Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

Tibi gratias agimus quod nihil fumas.

It says "...freedom of...", not "...freedom from...".

Nolite te bastardes carburundorum!

"It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness. People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we're compassionate we'll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint." - Penn Jillette

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sorrow, Joy, and the Turning Wheel

There is a song running through my head. I wrote it a few (eleven!!) years ago for a friend who died of cancer and AIDS. He was young, and it didn't set right with me that he should die. Young people shouldn't die. No parent should outlive their child.

Twenty-eight year old young men who I knew as a child shouldn't suddenly be gone but last week, another friend died. Rumor has it, he was deeply unhappy, and that his sorrow may have influenced his mortality. Rumor also has it that his father is the one who discovered his state of non-life.

Well, shit. I would like to think the rumor is wrong, but have little hope of that. This lad was bright - beyond bright, he was brilliant. I knew him when he was a track brat, covered in Georgia clay dust from the bottoms of his feet all the way to his arm pits. I know his brothers. His mother and father watched my back on a turn many times, and I watched theirs. I watched their kids grow up. It keeps striking my in the psyche, that this young man is gone. I won't see him in October, registering to work the event or bumming a guest pass from me (of course I'd give him one!).

The song is called "Why Do You Call?" I can sing it without crying, but then - I wrote it. My band, my friends, the people who are the family of my heart, we've sung this song on more occasions than we'd like. We harmonize beautifully, four, six, eight, more parts, all weaving around each other, all looking beyond the here and now and into a place where Spirit dwells, and we mean what we sing.

It'll be running through my head tomorrow when I go to the memorial service for a twenty-eight-year-young man who heard the call so loud, so persistent, that he couldn't deny it - I don't think he necessarily wanted to die...he just didn't want to keep living as he was. If you can't see the difference, perhaps you've never been there...and thank all that's holy for that.

The song will be running through my mind as I greet other old friends who have come to pay respects. It'll deafen me while I hug his father, hug his mother, hug his brothers, listen to people wonder what happened - not everyone has heard the rumors, all they know is...he's gone. None of us may ever know - it's not the sort of thing you ask stunned, emotionally bruised, spiritually bleeding parents on the day they are bidding farewell to their child with his family and friends...or ever, really.

On Sunday, still touched by the gentle sorrow of a life finished too soon (from my perspective), I will celebrate a birth - it's Noodle's birthday, and we will go play in the park, have cake, milk, juice, chat, laughter. I will be reminded of life, of exuberance, of children and their delight in the world around them - they're not worn down, yet. It's all shiny and new.

The wheel turns.

1 comment:

KC said...

I am so sorry.