Wednesday, March 31, 2010

trying to imagine these empty porches

A porch was on our wish list when we finally decided to buy a house. We found a street filled with them. These porches fill up when a summer thunder storm stops the flow of electricity or when trick-or-treaters in the hundreds storm down our street. Across the street the porches are scarred.
Yesterday I walked across the street and extended my hand to a man, whose three daughters fill these porches with play. Today as I left the house to run errands, I saw the woman who sits on her porch reading.
I walked across the street and listened to her story. "May you never experience such a thing... " She starts the conversation with a blessing.

She came home late that evening and smelled smoke. Now she runs through the what ifs... if only I had... if only I had...

The night of the fire, I watched as the policeman smashed through her front door. Apparently I had left the window when he carried her out preventing her bare feet from being cut by the glass.
She invited me to enter her house, but I declined, then she shows me a tie rack and a song comes to mind. I will never tell someone who has lost material objects that they are only things...
As I listen to Lyle Lovett sing, I wish I had stepped inside that house...

That picture hangin' on the wall
Was painted by a friend
He gave it to me all down and out
When he owed me ten
Now it doesn't look like much I guess
But it's all that's left of him
And it sure is nice from right over here
When the light's a little dim

Step inside my house Babe
I'll sing for you a song
I'll tell you 'bout where I've been
It shouldn't take too long
I'll show you all the things I own
My treasures you might say
Couldn't be more'n ten dollars worth
But they brighten up my day

Here's a book of poems I got
From a girl I used to know
I guess I read it front to back
Fifty times or so
It's all about the good life
And stayin' at ease with the world
It's funny how I love that book
And I never loved that girl

Hold this piece of glass
Up to the light comin' through the door
It's a prism glass I found on the road
Can you see that little rainbow
Well it's not really a prism I guess
It just broke in a funny way
I found it on my way from Texas
Headed for L.A.

This guitar was given me
By old man Thomas Gray
It's not too much to look at
But I pick it every day
It's been across the country
Four or five times I guess
Between me and old man Tom
It never got much rest

Well that's about all I own
And all I care to I guess
Except this pair of boots
And that funny yellow vest
And that leather jacket and leather bag
And hat hangin' on the wall
Just so it's not too much to carry
Could I see you again next Fall


  1. Nice song and great blog post. I'll continue to keep your neighbors in my prayers - glad nobody was hurt but it is still a loss for them.

  2. the song is reportedly the first song Guy Clark wrote and if not for Lyle it would not have been recorded... word on the street is that the end unit of the row may be torn down??????

  3. The link didn't work when I stopped earlier, but no problems at all this time, Wayne. I liked the words, though, even before I heard the song. It is funny what "treasures" we collect within the journey and, no doubt, we do not realize how much some things mean to us until they're gone. I listened to a young girl tell the congregation tonight that our faith requires of us two things: (a) to take the message of Christ to others; and (b) to help those who are in need. My own thoughts shortened that list to (c) know the voice of God as He leads us in the next step.....

  4. Jim--- I decided that as my neighbors dealt with their mess, least I could do was spruce up my front yard.


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