So I started out this day a little sad thinking of turning off memories on social media, but then I thought, thank god for memories. What would we have really without them? Our past would fade, people's lives would disappear and what good would that do? What a powerful thing to be reminded to feel.
I miss my brilliant friend who I didn't get nearly enough time with. So thank you Facebook for reminding me of a very special day when Sheila chose to have a goodbye beer with me in the basement bar of The Franklin (because it wasn't far from her home.) We talked about newspaper writing and the future of the craft, but more importantly, we talked about the fear of the unknown that lies ahead. She was scared to death of her new job and feared she was in over her head. She, of course, was not. She always told me how she is a one beer gal, but on this day of celebration for her moving on, she ordered a second beer. This was a somewhat hefty scotch ale and I think the alcohol content was a tad more than her usual, so she did not finish it,. She did however enjoy it fully. As I did our conversation.
Also in memories today from seven years ago was an unfinished poem I wrote. I know I wrote this a year to the day before my friend left the paper, but reading it today, right after seeing her face with a bit of a beer buzz glossy smile, I couldn't help thinking that memories are telling me I wrote this poem for her as a gift on her last day.
I wish I thought to give it to her.
I never titled it until today
Hey look out that window,
see that sky?
I painted that for you.
It came to me in a horse bridled in innocence, swiftly on the wings of lavender steel, with the water running over the rocks, the tide rolling in and fog.
It wrote itself in the stars moving up in the sky, the branch breaking in the wind, with the jolt of a motorcycle engine starting three blocks away and scream of a girl trying to get away.
It came to me in a roadside sign with three flies on it, with high beams coming against me on the narrow dirt road And a glimmer of an eye I photographed not long ago…
The color in the upright of the sky that grows as to turn your head came to me in spring and it came to me in winter
It came to me in the backseat of a 57 Chevy, in a glimpse of hot pink underwear from a paparazzi's harsh flash and a flag-waving tea party type, in a monks chant, as a philosophy, as a fact, as an opinion,.
It came to me as a fish jumping up the river and a blind duck swimming down it, on my day off, and at work.
But I didn’t take the time to paint it then.
It was Daffodils poking up through the dead leads, a freshly mowed grass, history’s steel bridges on dirt roads, smoke rings from a fire off in the distance and pearls around a rich old woman’s neck.
That sky was up past my bedtime and before I rose to the day. So I painted it for you today.