The Letter I Never Wrote You

There are some songs that remind you of people, places and experiences you have had.

Sometimes you know you share those songs with others and sometimes you haven’t the foggiest idea because everything you thought you ever knew has been turned upside down and inside out.

Maybe it is because you find out about something that happened or it is the thing that didn’t that makes you wonder if someone dropped a bucket over your head and started beating upon it with a hammer.

Or maybe it is something entirely different.

The funny thing about life is you don’t always know the how or why but you think you know the who or at least you hope you do.

The Imperfections

Some people complain about the Whitman quote above because the text doesn’t fall quite right upon the page.

They say it is foolish for me to suggest I don’t care because it is covering sloppy work. I agree with them and it angers them because they feel like I am patronizing them.

When they try to interrogate me I tell them if it makes them feel good to believe I did so that is ok with me.

The moment I say it I hear someone else respond and I laugh because they aren’t there. It is funny to me because there have been plenty of moments when they were or it felt like they were.

This time they aren’t but it doesn’t matter because a bell has gone off inside my head and their voice feels the space following the ding of the bell.

Sometimes I think about writing them a letter to tell them all that is going on and to fill in the giant gap between what is and what was.

I hear the words inside my head and think about arranging them upon a page in a way the will provide them with a written tapestry they can hang upon our wall of memory.

But I don’t.

Is it because sometimes I am certain there is no real interest and it would be a waste of energy or is it because I feel like there is that silent impossible exchange.

You know the impossible exchange in which you know what someone is going to say without them saying it or because you know the expression on their face.

It is that funny thing that some claim to have known where you don’t have to have lived with someone to know everything about them.

The same funny thing that some people say is as real as the Tooth Fairy.

Those are the people who see the imperfections in life as black/white demarcation of failure instead or recognizing how very interesting they make people and or things.

Sometimes the most perfect person gains their perfection through their imperfection. If you don’t believe that ask them the first ever they saw your/their face.

John Keating: We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.

To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be? (Dead Poet’s Society)

The Coming Storm

A dear friend tells me he can’t imagine how hard things are and says to remember I don’t have to do it on my own.

“The storm is coming and I am going to have to try to dance in the rain.”

He nods his head and says I have no rhythm.

“Don’t need it. Just have to be able to stand your ground and advance forward when you can.”

“You’re pretty good at standing your ground.”

We shoot the breeze for a few minutes more and then say goodbye.

As I walk across the floor my shoelace catches upon an imperfection in the floor and I stumble. Somehow I manage to keep my feet and avoid kissing the ground with my teeth.

The things happen after the stumble make for a very interesting day providing another example of a time an imperfection managed to turn a dull routine into something more.

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2 Comments

  1. winersusan February 25, 2018 at 10:32 am

    I may copy your Dead Poet’s Society quote into my Journal. It profoundly touched me. And, as much: “You don’t have to dance in the rain. Just stand your ground and advance forward when you can.” Gosh, maybe I should get that tattooed on my arm where I can see it every day! Dancing in the rain takes all my energy and then some these days, and so the advice to stand my ground… gives me the permission to listen to my feelings, not my “shoulds”. You would make a great counselor/rabbi/therapist. Sue

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