Somewhere there is a trashed remnant of the hard drive on which was stored the final email sent from one friend to another in a decade past. The recipient of that email did not reply,
I was that recipient.
My brain’s memory archive contains that unanswered email.
My imagination contains all the possible potential replies.
Some time would pass while the world did a search for the sender of that email. The search eventually ended when Sonny brought back the results: a cold body was found lying in the back of a Jeep stopped partway up a remote Gatineau hill that had proved too steep to climb. Forensic investigation confirmed my friend’s final message to self. My friend’s body was found with a few of his closest companions from his shortened life. One of those companions was an empty bottle. Another companion was the bass guitar that stood silent beside him at his memorial service; I heard many say he was the best bassist they’d ever heard; he was certainly the best I had ever played alongside. Another companion of final consequence was a piece of hardware that required a double click to effect a double barreled response.
I’ve long since “found closure” for the “what ifs” of my “non-response”…
…I’ll never “edit the draft” of the “invite” that was not “sent”.
The last face to face conversation I shared with my friend took place as, together, we loaded a couch I was giving him on to the roof racks of that very Jeep. The conversation was about eating an elephant one bite at a time. I sometimes wish I had shared that meal with him through to the last course. I am encouraged that another banquet table yet awaits. His passing influence on my life prompted me to reflect on some lyrical words I had penned a few years previously:
There once was a person in possession of much individuality.
This person possessed a unique appearance.
This person possessed a distinguishing tone of voice.
This person possessed a distinctive temperament.
This person possessed a discreet thought life.
This person possessed a special way to express themselves.
This person possessed a claim on their comfort zone.
This person possessed a novel creativity.
This person possessed a particular sense of humour.
This person possessed a periodic degree of “me time”.
This person possessed a personal sense of person.
This person possessed a person.
This person possessed a self.
This person possessed many possessions.
This person went on a journey.
This person is every person that ever lived or ever will live.
This person found a “one” thing.
This person is not every person that ever lived or ever will live.
This person sold all personal possessions.
This person bought it.
Thinking about occasions when on the internet I really brought it.
Thinking about occasions when on the internet I really bought it.
Thinking about a “Comment of Great Price“.
Am I really willing to sell my self over the internet as I sit here ?
Am I really willing to sell my self on the street as I walk there ?
Back in the early days of the internet “Big Bang” , in the mid 90’s daze of Windows 3.1 and dial-up snaily-mail, I made connections with real people via this medium and some of those connections are strong and vibrant to this day.
One of those connections was with a use-net group of budding songwriters that posted original lyrics for critique and discussion. The group is still active although I do not participate now. Occasionally someone would post a challenge “Write a song lyric about * *“, a time limit was posted, participants would post their original lyrics, and members would evaluate the lyrics. In response to the challenge to write a “Do Gooder lyric in need of a tune, from someone else’s perspective” I wrote:
STANDING ON THE SIDELINES
by Glenn Gardner ©1998
I’m standin’ on the sidelines
With an empty hat
On the sidelines with an empty heart
That bears a heavy load.
I’m lookin’ for a signal
From you lookin’ back at me
I’m standin’ on the sidelines
In the middle of the road
Vacant stare that’s full of questions
Empty heart that bears a load
Standin’ on the sidelines
In the middle of the road.
I think I’m going somewhere
But I don’t remember why
Won’t you help me get there , brother ?
Don’t you have some change to spare ?
I’m needin’ just a hand up
Just a quick touch from you, brother
Just please help me get away from here
I really don’t know where.
Just a quick touch – I don’t bite –
Just a quick touch -don’t decline-
I’ll let you get back to your journey
And I’ll get back to mine.
Repeat Chorus and fade repeating last 2 lines
Today I was provoked to think about a comment I had posted as a preface to those lyrics:
“I’m tossin’ my hat in the ring with the following lyrics-written
using the nouveau choix – “METHOD WRITING”- where I wrote from the
perspective of the panhandlers I encounter so often in the city.”
Writing those lyrics was a crude attempt to walk a mile in another man’s shoes. In the years since then I’ve had the privilege to count some of those panhandlers as good friends, especially when I WAS walking in their shoes. I thank God that, although I’ve never walked the median of King Edward Avenue in the middle of 6 lanes of traffic, panhandling, I’ve had the privilege to walk close by and have experienced God’s everlasting faithfulness in so many ways.
As I toss my hat in the blogosphere ring I am soberly reminded that the words I can so easily tap out on the keyboard in front of me are out there forever once I click “Send”. We can cut, copy, edit, and paste the words before we click “Send”, but once we click “Send” there’s only one way back .
As we interact with persons let us be mindful that we are doing something that will last forever. I am reminded also that my actions and in-actions are out there forever.
(BTW – the lyric still needs a tune)
“I’ll let you get back to your journey
And I’ll get back to mine.”
My adult life has been occupied with fixing things.
Oft times people actually pay me to fix things and I’m able to make rent.
Jesus spoke of “Making Rent” in a parable
and if you are familiar with Jesus’ parables
you may know which one I am referring to.
I’ll give you three guesses:
and I’ll give you three clues: