You know the old saying that you have your best ideas in the shower. Well for my Pop Pop, his best ideas come when his eyes are struggling to stay open and he’s just about to pass out in my living room chair. Our latest newspaper chat was after a long weekend spent driving and traveling; so when Sunday night came around he was pretty pooped, but like the good Grandpa he is, he splashed his face with cold water and strapped on his listening pants to indulge his granddaughter by reading the paper. This past Sunday’s paper was surprisingly light for the almost cinematic events that transpired in the last week’s news regarding Trump’s affiliation with the Russians. You’d expect juicier news than a couple of articles on coral reefs and the IRS when it seems like we’re living in the middle of a Tom Cruise action movie.
Despite the bland undertone of many of the articles covered by my Pop Pop and I, we had some of the most interesting conversations yet. Out of groggy eyes and slightly mumbled speech came a raw and truthful advice.
“Really good writing tells you something not just the person you’re writing to”
He was candid with me in a way he has never been before and began expressing his admiration for me in a way unlike the classic admiration between a grandparent and their grandchild.
“You’re gonna be a better writer only after you become a better reader”
He spoke to me as if this was our first encounter; he gave me compliments and advice derived from my genuine abilities as a person disregarding the fact that I am his flesh and blood and by social contracts he has to love and encourage me no matter what.
“You’ve gotta challenge everything honey. Everything else is old. Everything else is the old way; you’ve got to find the new way and only thinking like that (by challenging things) gets you there.”
These little reassurances and suggestions could have easily gone unnoticed, blurred out by the buzz of the conversation, but they struck a chord within me and I intend to keep them there for whenever I’m in need of a little sleepy advice.