... the journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

Now we have some magnets from Bob, who is an internet-friend I've never met, but who sent this series...

rs-angels.jpg (14064 bytes)



* Discussion *

Talk about it here.



WHAT I'M READING...

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Becoming a Man:
Half a Life Story

by
Paul Monette

My Amazon wish list


WHAT I'M WATCHING...

Little Shop of Horrors
(another play to review)


Pictures from our The England and Orkney trip are on my own Club Photo page.



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That's it for today!

 

IN THE ARMS OF THE ANGEL

3 November 2001

The nice thing about the new office is that there is a radio which plays softly in the background all the time. It's tuned to the "soft rock" station. "More music, less talk," it says (hmmm...that sounds familiar--it used to be the boast of Ned's station before it hired Harold Stern and became "the talk that rocks")

I'm not always aware of the music that is playing, and almost never hear the little talk that there is, but there are familiar tunes which penetrate now and then, and which repeat enough that I'm certain the station plays the same tape on a big loop so that the same songs play at roughly the same time every day.

If it's 2:00, it's time for Celine Dion's heart to go on. I have come late to an appreciation of Celine Dion. There are those who would give me a hard time about that, but in the time before she took her forced maternity leave, I would catch her on talk shows, and I've listened to some of her music in the time since she's disappeared from the stage. I discover that I enjoy hearing her sing.

My tastes in popular music stopped somewhere in the mid-50s and I missed the whole rock and roll revolution, so it's only recently that I've become more aware of current music--and discovering that it's not so bad.

So this soft rock station is nice to have to keep me company as I attempt to make heads or tails out of the mess that has been left me by my predecessor and figure out what in the world I'm doing, while keeping up the appearance of someone competent who can bring order to all this chaos.

Dr. G was out of the office the other afternoon and it was just me and the radio working side by side when all of a sudden my ears perked up. Another familiar tune. I tried to place it. Was it something I heard on Ned's radio station in the days when it played music? Was it something on one of the CDs that Peggy has made for me this past year? I couldn't quite remember where I'd heard it.

And then it hit me.

It was "In the Ams of the Angel" by Sarah MacLachlan. A beautiful song.

Where had I heard it before?

Paul's widow and Marta (Ned's wife) sang it at Paul's memorial service, while Jeri accompanied them on the piano.

Suddenly, I had one of those "Paul moments" which I haven't had in a very long time. I was glad Dr. G wasn't around. Oh, I didn't break down like I used to, but the tears came as I sat there listening to the lyrics and remembering again.

Spend all your time waiting
for that second chance
for a break that would make it okay
there's always one reason
to feel not good enough
and it's hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction
oh beautiful release
memory seeps from my veins
let me be empty
and weightless and maybe
I'll find some peace tonight

In the arms of an angel
fly away from here
from this dark cold hotel room
and the endlessness that you fear
you are pulled from the wreckage
of your silent reverie
you're in the arms of the angel
may you find some comfort there

I'm a great one for reading messages into things. Songs. Sunsets. Birds. Rainbows. It helps me to hang on to positive meanings behind random things, to hang on to the dream that life will turn out the way I'd like it to.

What was the message of this song coming into my office when I least expected it? I don't know. But perhaps it had something to do with it being the eve of El dia des los muertos, "The Day of the Dead." Or as we used to say in the Catholic church (when I attended it), "All Soul's Day."

Two years ago on El dia des los muertos I went with my friend David and his son Sean to a celebration at the home of one of Paul's good friends. It was my first experience with this Mexican tradition and I wasn't sure what to expect. I had heard we could have mementos of our dead loved ones, and so I'd brought pictures of Paul and David. I didn't realize that people actually build altars to the dead, mementos to celebrate their lives. Paul's and David's pictures looked a little pathetic among the other altars, but they were there.

We all gathered outside the house. Some wore costumes. There was a painted coffin that Sean and David helped to carry the several blocks to the cemetery, where we all played noisemakers to show that we didn't fear death.

And then back to the house, where there was a community meal of burritos and rice and other good things to eat.

The three of us felt kind of out of place, since we were the only people we actually knew there. But in an odd way, it was a kind of nice thing to do. When we left the party and returned home, we had left both Paul and David in the arms of the angel, hoping they were finding comfort there.

The three of us still had some living to do.


One Year Ago:
High Steppin'

(Club Photo has started deleting
photo albums after 90 days,
so the photos which were once there,
have been removed now)


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Created 11/1/01 by Bev Sykes