Monday, December 29, 2008

Four Years and a Funeral (3 of 3)

For anyone who's actually checking this shit out, here's the third essay I wrote in connection to Maverick...

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Four years down this winding road of a dream begun, as soldiers have come and gone, I am left wondering not if the battle goes on, but if the war actually ever was.

This week I say goodbye to four such soldiers. Okay, so one of them is still hanging around for another week, but we’ve done the whole pat the back, bump the knuckles and pound the chest routine so often, it was starting to get stupid. One of them walked away once, came back and probably woke up one day finding something missing. She’s going back out to look for it. Maybe one day she’ll come home again. Depending of course, on what she will decide is home.

"...I thought we had enough goodbyes. But fate has a way of bringing things in bunches..."

Every now and then, we find people who believe in us more than we believe in ourselves. And it’s these times when dreaming is worth it despite the fear of falling with your face down in the mud, arms outstretched and legs splayed all over. I found one not too long ago. She’s leaving, too. But not before having come back over three years ago, and helping me build the house that many have come to call home, and the menagerie that many have come to call family. She flies off to other dreams in a week. And in her eyes we know she carries with her a piece of us. But that is nothing compared to what she leaves with us, and the echoingly big shoes she has left here to be filled by someone else.

I thought we had enough goodbyes. But fate has a way of bringing things in bunches. And when we got that phone call that quiet morning, we said goodbye to someone who was unfortunately beyond the whole pat on the back and bump the knuckles routine. An unassuming guy, who knew his fate early on, and faced it with courage, honest smiles, and some of the most twisted jokes this side of town. Arguably one of the best creative minds I’ve ever met, and one of the kindest souls that ever existed. God Bless that kind soul.

One evening, we went to spend a few moments in his week long wake. I watched faces puffy with grief, and eyes that sparkle with tears and respect. Faces of those who will keep hanging around and hanging out. And right there, my memory jogs back to newer faces who have come these past two years. I find myself welcoming again, however belatedly others who have come to share the dream. Some who have chosen to test the waters, some who just follow the tides, and maybe a few who are just sailing through, and every so often, some who seem to really believe.

Life goes on. For me, for those who remain, those who have just come on board, and for those who journey on elsewhere both around and beyond. I sat there on a row of tables connected together, sat at by people no less connected, while nursing our fifteen minute beers. I smile to myself with the realization and reminder that thankfully for this bunch, the only thing bitter was the beer. A five minute toast and goodbye to the one who went on, nods all around, and I asked for the check. And soldiers… nay, PEOPLE… will come and go, but there is no such thing as too many fond farewells.

And no, dreams don’t really change. Our perception of these dreams do. And somewhere along the way, we perceive the dream not as a destination, but as the journey itself. Given even more meaning by the ones we meet along the way.


revised: 3/4/06 3:50pm

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