I am tempted to start this off by telling you I am listening to Layla and that it has reached middle of the song, ya know that part around the 3:08 mark or so.
I’d say I am playing the piano, eyes closed, fully engulfed in the moment but that wouldn’t be true.
Not because I can’t play the piano but because I am not listening to the song.
No, I am thinking about the sound of the voice on the other side of the telephone and wondering what lay behind the sadness on the other side.
It made me think of standing outside of a castle wondering if I ought to lay siege to it or just walk away.
Beyond My Reach
Sometimes things and people lay just beyond my reach but it doesn’t stop me from trying to stretch just a little bit farther.
Because you never know what word or deed might bridge whatever gap exists between you and them.
Six or so years ago I sat with my maternal grandfather one day and listened to him tell me stories about my grandmother and him.
“Josh, you know why I married your grandmother the first time. She was a good girl and some things weren’t going to happen unless we were married.”
I smiled at him and said grandma would have made that face at you if she knew you were talking about her that way.
He laughed and said I was right and then told me he missed her.
They were married 76 years and it hadn’t been more than seven or eight months since grandma had died.
“She died on your wedding anniversary, didn’t she.”
I nodded and said it was ok.
He laughed and told me permission wasn’t needed
“You know, I talk to your grandmother every night before I go to bed.”
“What do you tell her?”
“That’s none of your business.”
He said it with a smile, but it was bittersweet.
I confess that sometimes I have imitated my grandfather and talked to pictures of certain people.
None of them are dead and thankfully the pictures don’t respond, but sometimes I have said a few things I wanted them to hear never really believing they could but thankful to be uninterrupted.
The Power Of A Voice
I put on my reading glasses and checked the clock to see if it was too late to have another drink.
Most nights it doesn’t matter, but every now and then I find nature waking me from my slumber and am reminded some body parts have aged a bit.
Spent almost two hours catching up with one of my oldest friends and asked him if he could remember the last time he felt good all day long.
He wasn’t sure and we commiserated about the price of wisdom.
You don’t get to be as wise and clever as we are without putting in some time and there is a price for that.
A daily debit that pulls from your account regardless of how much you deposit into it.
I know because I rage against the coming night and push back…hard.
Doesn’t matter, time hits harder but as Frank once said the record shows I took the blows.
Told that other voice today I could take the blows and that if I couldn’t well I could lend a hand in teaching them how to keep going.
Couldn’t tell if the offer was accepted or if the light I thought I saw was extinguished.
But tonight I’ll talk to a picture or two and share some thoughts and maybe ask for help.
Run Like Hell For Home
Grandpa and I are sharing some more stories and he tells me I have a secret or two I haven’t shared with him.
I smile and tell him I have a pretty big one.
“You are not going to tell me are you?”
I smile and shake my head no.
He laughs and tells me he is bad at keeping secrets.
“I love you grandpa, but some stories are best left between those that participated because if you weren’t there you just don’t appreciate it.
What I can say is sometimes you have to run like hell for home or make like Bronko Nagurski running for the end zone.
“Grandson you got that right, if you are going to run you ought to run like hell and hit that line so hard no one wants to stand in your way.
There is no baseball diamond here nor football field.
Can’t go rounding third at full speed towards a catcher who doesn’t want any part of me coming at them with a head of steam.
Nor can I follow the blockers and look for a hole to run through or dare a linebacker to take my shoulder in the mouth.
The best I can do is slog through the mud in the tire tracks left by those that went ahead of me.
Don’t know if I am running away or to something, just know that I can hear Dylan singing and that I have to stop and listen.
Mama, take this badge off of me
I can’t use it anymore
It’s gettin’ dark, too dark for me to see
I feel like I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door
Maybe it is time to stop, look and listen.