Lincoln Stoller

My father was not a happy person. His mother beat him and berated him. He kept no photographs of her — I have found only one — and she died in an assylum. All his dreams were nightmares so, throughout the rest of his life, he said he never dreamed.

May father's deep self-doubt prevented him from understanding love. He never gave emotional support to his family, but he was not rotten. In that very brief moment when he would first see me, in that authentic moment before he started to think, his eyes would light up and he would exclaim, "Hi, Linco!" And then it was gone, entirely, until we met again after the next long interlude.

I read to my father on his death bed. He was in and out of consciousness. Just before he went into a coma for the last time he opened his bright eyes and exclaimed "Hi, Linco," and then he was gone. And in remembering him that is enough, that magic little spark. A lot of strength can come from a very little thing.

This story explores the issue of context. What provides the most important foundation for learning and growing? When you strip off all that you know of your world and yourself, what is left?

Interview Excerpts
Read the full interview :

"I held in my breath, poised and watchful, waiting for 'The Diviner's Sage' to emerge from her mouse hole in the wainscot of reality. I don't recall exhaling… I watched my own disintegration, and then lost consciousness…

"The details of the present, which I cannot yet recall, fill me with dread. I need protection; I feel like a child. My sadness arises from realizing these memories are just a reverie, a hopeful daydream, but nothing more. The life that seemed a reality moments before was just an hallucination. The emptiness that now surrounds me, on the other hand, is not a dream…

"I am overcome with feelings of love and pity. Love, from the realization that I really do love the person I imagined myself to be; a self that could experience a happiness unmatched in this dark world. Pity, from having lost this forever. Like Odysseus tied to the mast, I would give anything to escape the present and regain that paradise…

"A small window opens out of my darkness, and through this window I perceive people, and I remember. They are the watchers, but we do not love each other. I am still alone. The shock of this hits me and I shut the window…"


Tenger Research home page
Esther Zizblatt Stoller, my father's mother
Kiran Fox Stoller, Quicktime™ interview from "Art Is"

Copyright © 2010, Lincoln Stoller. All rights reserved.