Friday, May 29, 2015

the circle of life

When an acquaintance dies: 
Isn't it a weird feeling?
That feeling, when you just saw someone a couple weeks ago at the park who was fine, and now they're not?
That feeling, when you keep hearing his voice in your mind over and over, "Let me tell you a war story," and the rest of the group chuckling, because that's what he does.  And, even though you didn't know him very well, you'll miss that part of Sunday School.
That feeling when you think, "Man.  I was always kind of hoping I'd get to know him better."
He just turned 90.  If you make it to 90 looking and acting like you're 75, how can you just be gone?

when you saw a sign on the counter last time you were at IHOP that says one of their waiters died that weekend.
You didn't know him and had never been served by him.  but he was only 20.  

I know this isn't how death of a loved one feels.  I've felt that, and that post would never be written so casually.  This wasn't, either.  But you know what I mean.

Death makes more sense when it happens over time.  When you know it's coming.  
But when it just happens.  When it just happens, it doesn't even seem real.
Until you think about the wife.


Until now, I thought only of what stories could do in their moment.  I was the ploughman, turning the hearts of my audience like soil, thinking I could bend the earth to my will.  But stories have a quieter and more subtle power than that.  Now I see that I am also the ploughman’s wife walking behind him, dropping seeds into the earth, leaving them to grow in meaning.  I realize that every story I have ever heard is a part of me, deeply rooted, whispering behind my thoughts.


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