Monday, August 20, 2012

The Centenarian’s Story

I may get up here and preach for a bit, but I’ll make you two promises, I’m not going to sing, and I’m not going to take up a collection.*
We remember and celebrate today the life of a man who was so many things to each of us. Grandfather, great grandfather, brother, uncle, a first father to few, a second father to many, mayor, counselor, and friend. Look around at the people in this room today. See the impact Werner Harsch, my grandfather, had on our lives. Could anyone else bring us together today like this?
We are here today as a testament to a remarkable life - the life of a boy who came to a West Texas town when he was five, fully fluent in German, but not speaking a word of English, who invested so deeply in this community that he served 12 years as its mayor, had his name put on the school basketball court on his 100th birthday, and filled this church today.
He told us a few years ago, “It always feels good when you give someone something. It’s hard to always give kindness because it always comes back.” In the century he was given, he did his best to live those words out.
He was the grandson of German immigrants, and while he was born in Marble Falls, he got to Miles as soon as he could, when his parents loaded the livestock, farm equipment, and the family on a train and headed west, before making the last part of the trip to the new farmland in a horse-pulled wagon in 1917.
As the family settled in on the river, he learned the language quickly because he had to, and he started to school at Crows Nest Creek. He always remembered having to walk quickly across the pasture of some very territorial cattle on his way to the one-room school.
He eventually wound up in a school with more than one room in Miles, though he did have to spend the winter afternoons with his classmates filling buckets with coal to keep warm. “The school had good air conditioners,” he said. “In the summer we’d open the windows, in the winter we’d close them.”
As Grandpa settled into the town he’d call home for the next 90 years, he got to know and fall in love with Eleanor, the woman he’d share those 90 years with, as the families from this church spent time together.
“I guess it was just kind of automatic that we were going together,” he said. “We just decided it was about time to get married.”
Grandma’s version is slightly different, and a little less romantic. Grandpa went to town and bought new clothes, new underwear and new socks, and, as Grandma told it, told her “I think we can go ahead and get married, I’ve bought all the necessary things.”
Several years ago, when Tamsen and I asked them what big trip they made for their honeymoon, Grandma said, “you know, Grandpa had terrible migraines, so we did well to get to Ballinger before he passed out.”
Grandpa suffered from migraines for years, and while his solution wasn’t elegant, or medically approved, it did involve drinking a Dr. Pepper every day at 10, 2 and 4, holding the cold bottle up to his forehead in an attempt to get some relief.
“I drank enough Dr. Pepper to float a battleship,” he said.
Grandpa and Grandma found a house in town for six dollars a month, and bought a Model A Ford for 150 dollars. The family grew to three kids, some dogs, pigs, chickens, dairy cows, and rabbits. There was a vacation to San Antonio, where a borrowed camera wound up in a river, and that was it for the family vacations, though Grandpa kept the kids entertained in other ways.
The family went to San Angelo often to see the Colts play baseball, and Dad loved Steve Follett, who played right field. Grandpa talked to Steve and got him to come by and meet Dad, something Dad still counts as one of his favorite memories.
When Grandpa was reading water meters for the city, he got into a bit of a dispute with someone who said Grandpa wasn’t checking his meter. The next time Grandpa went by to check this man’s meter, the man had left a quarter on top. Grandma must have been confused when Grandpa got back in the truck and told her they needed to go to the bank right away, but she did, and Grandpa got a dime, two nickels, and five pennies to leave on the meter. “He doesn’t know if I read it right, but he knows I read it,” he said.
He connected with this community in ways no one else did. When the football team had a big game coming up, Grandpa would be front and center at the pep rally, “making a talk,” as Grandma would say, then leading the team bus out of town for away games, and honking the horn of his red and white pickup in the end zone when the Bulldogs were playing at home. He loved the school, and loved its teachers and students.
“You’ve got a building with four walls and a roof, and the future comes out of it,” he said of the school.
In 1987, he agreed to run for mayor, serving for 12 years, and improving this city in ways too numerous to list.
With everything going on, he and Grandma managed to always find time to get away from Miles to come see us in Amarillo when we were growing up. I’ll never forget Grandpa, well into his 70s, trying out our new backyard trampoline. He was brave enough to get on, but a little tentative about jumping. Imagine a bowl of jello with an electric current running through it, and you’re close to what Tamsen and I both said last night that we can close our eyes and still see.
