Sometimes the most powerful images are those that we don’t take. In the same way, not speaking sharpens what we want to say. Today was like that. So here are a series of images in words.
First image: The widow, wheeled out in a wheelchair, her fragile body filling just half the chair. The wailing, like Lear’s, shaking souls to their roots.
Second image: At the cemetery, a line of bare trees in the whiteness broken by a single tree lifting a “leg” to dance in the midst of sorrow. As I encircle it, I see that the “lifted leg” is an unconnected stump; a dead thing still needed – in this case – to remind us that joy is plentiful.
Third image: At the cemetery exit, one iron bar is glowing red like a brand. The fire goes out when the van in front of us moves into traffic.
Fourth image: Sam (the dearly departed), smiling, laughing as he always did. What a guy. I’ll miss him.