I called Gordon Lightfoot and we shared stories about ghosts we can’t see and how sometimes heroes fail.
He told me not to lose faith and asked if I could explain this I shook my head and said no.
“Someone or something in life breaks our hearts. It happens to everyone of us and every time it does we get another chance to be a phoenix.”
Gord smiled and asked me if someone had said that to me or if I said it to someone else.
“I don’t know if I heard or read it, but I have shared it before and did so again today.”
He strummed on his guitar and hummed something that I ought to have recognized or maybe it was just my imagination.
“Some heartbreak is harder than others.”
I nodded my head and said the hardest was watching it happen to another knowing you have done all you can.
He said I could share more if I wanted and I said I wasn’t ready yet to say more.
You Don’t Remember Me
Some of you have been reading these posts for years but if I sent you a handwritten note you wouldn’t recognize my writing.
My penmanship would be as foreign as my voice as yours would be to me.
It is one of the strange parts of living in a world made smaller by social media and in some ways far more sterile.
We could pass on the street and only later realize we hadn’t recognized each other except it wouldn’t be in that I didn’t really notice my neighbor/friend kind of way.
My daughter wants to go to the Chocolate Fest in Grapevine. I have some interest but am more focused upon the beer street festival that comes not long after.
I have come to really enjoy the multiple weekend activities in the towns here in Texas.
We had similar things in LA, but I didn’t go to many. Can’t say if it is because I was a native and had so many other things going on or if I just didn’t want to deal with the traffic.
It didn’t happen too often.
The teenage boy and I headed across to town to attend to business in Plano and a stop in Richardson.
I turned on some music and made note of doctors offices and dictated a couple of questions/thoughts for attorneys.
The joy of the sandwich generation and all that comes with it has set up shop in my head.
“You know I am going to be 18 this year.”
“I watched you come into this world. I know how old you are. I know where you are going with this and exactly what you hope to achieve.”
We go back and forth about a particular topic and I ask him how much truth he wants.
Tho’ Much Is Taken, Much Abides
Mom and I are talking but I am doing more listening than talking. That is very common now, I talk far less than I ever did.
At present mom needs someone to listen more than I need to talk and I am happy to do so.
I haven’t figured out the dates for my next flash trip to LA which limits much of the help I can offer, but listening is simple.
By the time we finish speaking I have missed my exit and received a call from my daughter wondering if she has to walk home or not.
“I am going to get my license the day I turn 16. I won’t be one of these horrible drivers here either.”
“No, you won’t. I am going to make sure you learn not to tailgate and how to use a turn signal.”
We hang up and I think about all I have heard and wonder what sort of future lies in front of me. It is going to be different than I expected, but that is not new.
Many hours later I stand in the gym absentmindedly rubbing my left forearm, wondering why tendinitis has chosen to come visit now.
It seems cruel for it to appear just as I feel myself making progress.
I think about whether I should rest my arm and shake my head.
“Dad can’t do this so I have to do it for him.”
It is kind of silly but I think he would appreciate it. Just as I know he’d appreciate knowing I fear letting myself fall down the same rabbit hole he did and so I push.
I am not perfect, but there is a regular and consistent effort.
The Choices We Make
“Whatever truth you throw at me is fine.”
I shake my head.
“You’re smarter than I am but sometimes you are just as dumb. I hope you prove me wrong.”
We go back and forth some more and I tell him it is a bad time to test me.
It is another familiar moment, one I remember having when I sat in the other seat.
Except as much as I am my father’s son I am also very much my own person with a different set of experiences.
I push back hard on a few things and allude to some big changes I could have made but didn’t.
“You know it sucks feeling like you got sucker punched. It sucks feeling like you didn’t take a shot at something that could have been really good just because you played it safe.
Sometimes you risk falling down because the upside is worth it. There is more truth in every day is a new beginning than you realize.”
Night falls and I walk under endless skies remembering when I would do the same in Los Angeles.
Counting stars and thinking about particular moments and people wondering if they were doing the same.
The choices we made led us to where we are today and now we get the opportunity to see where they take us in the future.
If you think about it that is magical.