Friday, August 17, 2012

Parting Fires


My son Ken is always close, but he's especially close this time of year, when the spirits of the dead are amongst us.  That first summer after his death, his voice accompanied me nearly constantly,  and I grew to believe that the conversations that we had in my head were actual conversations.  

I'm sitting on this train and the moment I think that I haven't heard his voice lately, immediately there's his "Daddy!" I'm here buddy.

I am here sitting with my pain.  I haven't been sleeping well lately, which isn't due to anxiety as much as that my mind races with the details of all I have to do these days, all this mental juggling.  It suddenly dawns on me that we all do this:  the girl sitting next to me; everyone else on this train.  We all have anxiety, worry, grief.  The causes are different, but the way it feels is the same. 

Too often I judge or dismiss people because I glimpse a single action at a single moment in time.  Static.  But humans are more complex than this, being completely at the mercy of the shifting flow of reality around them.  We are all so vulnerable and fragile.  I should be more accepting of others, bonded as we are in our shared pain.  

And later now, as the souls of our dead are sent off for another year, I chose to forgo a view of the hills ablaze, and instead stay indoors in order to light a stick of incense and share a few more minutes with my dear boy.  

No need to wait an entire year.  As long as I have a heart, you're always welcome my love...


On the turntable:  David Grier,  "Lone Soldier"


3 comments:

Roscoe said...

Beautifully said Ted. You capture so much that is so important in such a short space. After reading that, you, Ken-chan and all the random of people I interact with in my day-to-day all have a bit more space in my heart.

dana said...

Every year, I read it. Every year, another deep breath. Every year, the heart grows a bit bigger, the breath a bit easier. It must be hard. Thanks for sharing, once again.

Anonymous said...

Ted, amazed by your strength and moved by your words.