Saturday, August 20, 2005

Redfish, Bluefish

That was the name of a restaurant on Captiva Island, Florida
which I passed by last week while we were vacationing in Sanibel
with Ana, Jody and Noah - We had a wonderful, relaxing break,
swimming in the languid waters of the Gulf of Mexico and playing
with our grandson. I'll be posting some photos from the trip when
I get the chance.

We left in the height of summer and came home to autumn - cool,
cloudy mornings and that subtle change in the light that signals
the end of relentless heat and the beginning of the slide toward
fall. I saw the nearly-full moon setting this morning, and was
reminded that the next new moon is likely Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish
New Year.

For a long time now, every Rosh Hashanah we would go to
Andrew Nagen's pond, to "cast our bread upon the waters."
Andrew would tool out there
in his motorized wheelchair,
and Robert would read from the prayer
book, while we crumbled crackers and bread
into the pond for the fabulous koi
to gobble up. Always, it would be a gorgeous day -
and there upon the waters,
we cast our sins, regrets, hopes and wishes
for a new year to come.

This year Andrew won't be coming to the pond,
at least not in his wheelchair.
He is in bed, only yards from the shimmering water,
but he can't go out to see the fish, swimming in the
sun under the surface. We have said our
good-byes, tears and laughter - lots of laughter,
especially, over the years we have been friends.
He especially loved to explore Robert's mind
and exchange the jokes and humor that they shared.

We will miss him so much and we pray that the passing
when it comes will be joyful and a true
experience of freedom - the hope of many years of
bread upon the waters -
a celebration of the brilliance of his spirit, released
from the burden of the body.

the end of a day today
front to back, top to bottom
it had everything.

sunrise sunset
trouble and joy
wearing a birthday suit

the doorbell rings
it is nobody somebody
here to deliver a serving of truth.

he hands me a package
it's warm and fragrant
a serving of truth on wry.

i tip him
say thank you
and ask for the recipe.

i am told
it is in my pantry
just add water.

i found it
watered it with tears
laughed and served it
to myself.

Andrew Nagen

Also see posts: i am warrior - remembering andrew nagen
and The Umbrella


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