On Homesickness. - The second time I went to New England was after a prolonged time in the deep south. My tenure at Louisiana State University had come to a close (relativel...
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
First, the facts: 1) he kept meticulous fishing logs. 2) equaled only by his business ledgers. 3) These logs and ledgers and some photographs are all the proof we have of his existence.
Aaahh, but there's more, you say. There's a house, where his family still lives. True. But a house is not a life.
There's the businesses and property he owned-- wait. Not so much. The names are changed and those who remember are dieing or forgetting. We all forget. You don't get that one.
Boat? Nope. Plaques, certificates... no, sir. Redirect, please.
[pause] [closes eyes] [deep breath]
He walks the sidewalk with quick steps, hands in coat pockets, hat pulled down, glasses on. He laughs at the dinner table. He pours a drink and settles back into an armchair during the holidays.
He was born again! Not a religious conversion, actually reborn, in the 1940s, the 1970s, the 2000s. You can see his smile, his gait, his mannerisms in each. I swear to you with a voice that contains his and look at you with eyes that include his, that he walks with us, and through us and in us.
And when we are gathered, and telling stories, he sits with us, and if you took the various smiles from among us, you could reconstruct his, but you don't need to, because he is there. He did live. He does live. We are his proof.
[smiles] [turns] [walks back to table]
I have nothing further.