Saturday, March 11, 2017

Michael’s Heart Music

It was 77° here in Dublin, GA yesterday with bright sunshine.  The Great Blue Heron visited the pond in the early morning hours and I enjoyed watching him (her?) strut around the edges of the pond like a monarch.  Later I tried my luck at fishing in the pond, first using artificial bait and then lures in the afternoon.  Not a nibble, not a bite, not a strike! If we stay here today (an unknown at the moment) I will try to find some “real” worms!  

While fishing at the pond in the afternoon, Michael and his dog, Baxter, visited with me.  Michael (68 years old) seemed to have a need to talk and told me (unsolicited) his life story.  What a journey!  I’m sure it was a bit exaggerated at points, but Michael told me about his two tours in Viet Nam, his four ex-wives, his estranged children from those marriages, his only granddaughter (whom he has never seen) his various adventures on the road of life and his unsuccessful musical career as a guitarist.  Once he was a dog trainer, he told me,  and tried to demonstrate his skill at that work by urging his dog “Baxter” to follow some commands—and Baxter did!  Michael said he suffered from PTS (Vietnam—Purple Heart recipient) and had also been diagnosed as having the beginning signs of Parkinson disease.  Michael’s dream has long been to write, “Country Music” songs, he told me—and as our conversation (perhaps the better word is “monologue”) came to a close, I encouraged him to get at it.  For in listening to Michael’s story (exaggerated or not) I could hear the music of his heart—the sad, woeful, hurt sounds deep in his soul—the very songs he needs (for both his sake and ours) to write and sing.  Michael’s story is a story we all need to hear, for there is nothing more sacred than being able to hear the music in another person’s heart.  This morning I wonder how many of us are so very much like Michael—having songs to write and sing—but never getting around to it.  

Hold fast to dreams (wrote Langston Hughes)
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field

Frozen with snow.
Let your light (the story of your life) speak.
A lighthouse without light is not a real lighthouse.

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