Grandpa would occasionally try to order things from mail-order catalogs, including a knife like Buffalo Bill’s, who he said had always been a personal hero of his. But if Grandma didn’t think he was buying something worth having, she’d sneak the check out of the envelope and seal it back up, and, as she’d say, “he’d take it right on down to the post office and mail it anyway.”
You can’t talk about Grandpa without talking about how important he believed water was to a community, something he learned the hard way during the Depression. Any conversation with Grandpa had to at least briefly touch on how much rain everyone had gotten recently, and, while he was proud of his kids and grandkids, I’m not sure any of us matched his pride in his rain gauge. Because of the way it was installed on the roof, the rain gauge is in the bathroom at the house, and if you’d ask Grandpa how much rain Miles had gotten, it was pretty common to hear him say. “Hold on, I’ve got to go to the bathroom.”
There was nothing about Miles, and honestly, not much of anything, that Grandpa couldn’t recall. I‘m in my mid 30s and have to put my car keys in the refrigerator to remember to get my lunch in the mornings, but Grandpa, six full decades older than me, could rattle off the names and owners of the ten gas stations in town in the 30s, the history of this church, or what he and dad did to fix the fuel pump on the car 20 years ago.
In his younger days, Grandpa had a legendary temper part of the reason why he was able to say he’d done nearly everything in Miles except haul hay, but as he got older, that anger dissipated out of him, replaced with – well, patience wouldn’t be the right word….
I suppose I should stop here and offer a confession – as much as I loved my Grandma, I somehow, in these later years, found myself seeing more and more of myself in Grandpa. If Grandma’s life was the story of a saint, someone who took everything in life with such superhuman grace and dignity, then Grandpa was someone who you could see working out his salvation with fear and trembling. Grandpa got tired, got cranky, got impatient, got frustrated, but was always trying to do the next right thing, and that was always something I could see in myself.
Grandpa started slowing down, as he started using a cane, then two canes, then a walker, then a wheelchair. But one thing always remained the same, his strong firm grip when he shook your hand, as if his handshakes were subtle reminders of his advice to us to ‘always give 110 percent.’
Grandpa loved Miles, and loved its people. Anytime there was a funeral, on the way to the cemetery from the church, he’d be on the highway, stopping traffic, even when he was having to use both of his canes to do it.
But today, traffic stopped for him, as 79 years after he joined the Volunteer Fire Department, he was led to the cemetery for the last time, this time, by the Miles fire engine.
For as long as I can remember, Grandpa would end phone conversations with 'good night, and good luck.' I was well into my 20s before I realized he was quoting Edward R. Murrow instead of the other way around. On Tuesday night, the last words he said to me as I left his room, possibly the last words he said before he passed away Saturday, were 'good night, and good luck.'
He was five weeks shy of his 101st birthday when he died. There's no way, in this immediate moment, to put that into any perspective other than this - when we were talking for what I have to think we both knew might be the last time, there was no urgency for him to tell, or me to hear, the wisdom of a century distilled to that half-hour, because he, just like Grandma, had already used the 33 years we had together to show me.
The writing prompt my cousin Shelly gave her fourth grade class here in Miles two decades ago, was simple: “Your principal is going to invite a famous person to visit your school, and has asked for ideas. Who should he invite?”
Some of the words of a ten year old in response to that question may sum up Grandpa, and what he meant to Miles, more than anything else.
“I would like it if you could invite Mayor Harsch because I have remembered all of the very special things he has said about us. The first reason is the pep rally. He said each and every one of you makes Miles special, and makes the town look good.
“He supports our town and school. He is a very good role model and has lots of knowledge for our school and Miles. Mr. Harsch is an octogenarian with a lot of knowledge. I know he is super supportive because he has been to every game.
“I believe he can tell us all about the history of Miles because he has lived in Miles many years. I’ll bet he can answer almost any question you can ask him.”
Just as Grandpa loved the students and the citizens of Miles, he loved this church, where his parents were charter members. This church loved him right back, as you can see by the way the second pew on the right is moved up just far enough to let he and Grandma ease their walkers in.
He talked about, and shared with so many of us, his list of verses from his Christian Survival kit, that our family and Pastor Diane managed to get it into your bulletins twice today.
I ran across a verse from Ephesians last week. While it’s not one of the ones he listed, I couldn’t help thinking of Grandpa, and I’d like to close my time today with these words:
“And may Christ dwell in your hearts, through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

*Grandpa would often say this whenever he’d finish telling a story, or offering advice and became aware he’d held the floor a little longer than he thought he should have.

