(Author’s note: This is part two of a two-part blog entry, that began about three weeks ago.)
But the equanimity did not last. There was dissonance and pain and strange discordance between the Boy and his wife. And it would not go away. And it got worse. The boy screamed in pain and sorrow. The life he had known for twenty-five years was no more. He looked up and saw the dragon of impermanence. He looked out and saw that he was no longer married. He look over and saw that his children no longer lived with him. The boy remembered sitting on the front porch, many years ago, with his family, all together and giggling.
Repeated visits from the dragons of impermanence and equanimity now began to take on blurred boundaries. Loss and stability overlapped and threatened to take the Boy’s memory of either to the brink of an abyss. Why were the dragons still coming? He wished they would both leave him in peace. The boy became bitter and resentful. He ceased to love. He forgot that there might still be a reason why he was on the earth. The Boy felt old and tired. And so, he went to sleep. He slept for a long time. And he did not dream. He became unavailable to the world.
When he awoke, he was groggy and disoriented from being asleep for a full year. His bones ached, but his head was clear, and his heart was present. He arose and walked to the mirror. The Boy looked at himself for a long time. He slowly and carefully shaved off his now grey-streaked beard. The cold water dripped off of his face, onto the floor, and splashed randomly on his bare feet.
The boy felt much older and perhaps a bit wiser. Perhaps now he understand how this thing called life works. It seemed important that he write these thoughts down before they lost their import. He dressed and sat down at an old wooden table, sun-washed through the leaden-paned window.
He took out a piece of paper. Picking up a pencil, he began to compose his thoughts. The words were on the tip of the pencil. There were a lot of them. And were it not for a distant sound that the boy heard, he would have written them down. He arose and walked to the old oak door that led to the outside. Opening it, he took a few steps. The sound came again, distant, skyward, and shrill. He looked up past the early morning cirrus clouds, high into the azure sky. Circling about at a great height, were what looked like two large birds. He listened. He looked carefully. Eagles maybe or vultures, he thought. He shrugged his shoulders and hesitated ever so briefly, before returning inside.
Jeffrey Post-Holmberg is a contributing writer to River Notes Blog on the Two Rivers Counseling website. When he is not busy singing every song he ever knew to his little son, his gaze goes upward to where large winged-creatures often soar on the thermals of eternity.