How many times must a man look up

“All I want to know is, Are you kind?”

–Grateful Dead

Apropos of nothing, today is Jerry Garcia’s birthday. On the greatest radio station in the world, that’s bigger than most national holidays.

“Don’t leave me hanging on the telephone.”

–Blondie

I think I know what Dad thought of the forced breakup of the company he worked for all of his adult life. I sort of wonder what Dad would have thought of the later purchase of the wireless portion of that company by another wireless company. And what I really wonder is what Dad would have thought about that combined wireless company, now doing business under the name of Dad’s company, which does not provide adequate enough coverage here in Dad’s own home for me to make a call.

Seriously, in the middle of Silicon Valley, mere blocks from the birthplaces of Hewlett-Packard and Google, I can’t make a call on my cell phone unless I stand on the brick wall in the back yard. Good thing the weather here is always…well, perfect.

“Without a hurt, the heart is hollow.”

–“Try to Remember,” The Fantasticks

When I was a kid, I’d wonder where the wind goes. Right? Because all this air blows away, so how is there still air here for us to breathe? You’d think that everyone in Wyoming would have suffocated by now.

When I was older, I recall talking to Mom about how enjoyable it was, at times, to just be alone. I told her about walking across snowfields over the shoulder of one of her favorite mountains and walking out into the desert with a water bottle and a hat and how the wind was always blowing. “Oh, the wind is a good one,” Mom replied. Then she described how, when she lived in San Francisco before meeting Dad, she would go and sit on a hill overlooking the Bay and let the wind wash over her.

These thoughts began to pass through my head again as I sat on the granite bench overlooking Mom and Dad’s graves today, and I got to wondering where they went. Are they really out there in the wind, blowing over us all, like an eternal tide? Are they up there in the sky, as momentary as clouds, as steady as the sun? Or is it dust to dust, and have they been carried up into the overhanging oak that was sheltering me, passed cell to cell to such great heights?

But really, aren’t they closer than that–in my bones, my hands, my eyes? Don’t they walk with me everywhere, hold my son when he sleeps on my chest, and cry when I wish they could sit beside me and see the brilliant golden hills?

And aren’t they in my son when he “runs so fast” away from me at the playground, charging forward, head down; and when he curls his soft hand around my fingers; and when he looks up and wonders at the stars?

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  • See, you start out with your usual sarcastitude, and then you one-two-switcheroo into poetical.

    It’s kind of humbling to think about oneness. Real oneness, like how all the atoms on the earth pretty much get shared with everything else eventually, and how (IMHO) there is oneness of spirit.

    But then how frustrating that if we’re really one, why can’t we be with those we love all the time? Maybe they are with us all the time, just in a different form. But I wish we could consciously perceive that form sometimes. It would just be nice not to miss them.

  • Sweeeeet!! Thank you so much for sharing your family with us at the beach…..thousands of pictures later.

  • Just think, I was sitting in the same place last month without internet either, although Verizon does seem to work there, most days.

    The answer is blowing in the wind, if only we could hear it.

  • Amama: Yes, life would be more enjoyable without the missing, especially the missing of those gone forever.

    KMoo: I swear it wasn’t thousands of pictures…just hundreds. Several hundreds, perhaps…

    CAGirl: What? I can’t hear you…the wind is too loud.