Friday, June 5, 2015

June 5: Eternal Repose, Endings and Beginnings, Basket Fairy Tale, Joshua Mehigan, "The Crossroads"

And once a year, in the winter, usually a day or two after Christmas, he [Ives] and Annie would visit their son's grave.  Standing in the cemetery before his son's marker out in Long Island, as the years went by, Ives did not for a moment envision a seventeen-year-old in eternal repose, but a man the age his son would have been...

I am particularly moved by this passage.  Ives imagining his son growing older, living out the promise of his young life.  Ives sees Robert as a seminarian, then as a parish priest.  Ives' memory of his child is not stunted, cut short by his senseless murder.  It somehow continues.  When Ives reaches old age, he imagines Robert as a middle-aged pastor, placing the Eucharist in his open mouth.

At the beginning of every summer, some person erects a little shrine on the side of the highway by our local Pizza Hut.  Plastic flowers in the shape of a cross.  It's obviously in memory of a person who died in a traffic accident near that spot.  It saddens me every time I drive by it, which is almost on a daily basis.  I imagine it to be the work of someone like Ives, who's lost a child, maybe right before high school graduation.  The little flower cross is a reminder, for me, of the fragility of life.  How it can change in a matter of seconds.  Happiness and promise transformed into grief and longing.

As you may notice, I'm in a little bit of a funk this evening.  I don't know why.  I think it's just this time of the year.  Last days of school.  Graduations.  Dance recitals.  There's something very final about the end of May and the first days of June.  Change is in the air like the scent of lilac bushes.

Right now, I'm sitting outside my daughter and son's dance studio, waiting for a rehearsal to end.  The evening is cool, moving slowly toward dusk.  It has been a long week, what with my health issues and leaky roof on my mind.  This morning, I found out my wife's great uncle passed away.  A lovely, kind gentleman who served during World War II and was married to the same beautiful woman for 70 years.  His wife died just before Christmas of this past year, and now he has gone to join her.  They both loved dancing, and that's what I think they are doing right now.  Swinging around the floor as Benny Goodman leads the heavenly band.

My kids are done with school today.  Next year, my daughter will be a high school freshman.  I saw her eight-grade yearbook this evening.  She was voted "Inspirational Artist" along with a boy I don't know.  That makes me very happy.  She is artistically gifted and well-liked by her classmates.

Endings and beginnings.

Once upon a time, a basket weaver named Eugene lived in a tiny village named Yon.  All day long, he sat on his front steps, weaving beautiful and intricate baskets that people traveled hundreds of miles to purchase.  But the humble weaver never charged much for his wares.

One day, the roof of Eugene's cottage collapsed because of heavy rains.  Eugene  needed to raise the funds to pay the local roofer many hundreds of dollars to re-thatch his roof.  So, he raised the prices of his baskets, asking three times as much.

When word got out that Eugene was charging more for his weavings, the citizens of Yon and beyond stopped buying his baskets.  Eugene never got his roof fixed and one night caught pneumonia and died a horrible death, coughing and coughing.

After Eugene's death, his baskets suddenly became very valuable.  Collectors all over the kingdom started paying hundreds of thousands of gold pieces for a single basket.  Eugene's cottage was refurbished and turned into a museum.

Moral of the story:  roofs cost way too much friggin' money.

The Crossroads

by:  Joshua Mehigan

This is the place it happened.  It was here.
You might not know it was unless you knew.
All day the cars blow past and disappear.
This is the place it happened.  It was here.
Look at the sparkling dust, the oily smear.
Look at the highway marker, still askew.
This is the place it happened.  It was here.
You might not know it was unless you knew.

Yup, I'm a little down tonight

No comments:

Post a Comment