When I was a little boy, my favorite stories centered around a clever insect named Philip.
Our Philip the Fly anthology included dozens of tales of adventure, heroism and just a little bit of mischief.
I think the coolest thing about Philip was that I always felt as if he knew me personally.
And in a sense, he did. You see, Philip the Fly came from the mind of my dad.
I’m not entirely sure when Phil made his debut, or from where he came (dad wasn’t exactly known for his creativity), but this winged protagonist was always available to star in a new story – seemingly on cue (also not an innate skill of dad’s). Nothing could comfort or satisfy this 3- to 7-year-old kid quite like a zippy fly with a personalized tale to tell.
Philip the Fly taught me about the power of a story.
Dad may not have been trained in English literature or creative writing, but he did possess that innate human longing for a good yarn.
Since the beginning of time, every culture on Earth has shared lore from generation to generation. Stories have been used to amuse, to entertain, to educate, to inspire, to provoke, to titillate.
And although the form factors have evolved from oral histories to cave drawings to snarky blogs, the core elements of captivating stories are remarkably constant. They inform us by engaging us – through our emotions and our innate desire to connect with others.
It’s sad to admit that I can’t remember many details of Philip’s escapades – and since my dad is deceased, they’re locked away for at least a while.
What I will always remember, however, are the feelings of anticipation, excitement and satisfaction that those encounters brought to my life.
Thanks, Philip. Thanks, Dad.