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The email arrived - Subject: Please Call Me
From a name
That barely rippled the surface of
Inside 3 lines -
One a phone number
Then a promise of a poem to follow
Then another a name.
The surface raised into waves and surfed into
I knew what this was about.
Right above that email,
The one with the poem.
I read it - two times.
It was beautiful, haunting and a farewell.
It was not definitive,
I would have to call for that.
I read both emails again.
They could mean something different,
It could mean 'come,
visit our mutual friend
before, before... '
For a moment quite still
In action, thought and feeling.
I had things to do,
I had to be somewhere.
I put the number in my phone.
Driving to the barn I corralled the time
To arrange thoughts which were racing.
The emotions quietly waited.
Later, in exactly the right place to make this call,
Under a huge cottonwood
A bay horse on the end of a long rope
Eating dried grass barely green,
The leaves crunching beneath both of us
The details were sparse, relevant, and complete.
Driving back to the house,
A little door opened to memories.
And with them, emotions.
A trickle, a tiny spring reaching the surface.
Then the right song played, releasing
A flood into the desert of forgotten memories.
There was only one place to go.
In the fading evening light,
Outside in warm desert air, a breeze promising cool
I visited the stupa.
Walking clockwise 9 circles -
Three times for my loss and regret,
Three times for forgiveness,
Three times for gratitude.
One more step in the farewell.
Up the red dirt path
To a very low wooden bench beneath a pinon.
Turned my full focus to the man
Who that morning had been set free.
I didn't know his journey
Over the years since we last saw each other.
I most fervently wanted to know,
Wanted it to be true,
That he left with peace and lightness in his being.
And as I sat, my tears beyond my feelings and into his,
I felt it, I saw it.
The body shed of pain and grief,
The heart shed of disappointment and hurt.
His Spirit flew as it always had even beneath the human trauma.
I felt a little tug of envy. 'You're free! I want that!'
He smiled with all the love we had shared,
And my envy transformed into his joy.
He was whole, I was free too.
The gentle, sad goodbye from years ago was a small thing.
This farewell from one heart to another
Was complete, without the residue of 'what ifs'.
The email, the poem, the friend who reached out,
Across more than a decade
Through her heart and love for the man who just left
Had given me a gift I didn't know I needed.
Thank you - both.
November 5th 2023 (Photo: The Author)
(This is pretty raw, written the evening of the morning I heard the news )
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