Friday, September 10, 2010

the story of a saint...

In the early morning of September 7, 2010, my grandmother, Eleanor Harsch, passed away at 95, 70 days before she and my grandfather would have celebrated their 74th anniversary. What follows are my comments at her memorial service. I post them not because of the magic or melody of the words, but to record, in some small measure, what our family lost that morning.

Three grandchildren will stand here today and tell stories and anecdotes of Grandma, of how she made us laugh, what she taught us, and, in some inadequate words, what she meant to our lives. But in those snapshots from a life well-lived, I hope none of us will forget that what made this woman such an amazing daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, friend, and mentor is far more than the sum of these words.

Instead, at its essence, the story of Eleanor is a love story.

The story begins with her birth, with her parents instilling the value of humility from the very start. And I mean the very start. Grandpa Salling’s diary entry for April 28, 1915 reads: ‘Our baby girl born. Planted maize.” In the 95 years that followed, that attitude of humility never left her.

Of course, her parents did their part to make sure she stayed humble. When Aunt Martha and Uncle Marvin arrived, Grandma was 10 and Uncle Fred was 12. It was their job to wash the babies’ diapers. Or, as Grandma put it, “Oh my word. We really had a time cleaning those diapers. Even now, Fred still can’t stand a pretty bold odor.”

But even at age 10, that’s Grandma, already doing what her family needed done.

It’s the story of a love for an even bigger family, one that started when she was tagging along with her dad to the horse pen and saw Werner tagging along beside his dad. Their friendship eventually turned to romance, and then to love. And then… Well, Grandpa had a rather interesting way of proposing. He’d gone to town and bought new clothes, new underwear and new socks, and he told Grandma, “I think we can go ahead and get married, I’ve bought all the necessary things.”

They moved into a house together, paying six dollars a month in rent, and the two Harsches soon became three, then four, then five, with the addition of three wonderful children. Then along came a dog with a seemingly unpronounceable name, a trailerload of bones, some interesting driving lessons, and of course, several dairy cows.

The years went on, and the story continued with more new characters, as the children had children and Mom became Grandma, and later, Great-Grandma.

As each of us came along, we quickly learned some important things. For instance, at Grandma’s house, ‘have you eaten yet?’ also means ‘I love you.’

If she knew we were coming, there would be a pan or two full of coffee cake waiting when we arrived. If she didn’t, we got something even more special, the chance to help in the kitchen. There may be larger honors in the world, but to us, being asked to make ‘hog wallers’ in the top of the coffee cake dough, was right up there with handing Michelangelo his paintbrushes as he worked on the Sistine Chapel.

When Tamsen married Tommy, Grandma welcomed him to her story the best way she knew how, by beating him at 42. Somehow none of us ever quite got around to telling Tommy that Grandma had a 70 year head start on him, as she’d been watching people play since she was a kid, sitting around with homemade ice cream every summer Saturday night.

Grandma taught us much more as we grew. We learned patience, both on Christmas Eve as we waited for those little white envelopes with Ben Franklin inside, and, during endless summer days as we waited, and waited, and waited for the fish to bite, though sometimes Grandma and Grandpa’s heads did a lot more bobbing than the corks in the water as they’d sneak in a nap.

When Tamsen and I were kids, mom and dad had to go to Dallas to see about Dad’s eye, and Grandpa and Grandma stayed with us for a week. For reasons that still don’t make sense, Sis and I decided orange was a bad color for the fort in the backyard and that a red and blue spatterpaint pattern would be much better. By the time we were done, as Tamsen says, we had more paint on us than the fort, including my new whiter than white tennis shoes. We didn’t want to get in trouble, so we snuck in the house, and tried to wash the paint off, apparently unaware of the blue tracks we’d left in the carpet. Grandma didn’t need much detective work to figure out what happened, but she wasn’t mad at us, and helped us clean up our mess, using every cleaner she could find in mom’s house to clean those white shoes until they looked newer than new, teaching us another lesson along the way.

