Or do I just listen to The Sound of Silence until inspiration appears and right words form on this page?
or shall I just remember the horrible weekend and see where it leads?
I remember two decades ago, when I was younger, fitter, and less cynical that the call to alarm would have generated more fear, more adrenaline.
The old narrative replayed. Perhaps I should just say it plain, but then and now mix, mingle, and confuse themselves among the streams of time – weaving a past into a present to create a future.
Was it Wednesday eleven days or eleven years ago when I was sitting in that boring meeting where the bosses argued among themselves, when my phone rang? The number on the screen begged – demanded answer. Another old friend died, my brother reported.
Another good man gone. Another empty place at the table. A happy man sent to his untimely rest.
I returned to the conference room to listen to arguments that no longer seemed to matter.
Then it became sunny Saturday and I decided to play with my new saw in the workshop. The dream of building something with the notion that a little solitude and the scream of a saw might just be the song I need.
Twenty-five years ago my phone didn’t ring on a Saturday when it was supposed to. I called my father and after he didn’t answer I drove. Fear turned to reality as I found blood on the wall and him on the floor. Rapid phone calls, fire fighters, paramedics, ambulance, and the hospital that became my life for the next two weeks as father slowly recovered from yet another stroke.
Reverie dissolved on the Saturday after the Wednesday as the unknown caller left a voice mail, then a text with the alarm, “I’m your brother’s boss.” My brother had fallen down some steps and needed family. I was closest to the scene.
More phone calls, shop doors closed and the mystery of the saw depth stop abandoned. Old fears, old lessons moved my feet – get a jacket, a bottle of water, tissue, cash for the hospital cafeteria, and drive urgently, not recklessly.
No blood this time, just confusion and a brother needing help – with the fear of how far will this go? How many nights? How many hospital visits? What loss will endure? I got him in my car and drove and called.
The hospital turned fear to hope and hope to relief as the next day the phone rang with his wife reporting that he was being sent home – now. The old story refused to be told as my wife brought a pot of stew, and basket of rolls to celebrate and sustain good news.
Yesterday, two brothers and two wives sat in the pews,
remembering the life of our old friend.
we remembered his kindness.
we remembered his calling all flowers nasturtiums.
we remembered his ever-present smile.
we remembered his 60 years singing in the choir.
Today, it’s raining, sending me out of the shop and to my computer to see if there is a story for me to tell.
What song tells the story of a friend lost and a brother recovered?