom Saraydarian)

Why are you flickering,
my lamp?
There are a few hours yet
to midnight, and I have to labor until dawn.

Why are you flickering, my lamp?

I see
a few drops of oil
remaining in the lamp.
But why?
There is a great labor awaiting me
throughout the night
until dawn.
How can I carry on my labor in darkness?

My Lord,
the flame of the lamp is almost fading away.

Light my eyes
with Your light,
and I will carry on
to the end
the labor
You have given me… even throughout the dark
and cold
night.

(From My Heart, Volume 1, pp. 135-136, by Torkom Saraydarian.)

Ah, time, don’t move so fast. There is still work to be done. My lamp still has oil left, but the fire is consuming it much faster than before. Infinity, how I need you now in my heart, so I do not lose faith and always see the timelessness of the work yet to be done.

Gita

*****
Torkom Saraydarian was a prolific writer and wrote many beautiful poems, which are very moving, personal, and passionate. Some of his poems are about his heart, his love, his life, and his family. Some are about his search for truth and wisdom. Some are about his anguish about spiritual practices. Some are prayers and protective invocations. Some are simply questions thrown out into space, as if he would throw a ball up and then catch it and examine it as it was landing. And, he wrote complete books in the style of epic poems, such as Bhagavad Gita, Hiawatha, Buddha, Christ, and a dramatic play titled I Was. Some of his individual poems are now published in the book From My Heart, Volumes 1-3. Hundreds of individual poems remain to be published in subsequent volumes. You can learn more about him at the TSG Website. Torkom was also a prolific composer and recorded hundreds of his own musical compositions.

Gita Saraydarian is the Founder and President of TSG Foundation, an organization dedicated to the Ageless Wisdom Teachings. Read more “About Gita” her articles, classes..

©Copyright: All of Gita’s Blog articles are copyrighted by The Creative Trust. 2008.

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