Tuesday, February 24, 2009

if I keep writing ...

A friend I have worked with for twelve years comes into my classroom. His role at the school has changed so this is an unusual visit this year. I say, "Can I help you?"
Not really.
He walks past my students who are learning about the reasons and consequences of the Missouri River "sinking" faster than expected.
He stares out the window where the aloe is in all its glory.

Wordless he walks back to the doorway, turns, says, "can I talk to you a minute?"
I think, "hmmm what did he expect to see? what student needs to be "dealt" with???" I am so wrong.
He tells me a friend has died. He tells me someone had said, "go tell Stratz before the e-mail gets sent."
Two men who shared their sacred stories. two men who listened with open hearts to mine. two men who always greeted me with a smile for 12 years. enough. I don't want to be missing smiles and hearts. It won't stop.
So my stoic heart turns and we continue on with the geology lesson.

The heart that was so warmed by these men is finally touched. Again, it happens with music, with amber glass in my hand, with God in my studio.
and a CD chosen randomly has the song that broke through my stoic self. It starts this way ...
I should be getting some sleep
I try and I try but I can't keep
From picking apart everything that we said
Yeah, I shouldn't be running this maze
Trying so hard to find a way to raise up the dead...

Kim Richey "I know" from her album Bitter Sweet.


  1. I am so sorry. If I'm reading this correctly, he came to tell you about "a" friend but, it seems that you lost two friends. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. There have been too many deaths reported here recently. Enough. Peace.

  2. Kathryn-- sadly you got it right. A few months back another friend at work died of pancreatic cancer. This guy survived a nasty heart attack a while back and returned to work, but not the second attack.

  3. Your comment brought tears to my eyes. Thinking of you and your friends' family and friends.

  4. Gannet Girl and Kathryn J---

    In the midst of the sadness a response is brewing.

  5. Beautiful song, Wayne. I wonder how each of us grasp from its lyrics that word "home" and see it in our mind. Pilgrims. We all are but pilgrims.....

  6. Wayne, so sorry to hear of yet another loss.

    Sounds like a good song. Music certainly can help break down the dam or open the floodgates that's for sure. As cathartic as it can be, there have been times where I've had to turn off certain music because it was just a little too painful.


  7. It's the next day and I want you to know that you and your friends are in my prayers this morning.

  8. Wayne....so sorry....

  9. all--- thanks. tonight I will walk home with ashes on my forehead.


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