Friday 10 September 2010

The Unforgiven, et al

Today I did my debut blog post over at Slash and Burn. Read it here.

I'll blog over there every two weeks, always Friday.

I'm currently in the hot phase at work. Everything has to come together in the next 9 days, and then I'm off to Moscow. Should be fun. And stress. And fun.

Today, I pondered what the most unforgiveable things are that I've ever heard. Funnily enough, I've taken everything from "you're an asshole" to "you'll end up just like your mother/the rest of your useless, antisocial family" (gee, thanks, Dad) just fine. Above all, I've proven them wrong - which is even better.

The real barbs were always the ones levelled at my writer-self. That ranged from "you have no right to write about something you haven't lived through", to "you pretentious wanna-be" and "you are burnt out and need me to write at all."

Those hurt for months. But I've proven them all wrong, too. I've gone through "where have you copied that?" (thanks, grandma) and come out on the other side, writing. I've tackled my pretentiousness - which was actually correct, I was pretentious, but for certain reasons. If you haven't found your voice yet, of course words ring hollow,. If you use big words that are hollow, that's pretentious. I've been doing better at finding my voice. Now, my convictions are behind every sentence. It's like that sound-based weapon in "Dune". If you hit the right note - if you use the Voice - it *will* be heard.

But regarding the Big Unforgiven - the biggest of them all - I've decided to not accept one euro of my father's money. I've carried the burden of that inheritance for five years. It's nearly - or already - legally void, and I feel relieved. I don't want one single euro from a rapist, wife-beater, alcoholic and all-round abusive asshole. There are many reasons for that, but the biggest one is that he always thought that was the only thing people wanted from him.

Well. No. I wanted you to be human, "Dad". But above all, you don't have any power over me. Not ever, not now.

One day, I'll write about "good fathers" - but I'm not quite done here with the forgiving. It's an ongoing process, and part of what fuels a certain deep anger I have inside. But it's good anger. You showed me everything that is bad about "Fatherhood".

Dark, twisted soul-mirror. I have your blue eyes, but mine are warm and clear, and I use them to see.


  1. And you are a good man. You win. You win big.

  2. You touch my heart as always. Fare thee well Mr. Voinov, your path is honorable & true. I look forward to the day our Posse gathers & we can see the warmth in your eyes that we feel in your writing.

  3. Just do a 'Francis' at them, Aleks. Lift up one brow then walk away.

    Whoever, whatever "they" are. Whether other writers/wannabe human beings or bad fathers, you've come out a winner. I'm one of many, many recipients of your victory even though I will never see you in the flesh. But you are now able to give your heart and share your life with those you love physically, emotionally and spiritually. That's a victory well fought for and won and I'm cheering for you.

  4. I was lucky. Indifference doesn't leave the scars of vicious negativity. Kind of mindboggling, the way "write what you know" can morph into "you have no right to write about something you haven't lived through."

    Thanks for introducing me to Slash and Burn.