Good writing, with a strong point and with life oozing out.

Message in a Bottle

March 13, 2006

What would make a grown man– standing at the top of a ladder and wearing a tool belt– suddenly burst out into a crying jag? Just this line, from this new album:

“for all the ways this world is shit,
there is so much beauty in all of it…”

It was one of those moments that just stopped* and where everything around locked into place:

the body of my son, and the body of my daughter
the dirty alley out the window, and the breathtaking mahogany under my left thumb
Soweto, and Playa Guiones
the three dogs outside who will live and die in their reeky 20X20 pen, and the sun setting over the hill
the crushing pain that me and my friends experience, and the comfort which God gives
all the ways in which the world is broken, and the fact that I can’t shake the sense that it could be better
all the kids who have to go to Children’s Hospital, and the compassionate care which they receive
and now–
the fact that Tom Fox is dead, and the fact that he went to Iraq in the first place.

And I didn’t feel any better — I’m still mad and confused and unsettled writing about it a week later– but I did feel that I’m not alone.

* the job I was working on will not be charged for my five minutes of sobbing/lament/recovery.

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5 Responses to “Message in a Bottle”

  1. sonja says:

    holy shit … I was channeling you and standing in my kitchen crying about many of those same things (but not because of that song) at about the same time this morning. Fortunately, I’m not accountable to anyone for my time, but, then I don’t get paid either. I just cleaned the frying pans extra well.

  2. How long will we sing this song, oh Lord? How long?

  3. WMS says:

    The Cloak, The Boat, And The Shoes

    ‘WHAT do you make so fair and bright?’
    ‘I make the cloak of Sorrow:
    O lovely to see in all men’s sight
    Shall be the cloak of Sorrow,
    In all men’s sight.’
    ‘What do you build with sails for flight?’
    ‘I build a boat for Sorrow:
    O swift on the seas all day and night
    Saileth the rover Sorrow,
    All day and night.’
    What do you weave with wool so white?’
    ‘I weave the shoes of Sorrow:
    Soundless shall be the footfall light
    In all men’s ears of Sorrow,
    Sudden and light.’

    William Butler Yeats

  4. Anonymous says:

    oh bearded one- there is beauty in the tear stained mahogany! does that cost extra?


  5. P3T3RK3Y5 says:

    alongside with the problem of pain – IS the problem of “beauty”

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