I’m sure she must have, but I never remember Grandma telling me to be careful. After all, to Eleanor, it’s a great, wonderful world out there, and it’s intended for exploring and learning and fun, even if for us at the time, its boundaries may have extended only to the backyard.

Even then, Grandma was there to pick us up and dust us off, to tend to our scrapes and bruises with Sayman Salve, which she believed could regrow your arm or leg if you lost it.

As we grew older, the bumps and scrapes no longer came from the pear bushes or jumping out of the pecan tree, but instead from the pain of moving away from home for the first time, of ended relationships and broken hearts, and discovering the world might be a scarier place than even the other side of the backyard fence.

Grandma was still there for us, this time not with Sayman Salve, but with words of wisdom and a willing ear. I don’t think she ever told me what I should or shouldn’t do, but she’d always listen to me talk myself through whatever I was facing.

Sometimes real wisdom comes from not being quick to share yours, but instead letting someone feel safe and comfortable enough to learn from their mistakes and find their own way to their place in the world, and Grandma always gave us that security.

Of course, Eleanor’s story goes well beyond only what she means to our family. Miles, Texas, may be an unlikely setting for the story of a saint, but Grandma spent all of her life within sight of the water tower, graduating from high school in 1934 and spending 22 years after that cooking for its students. Uncle Fred said the other day that while he was superintendent, he learned it was pointless to tell anyone to come for a meeting unless it was right before or right after lunchtime. She was a lifetime member of the Miles PTA, and the biggest…. well, the second-biggest Bulldog fan there’s ever been. And that’s mostly because Grandpa was the one honking the horn from the end zone with every Miles touchdown.

There aren’t many civic organizations in town that haven’t enjoyed her cooking and baking at some point, and even fewer that haven’t benefited from her behind-the-scenes work and advice to make Miles a better place to live.

And just as there are few organizations that Grandma didn’t help out along the way, her 20 years with Germania mean that there aren’t many roofs in Miles that she hasn’t climbed with her ladder after a hailstorm, before she finally decided, at the age of 80, that it was better to stay on the ground.

If Grandma’s story is about anything, though, it’s about this church. Not necessarily the building, which has been razed and rebuilt and expanded and expanded again in her 95 years, but the people, the family of faith where she has made her home.
Her home here, where she was first baptized, here, where she was confirmed into a life with Christ, here, where, with or without a proposal, she married Grandpa, here, where she spent every Christmas Eve, singing the carols first in German, then in English as the world changed around her, but her faith remained steady.

She described that faith to us one night a few years ago like this:

“If you have a problem and you can’t do much about it yourself, you have to ask God to direct you, and asking isn’t enough. You’ve got to listen. You can have a conversation with God if your mind is right and he’ll help you along.”

Our family has tried to describe Grandma’s story in many different ways. She’s been our rock, our anchor; even, on occasion, our two elephants. But to me, she was always our North Star. Never trying to outshine the sun, or even the moon, but if you knew where to look on those cold, lonely nights, the light that shined through her would always lead you back home.

Grandma’s heart may have decided to rest this week, but her story of love continues through our family, through this community, and through this church, all of which she loves so very, very much.

Reminders of that love surround us, from the saved birthday cards, each with a $20 bill tucked safely inside, to the crocheted snowflakes and angels that adorn many of our Christmas trees each winter, to the recipes that just aren’t quite like Grandma’s in several of our kitchens.

Micah 6:8 may summarize both the life of a Christian, and the story of Eleanor better than any other verse: He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?”

As we leave here today to go back out into the world, may we commit to following the moral of her life story and her example of how to change the world. Person by person, always serving, always learning, always loving, with a sense of joy in everything.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

exile in blogville...

July 31, 2006: I found this old post, written in April and never posted, and thrown up now for human amusements at hourly rates. And also because it's still true.
The only thing I have to add since then is that yesterday was my half-birthday, which everyone thinks is funny, because 27-and-half? I'm not counting the days until I turn five, after all. But my birthday is in the dead of winter, and sometimes it snows, and I'm really entertaining the idea of the half-birthday party in the summer when everyone can wear shorts. I've also noticed that, if you point out your own birthday, people will feel sorry for you because no one remembered, but you can point out your half-birthday with no repercussions. Which is why I could throw a party for myself without looking like a jackass.
Oh, and that I was halfway thinking about asking David Ortiz to adopt me when I was at Fenway last month.)

