Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Metaphor Is All I Can Remember

My brother called to wish me a happy new year. Well, it was Ann Lois who called, and I’m not really certain if Jeff said those words, but that’s what happened.

I understood a lot of what he said (and/or got the details from A-L). He will sit on the bema as the old revered rabbi emeritus at Rosh Hashanah. They will fly to Florida for his grandnephew’s brit milah and to see Father Rick one more time—that he would especially enjoy. They would drive to Illinois for Yom Kippur with A-L’s brother. Going to Lisa’s wedding in Cincinnati from there would make too much sense. Instead they’ll drive back to Alabama so Bo won’t have to stay in a kennel, then drive up to Cincy for the wedding the following weekend. That’s just the next three weeks.

Drinking it all in.

After the call I was just able to squeeze out the words, "My brother wishes you shana tova” without my voice cracking too noticeably, I think. I had started from my office to say this to Deb and Becca. Didn’t quite make it from the hall to the dining room where they were sitting. Veered off to the left. Sat on the edge of my bed. Let the tears fall into a tissue. Grateful for each one. A blessing of comfort. Each squeezed out drop a measure of love and compassion.

* * *

It’s not that I haven’t been dreaming. Lately, when I regain consciousness, the details disappear quicker than usual and the message seems to linger like a vanishing chord on a piano. If I were to search too far and too long for the missing notes I would lose the ones ringing this second in my ears.

Tonight I understood this maybe for the first time. Understood enough to embrace what I heard and not worry about what I lost. That was what I heard. That is what I did. Here is the result:

The Metaphor Is All I Can Remember
We should all take advantage
of whatever comes our way.
In my dream, for one person it
would have been a superball,
for another a laptop computer—
none of the particulars matter.
Everyone is waiting for the “big prize”
but no one knows what it is
or even when.
Just a continuous stream of life
flying past every second.
Grab something! Anything.
or everything you can....
Every second.


  1. shanah tovah, yesh. and todah.

  2. Shanah Tovah Cousin Doug. Love you very much

  3. shana tova, papa doug. Gonna get on the phone with youz guys now