Friday, November 23, 2012

Embrace it. All of it.

Thanksgiving day, 2012.  Pavement still wet from Tuesday's deluge, but it was warm and no rain fell.  If you live in Portland, you learn to take advantage of these days.

On the way up, Tom Waits mourned the Reeperbahn in the earbuds.  I met a family walking a dog. A couple, about my age, with a teenage daughter.

The daughter held the dog's leash and walked a little ahead.  Her face was bloodless, pale as old candle wax. Dark circles under her eyes suggested an apathy beyond the trials of the world.  An enigmatic resignation, shocking to see on one so young.

Her mother's face was also haggard and weary. Pale lips, downcast eyes.  An aura of weary endurance. 

Those morbid miens contrasted with that of the father-husband.  The vital color in his cheeks, the brightness of his eyes, spoke of a world that yet held promise for him beyond the tragic destiny of wife and daughter.

I was struck by the thought that the masks worn by the woman and her daughter were ghastly premonitions.  Of what, I cared not to guess.

In the end, I was able to shrug it off.  After all, God only knows how I appeared to them.  What might they have seen in my face? 

Up on top, the Old Man stood naked.  His long, long thoughts conjured clouds about his temples.  He'd no interest in my supplications.  So I gave thanks.  For wife, for home, for family and friends.  For sight, for sound.  For joy and agony.  For reassuring knowledge that I am a part of it --of all of it.

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