Kings of Convenience, Winning a Battle, Losing the War
It’s been a very long day that seems very short in hindsight.
Ever had to stare at a man who is carrying the weight of his world? To have a conversation with someone who is struggling with the idea that sometime in the next year he may lay down his life and die? All he wanted to do was pay for college. I made him dinner tonight and we talked about dogs and other silly things. Such stupid things. I tried to prompt him to talk a little. I wonder if he thinks that he may not be coming home next September. I wonder what it’s like to face your mortality. Does he give his things away? What about his dog? I’m so scared for him. We took a ride once the dishes were clean. Over the Ohio bridge I leaned against him, stood up and stretched my arms out to the stars and he laughed and then I got nervous and sat back down fast and held him tight. And, my god, if I was good for anything in his life, I hope he knew that he made me feel alive.
And life is like that, right? No tragic life-altering moments. Just tiny decisions. Tiny increments of time where we were lazy or mean or dumb and then they all come and face you at once. You get orders to show up for your consequences and it hits you that you and your life will never be the same. All he wanted to do was pay for college.
I haven’t heard my own music selection in awhile. I’ve missed my iPod. I’ve had a Kings of Convenience song in my head every day for a couple of weeks. Today, it’s this one. No real reason. No hidden message in the lyrics. Just a simple, subtly complicated rhythm with words that contradict themselves and explain your life in a moment of anxiety or fear or a rush of understanding. I’m thankful that one of my boys never really took to this band. That its been mine since the beginning, and these songs are for my mind alone to toss around. To let an elegant guitar, a waif of a melody drift pass me singing “the day breaks and every thing is new…”
This morning I woke up earlier than usual. I wasn’t tired. I left early smiling as I told my dogs goodbye. At 7:24 am there was a thick fog on rt60. At 7:28 on my way past the family grocery store and the corporate bank, the sun broke over the ridge and his light consumed a patch of Milton. It swirled with the fog and blinded all those it swallowed. I thought “this is what it must have been like when Moses saw God’s robes.” Because, just faintly, and if you didn’t stare too long, you could certainly see the outline of our friendly star. This morning I felt as if I had ascended into heaven.