Monday, March 21, 2011

Two weeks ago I awoke from a dream. 
I was driving to work, the sun was bright, green grass all around, steady warm breeze, car steadily moving north down a dirt road. The way was blocked by an estranged friend of mine who was being pushed in a wheelchair by someone with a full beard, mustache, reflective sunglasses and wearing fatigues who I didn't know. I came to a stop as they slowly moved forward, knowing I was behind them, my friend knowing it was me and that I was going to work but neither said a word to me, neither really looked at me, instead they were both focused on the waves of tall grass moving across this immense field. Sporting a handgun, my buddy was shooting at gophers. Continuing to wait would cause me to be late for work. Forcing my way around them was possible but it was also being pushy and risking hurting someone or getting stuck. I knew I would have to speak to them but I didn't want to feeling I had tried previously to patch things up between us and it was my estranged friend's responsibility to speak to me this time. He remained silent and determined to seek gophers. My thought was, is this what he's come to for meals and entertainment? Shooting Gophers?
In this realm this friend of mine has been going through hardships. Like many, he lost his job and has been unsuccessful finding a new one. He's been struggling in other areas that compound the job loss. I don't envy him and probably would not deal with it as well as he seems to. Quite some time ago I remarked about concerns for this friend. He was not answering his phone, only texts or facebook. He had started to sell personal items online. Some form of my words got back to him and a text arrived from accusing me of saying things that were less than favorable toward  him. I honestly, to this day, don't know the specifics of what I am supposed to have said but I tried to assure him via text that anything that I may have said was out of concern and not meant to harm or demean him. Though I don't know what I did wrong, he has the perception that I did or said something and that's what really matters. So I try to figure out how to make this right. In an era where we do little communication more than a sentence or two texting or tweeting I don't know if correcting things like this can be done?
It's been a long time since I've done anything social or had a conversation of any substance. I recall standing in a parking lot when the weather was warm last year sharing ideas about God, sexuality, accountability, disappointments, victories, books, movies (more than oh I like that it was good, or oh I didn't like that it was awful). That was months ago. So many things have happened since then.
Earthquakes, tornadoes, tidal waves, nuclear reactor core breeches, people have left this life and gone to the next, birthdays, lay offs, hirings, a new year...
While dreaming I understood that I would have to begin the conversation even though I believed I'd already done my part. It wasn't understood that I had and that made the difference. Though it felt like giving in I had to question what was really important, my pride or the greater good. Waking, I realized the same thing. How does one do that when the written word is difficult enough to communicate effectively, clearly? Now that it's dwindled to nothing more than short sentences, symbols, and tweets it seems doomed to failure. Perhaps it is doomed to failure until we rise above it all, take time from our "busy" schedules and talk with one another again, face to face instead of distanced by space and rectangular brightly glowing pieces of glass. At the very least answering the phone when it rings. I'm beginning to understand that if someone takes the time to call these days, instead of text or tweet, they really do want to speak with you. And what a shame if we don't take the time to appreciate that and instead ask why aren't they texting? It may very well be time to start answering the phone again when someone calls.
Perhaps then I won't be haunted by gophers being executed by a guy being pushed down a dusty, bumpy, dirt road in a wheelchair. 
What it comes down to is sometimes it is important to apologize even if you don't know exactly what you are apologizing for other than you've somehow hurt someone and that's really enough. 

"I search for shelter near the mines we swept
I guess forgiveness hasn't happened yet
There are no words that I can say to you
To turn this careless sky from black to blue
So I'm asking you

Is it safe, is it safe to land?
'Cause I'm not going far on an empty heart
Is it safe, is it safe to land?
'Cause the long fall back to earth is the hardest part" (safe to land-jars of clay)


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home