I've been neglecting this blog bit for awhile. No, neglect is a bad word to use, with its implications that I owe someone, somewhere these words and pictures, which aren't really anything, or even really anywhere. If your hobby starts to control you, then it becomes a job, and too often, writing for this has felt like work. I read this article on Slate the other day, and I agree with this quote completely:

I realized something: Blogging wasn't helping me write; it was keeping me from it.

And that's where I am right now. I've got stories to tell that aren't completely my own, but are a lot more substantive than whatever derivative stuff I toss on here when I remember I still have this thing. I'm not giving up the blogging bit for good, but there are stories inside of me that I need to get out, and this isn't helping. A good friend of mine gave me some advice once, and when I remember to take it, good things usually happen. He said: Eat when you're hungry, sleep when you're tired, and write the rest of the time.

So that's where I'm off to. If something I can't help but share comes up, it'll be on here, but I've got a long way to get before I get back home, and I need to quit feeling guilty that a blog isn't on the priority list most days.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

things we can't say out loud

One of my friends in high school had a knack, I'd call it a gift, but it wasn't, really, for knowing right where someone else's weak point was. He had a shortish fuse, and he wasn't ever physically violent, but, if he ever got mad enough, he could say exactly the one thing that would make the other person so upset he'd either end the friendship, or, at the least, take a long, long time to restore it.
I was thinking about that today, because we all say we want honesty, but we don't. What we want is honesty as long as it's comfortable. I'm not talking about the "does this dress make me look fat?" type of everybody-loves-raymond crap, but something deeper.
I've come to see it like this: We set up little DMZs in our relationships, and we put the things that we can never say in them, because we have to. Not just in romantic relationships, either, but with friends, and with family, we all have things we just can't say out loud, because they're too honest, because we really have no desire to hear what other people can't say to us, and, in some cases, because if we say them out loud, they may just come true.
I know a few people who can't avoid it, though, who will tell you the straight truth on just about anything. They usually don't have a whole lot of friends for that very reason.
Occasionally, we'll skate out onto the edge of one of those things, and we'll hear the ice start to crack just a little, and we'll get the hell off, for everyone's safety. It keeps us all functioning as people who have to interact with each other to survive, and I need to be more aware that those were the rules I agreed to when I signed up for humanity. But I do forget on occasion, and, to throw in a random metaphor, I'm very happy that there's a catcher in the rye to keep me from going off the cliff.

for some reason, everyone seems to need to hear this today...

The most important thing to learn in life, and sometimes the hardest to learn, is how to forgive yourself.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

zeros and ones have no expiration date

A while back, I discovered my phone had this neat feature where I could record voice memos to myself, kind of like Charlie Kaufman in Adaptation, except these could only be about 15 seconds long. I was going through the voice memos, I guess you’d call them, yesterday, and most of them are pretty banal, but the last one reminded me of something I was meaning to write about, because it’d been bugging me ever since I put it on there, which was three weeks ago.
The Sunday morning of DNow, which is traditionally a great opportunity to catch up on the sleep you missed out on during the weekend, but I hadn’t been back in the first Baptist sanctuary in a long time, and it was sort of a surreal experience. I likened it to Bill Buckner walking back into Shea Stadium to someone who asked if it was weird.
Howie used an illustration in his sermon that morning that really bothered me, and it took me awhile to figure out what the problem was.
He set this scene in the high school cafeteria, with a girl on the outside clique of popular people, who tried to sit down at the table where the cool kids were, and got rebuffed, after passing up the tables with the geeks, the Goths, the skaters, the band kids, the wannabes, etc.
The star running back on the football team asks her out, and tries to get to second base with her (Arrested Development fans, picture Pete Rose sliding in headfirst here). She shoots him down and is cast from the circle of cool kids forever. At the end of the sermon, he flash-forwards to the reunion, where, of course, the star running back is now overweight and sacking groceries, the nerd with the crush on the oblivious cutie is now a software millionaire, and the girl that turned down the boy is, of course, very happy with her life.
All fine and after-school-specially good, but it stuck with me and there was something wrong with it that I couldn’t place until it hit me what the problem was.
Not to get all meta-textual or anything, but the problem with that illustration is that no one sees themselves that way, making it really hard to draw out a larger point from it.
In other words, no one sees herself as a supporting character in her own life.
Everyone’s at the center of their own narrative, which, when you think about it, is a little frightening, because you may see me as a major character in your story, while I see you as someone who has made a couple of cameos in mine.
I think that’s where some of our conflict comes with other people, that two people look at each other in their lives and see different roles, different levels of importance to the plot, with differing amounts of screen time, and we’re so bad at figuring all of that out a lot of the time that people get hurt. So who are the people in my life that want bigger roles that I’m not seeing?
It’s as good as anything to think about during the two weeks I’m waiting for my ipod to get fixed, I guess.

