Saturday, November 25, 2006

Heart on Charred Wood




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A couple of weeks ago my wife and I took a walk through town. Sunday morning about eight, eight-thirty. Cold and clear, the sun up an hour, but lots of blue shadows. We walked up the hill to the old chapel and through the graveyard, then back down. Walking in the alley behind Mustache Pete's we heard the sound of a flute coming from the yard of the Chinese pavilion. An old black man sitting on a chair under a tree held the flute to his lips and played with his eyes closed.

We took the stairs through the forest primeval and came out at the top into more sunshine. We passed the front door of the Lodge and a group of big women came out. One of them opened her mouth and sang the opening of "Amazing Grace" with a strength and beauty that seemed to run right through my heart. She sang the first lines, then fell silent and they walked out to their cars.

Around the corner we passed the open door at the rear of the kitchen. Two women, one dressed as Santa Clause, the other as an elf, shared a smoke in the doorway.

Every other car in the lot was a pink Mary Kay Cadillac.


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Of late I have been wrestling with something dark and strong. Trying, if not to tame it exactly, to maybe get it to do a parlor trick or two for me.

So far it will stand on its hind legs and paw at the air, but only when it feels like it.



But I've got it in the parlor.



That's a pretty good start.


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My happiness is like a boat upon which I sail through a vast and limitless sea. There are monsters. I have seen them on the horizon and felt them nudge the hull in the night. I have no charts for this place for I have sailed beyond the known world and all markers and warning signs.

Perhaps I will sail off the edge to my doom.



But the wind is fine and the taste of salt on my tongue is a tonic to my soul.



So I sail on.



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I hope that your day of thanks sustained you and reminded you of all your gifts.




They are plentiful.




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2 Comments:

Blogger K said...

i like the sounds of your town.

10:48 AM  
Blogger LKD said...

I kept misreading, or maybe just miscomprehending the title of this post as:

Charred heart on wood

I kept thinking, gee, the heart doesn't look all that blackened, all that burnt to me.

I've never seen Santa smoke. Thanks for that visual, S. Kinda like catching a clown smoking, I imagine. Sacrilgious, somehow. Kinda like peeling off the guise of a god.

There's no going back once you find out Santa's not real.

Reminds me of one of my favorite song lyrics, by Hole:

"I don't really miss god
but I sure miss Santa Claus."

9:57 PM  

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