Friday, June 6, 2014

Upside down hands

I grip the slender twin twines attached to the small wooden 2x4 suspended from the garage rafters above and sway my young frame rhythmically until the gentle motion carries me away and into the land of my imagination.

The words come then.

And the songs happen while hands hold fast to the braided anchor that rocks me.

I sing about a high blue sky and birds on electrical wires, dandelions in the grass, ladybugs, and the forbidden kitten hidden in my closet.

I sing with the angst of a 9 yr. old over a report card.

I sing about the aging neighbors next door, the brothers that bully, and the roast for dinner.

My father constructed that course pendulum that lifted me to heights beyond the moment. To him it was just a recreational rig. To me, well, it was my retreat into the clouds.

Dad will be 83 this August. 

Dad has Alzheimer's now, so they say.

And just as my tiny hands held on to the ropes and pulled my body back and forth to the rhythm of youth, so now those same hands, aged themselves, will grip tightly to the mind and body of a man rocked by the rhythm of years.
He holds on for dear life, but the cords are frayed and the mind is leaving and the body is slowing and the spirit is sagging and confusion is stealing and the hurt cuts deep.

My hands and my heart hang all upside down.

Dad has Alzheimer's now.

The flickering light of a gentle soul may soon cast it's shadows through empty eyes where:

"the keepers of the house tremble, and strong men stoop, and those looking through windows grow dim; when the doors to the streets close...and all their songs grow faint; and the grasshopper drags himself along..."  1

But it won't stay that way for long, all upside down, because-

You have come to set the captives free, that we might have life and have it more abundantly.
Isaiah 61:1  John 10:10

I have had a tremor of bliss, a wink of heaven, a whisper, 
and I would no longer be denied; 
all things proceed to a joyful consummation. 2

For I the LORD your God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not, I will help you.
Isaiah 41:13

1.) Ecclesiastes 12: 3-5
2.) T.S Elliot, Murder in the cathedral  (New York: Harcourt, 1963), 70

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