At Twilight

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Location: Midwest, United States

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Time Flies

He came knocking Friday dusk. My Father. He said he came to say good-bye. It was true that he and my Mother had been packing their belongings all week to be ready for the moving van due Saturday. I had been helping them. I would be helping them tomorrow. So. It wasn’t that my Father was saying good-bye exactly. He came to say something else, something more.

We sat in my living room. Dusk gave way to night. The lamp from the kitchen bathed his face in half-light as he sat and spoke quietly. The tone was melancholy. It wasn’t a conversation per se. More a soliloquy. He spoke about his life, the triumphs, joys and hardships...and his exhaustion. I saw clearly how a lifetime of manual labor had destroyed his vitality. I had been begging him to retire, daily witness to the damage done.

He didn’t want to leave. Didn’t want to leave his children. But he knew there was little more he could do for us, for we were adults now. I was in my early thirties, well-launched into my own orbit. True, the orbit was somewhat erratic, but I had achieved professional success, so much so that I now supported my parents. He knew his life’s work was substantially complete.

I said little, for I knew he knew how it broke my heart to contemplate the miles that would separate us (though I came to criss-cross those miles often enough). We both knew he desperately needed respite from Life’s travails.

In truth, I don’t remember the specifics of this conversation. What I remember, vividly, was the astonishment in his voice when he said “Time flies SO fast.”

Four years later, he was dead.

* * *

I started flashing on this conversation several months ago. I hadn’t thought of it for decades. Then it came to me one silent night and has lingered ever since. Three decades later, and I find myself exhausted, seeking respite from Life’s travails. Only now, do I truly understand what my Father felt.

* * *

* * *

Friday, November 18, 2011

Heavy Hours

Don't care much for the off-key/bent-string interlude...still and despite that...this song and lyrics do something to me.

Heavy Hours
By Crooked Fingers

Outside your window
Waited for you
You didn't come
You never do

In the city in the winter time
The snow and the rhyme
Cover the isolation

Yesterday, baby, they told you the news
They meant no harm
They never do
You can take it anyway you want
It comes and it goes
Rising in broken waves and dreams

Heavy hours passing by the way
Heaven knows how I am trying, babe

I hear you breathing
So steady and true
The whole night long
The whole night through
Your lungs soft heaving
Slow drunken time
Falling with mine
Forever here

Heavy hours dragging by the way
Heaven knows how I am trying, baby
Heavy hours passing by the way
Heaven knows how hard I am trying, babe

* * *

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I Dunno

I find myself saying this a lot, most days:

I dunno

I dunno if there is a God,

Or an afterlife.

I simply dunno.

I dunno if love is everlasting.

Thought I knew.

But, now, I dunno.

I dunno...

If the early bird catches the worm

If a stitch in time saves nine

Or whether an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

I simply dunno.

What I DO know,

Is the truth of this:

At A Window

Give me hunger,
O you gods that sit and give
The world its orders.
Give me hunger, pain and want,
Shut me out with shame and failure
From your doors of gold and fame,
Give me your shabbiest, weariest hunger!

But leave me a little love,
A voice to speak to me in the day end,
A hand to touch me in the dark room
Breaking the long loneliness.
In the dusk of day-shapes
Blurring the sunset,
One little wandering western star
Thrust out from the changing shores of shadow.
Let me go to the window,
Watch there the day-shapes of dusk
And wait and know the coming
Of a little love.

Carl Sandburg

* * *

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