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  • "It had been a very long time since I’d knelt on a hard surface. Still, I tried my best to pray, to hear what God might have to tell me.” The Len Kuntz on fathers, writing and "This Is Me, Being Brave" at Bending Genres.

    The Len Kuntz is most definitely Bending Genres and do hit that here. Also, do excerpt below. Word.

    "One August day, when I was nine years old, my brothers and I were laying the foundation for our garage with my dad.  My father and brothers were mechanical and could fix anything.  They could take an engine apart and put it back together blindfolded.  Me, I had long, feathered hair.  I wore puka shells and read poetry.  I couldn’t fix a thing, not even myself. 

    "So that smoldering day, I was merely handing tools to my dad while he and my brothers did the real work of pouring cement.   At one point, my brothers all went to lunch, leaving me with my father.  In my memory, this is the first time I was ever alone with him in daylight. 

    "It’s embarrassing to admit this, but my father intimidated me.  Scared me.  Sometimes made me quake.  And I hardly knew him.

    "But for whatever reason that day, I felt emboldened. 

    "Imagine that—a skinny colt of a kid feeling brave for once.

    "So, I said, “Hey, Dad, I figured out what I want to be when I grow up.”

    "He put down the trowel and looked at me, genuinely curious.  Said, “Is that right?  What?”

    "Without hesitating, I spewed out, “I want to be a writer.”

    "I remember his head whipping around like the Lazy Susan my mom kept her spices on.  His forehead wore pearls of perspiration.  Even his lips were sweaty.

    "He looked me in the eye, and I knew not to look away. 

    "He said, “Quit your fucking dreaming.”  He said, “How are you going to live on that?”