Friday, February 03, 2006

that wasn't great for the old self-esteem right there

Just took these two little quizzes online, which are supposed to measure your masculine and feminine qualities. I'd tell you what I got, but I'm feeling rather emasculated at the moment. If you need me, I'll be out killing something and eating it with my bare hands while repairing a transmission.

Monday, January 09, 2006

exodus 8:2

(Note: what follows will ruin Magnolia for you if you haven't seen it. It came out six years ago, but, hey fair warning. Also, I'm not really sure any of this makes any sense. At all. Even to me. But hey, fair warning.)

On a whim, I popped Magnolia into the multi-disc changer last night. Actually, Jonathan and I had a conversation about that movie a couple of weeks ago, so it was in the back of my head. It's been several years, I guess, since I sat down and really watched it, not just starting it while I was doing something else. I'd forgotten how simply powerful it is, how in the midst of the ordinary fucked-upness that our lives are, this completely unexpected (but expected) thing happens that redefines everything that's already happened, and everything that's about to.

This is the part, where, if I still worked with kids at the church, I'd tie all of this into a neat little message with three points you could tuck yourself in bed with and keep under your pillow. But I'd never have talked about Magnolia, and I don't work there anymore.

I finished the movie, and, like I did when I saw it in the theater, just sat with it for awhile. I didn't jump up to the next thing, I let it sink in, absorbed it until it felt tangible in my mind. And I started thinking about frogs. And rains of frogs, and how convenient it is for Phil and Stanley and Linda and Claudia and Jim that the frogs begin to fall at the exact moment when they're supposed to fall and free them from whatever it is that's holding them captive.
And how, in life, when the goddamned regret is swallowing you whole, when you get to the scene in the movie when you're pleading, 'this is the scene in the movie when you help me out,' the person on the other end is busy, too, with their own shit, with their own waiting for their own frogs, that they've got someone else on hold, telling them that this is their scene in their movie, and that as soon as they can get you off the line, they're looking around, hoping that somehow, someway, their service pistol will fall from the sky along with the frogs, because that's the way things work in the movie, right?

Then, in the midst of dwelling in that, I had what alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity. What if I've been living my life without ever allowing for the possibility that frogs really could fall from the sky? That the dominant part of my personality wouldn't ever allow for such foolishness, for such implausibility, something so liberating that I would actually recoil to think of it. There is part of me, a part that I don't talk about, that I don't introduce at parties, that knows all of my secrets and believes none of the lies about the secrets, that used to scare me in the moments before I'd fall asleep, what Jung, I guess, called the shadow. It's not always bad, it's not always good, but it's always there. And now, that part, late at night in the last moments before I fall asleep, usually after too many cigarettes and too many drinks, remembers to remember, to remind me that frogs really do fall from the sky, every day, and, just like tinkerbell, if you believe hard enough, you can really make it happen. You really can make frogs fall out of the sky.

And when that realization comes, that maybe we really are just that powerful, I see those people still waiting on the phone, looking up at the cyan sky with expectant eyes, hoping maybe a pistol will fall, praying maybe a Messiah will drop, and there's nothing to say to them that will even make it sound like I'm speaking the same language. But then I look over and see this shadow, the same one that's been following the whole time, the one I only listened to in those fleeting moments before sleep, but heard all the time. He gives me an omniscient nod and I realize that I can't understand me before I know him. And the next thing I know, it's dawn and there's a lot of stuff on a previously blank screen that I always somehow knew was there, but never remembered to remember, and I'm more comfortable being me than I've ever been.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

the substance of things hoped for...

...the evidence of things not seen.

More to come when I can figure out a way to use words again.

"It would be nice to be married, but it's hard when you're on the road 265 nights a year. It's going to take a very special woman... or a bunch of average ones."
-Bill Hicks