Archive for May 2004

Graveside
I practiced the moment there.
I closed my eyes and traced my fathers name with my finger tips
I took a handful of the fresh dirt there and rubbed it into my palms.
I felt my origin – my destination in my hands
Begotten by my father in his twenty-fourth year
I pulled the small stones from the dirt – grains – of time, of life
Counting 61 I lined the marker with these stones – the years of my father in symbol
Counting 14 more – setting them off by themselves
I wondered – those unspent years – what might they have been consumed with
He feared, desperately feared- I think – nothing more than the last 14+ were consumed by
I wrote the moment

75 little grains
Consumed by… Burning down
Consumed by searching
for happiness, for meaning, for relief
to be wanted – loved
Searching
for significance – in work, in marriage, in fatherhood
to be important to someone – needed – loved
Years consumed with a dream – a longing
unspoken – perhaps unidentified
Lost
Time consumed by time itself

I realized – I myself – I have been searching
What for?
This is nonsense – damned nonsense as one once said
I already have everything I would ever need to search for
I am loved
I have meaning – purpose – significance
I know the answers now – being and existence are no longer utter mystery
I have life with an uppercase ‘el’ – not merely a lower case one
So why the searching?
An addictive behaviour I suspect. Damaging behaviour – I now recognize.
I will not pretend I am lost any longer – I am not
I will not wander lost in a fog of my own making

I gather the 75 little stones in my hand
These are my years now
Covered in mud I see them vaguely
They balance with my soul in some strange way
I wash them with water – as my years have been redeemed
My spent years cleansed – my unspent set aside – sanctified
What Christ wouldn’t give to hold in His hands
My seventy-five little grains

 

James

Date of Birth: April 1942

Date of Death: May 2004

Lived: 22660 days