In this memoir told in four episodes, the Author, an Italian child psychia-trist and family psychotherapist who lives in Canada, revisits his episodic encounters with his father from their first meeting to his father’s death. The first episode recalls how he met his Italian father for the first time in Brazil as an adult. He wrote a memoir for Terapia Familiare about that emotional encounter entitled, "Strangers No More" ("Estranei non più") (Di Nicola, 1995). After almost 20 years of sporadic father-son and family encounters, the Author revisits the relationship with his father and his Brazilian family following his father’s death in the second episode. Deferred and episodic on one hand, provocative and profound on the other, the third episode describes the enigma of his father’s life with the metaphor of The Third Bank of the River, after a classic Brazilian short story (Guimarães Rosa, 1962). Towards the end of his life, with a final, startling revelation about the mysteries of his absence, his father allows the Author to recognize retrospectively that they have been familiar but un-known to each other. In the fourth episode, this series of episodic yet profound encounters with the man who became an intimate stranger is understood as nothing less than an event in the Author’s life, opening possibilities, transforming everything. The memoir closes with a coda of reflections for therapists on slow thought and evental therapy that has no other object than itself.
Keywords: Family memoir, father-son relationships, intimate strangers, relational predicament, event, subject.