Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Window Weeping

Sometimes I stand at a window and feel the weight of time and I weep.

Sometimes I watch the pines or maples grow, the cars or people go by, the sun and moon setting to my east and rising in my west, or another way around, and I weep.

Sometimes I marvel at my faith, sometimes I wallow in my deep faithlessness, and I weep.

Sometimes I see boys that will be men and men once boys play and dance and sing and fight and pray, and I weep.

Sometimes I think of fathers and sons and can think of only how big and heavy it all seems, and I weep.

Sometimes I remember the lightness of joy, and I weep.


The boys are in the back yard - the muddy, mucky, brown and sad green of it all colors my mood and I watch them, and, as always, I am watching myself.  They are improvising something, which is only a grown-up, somehow more defensible way of saying, they are playing "make believe."

I think of those words, "make believe," as I watch them stickfight and run unaimlessly - though it seems otherwise - across the yard, mud splattering and flying, sticks unsafely brandished.  They make each other believe, they collectively agree on a different now.  Curiously, this "now" requires two old remnants of the ferns that hung on the porch last summer and a gnarly root of pine unearthed when the water pipe came through.

I watch as they they carry the potless roots of the ferns across the yard, holding them high, chanting or screaming - mine is a silent trip today, only my own memories score the scene - and I laugh at the beautiful absurdity of it all.  They place them on a table under their playset, like offerings on the a red-stained cedar altar.  Minutes later I look out again and one boy, the bigger, is dragging the rootstock over the grass, opening molehills like a plow and laughing manically into a wind that seems to keep his voice from me, capturing it for its own.

Once destined for fire and dirt, they have become alive, necessary again, to the imaginings of two nearly ten year old boys.  Is the pine root a gate, are the ferns lamps?  What story is this?  I wish I knew.  I wonder if it is one I told, of forest elves and brave boys and hard-fought victory and mud and musty caves.  I am sure it is.

I watch as they huddle in close together against the cold that is the wind even on the most beautiful of March days.  I watch them talk together, seriously.  They nod at one another and run off to their corner, a place of calm and peace and put down their swords and hug.

Sometimes I watch them make believe and weep.


I have stared out so many windows in my life.  I cannot think of place I've ever lived from which I could not look out upon some scene and wonder at it.  I recall the squirrels in the backyard of a home in the country.  I remember girls from the window of a college dorm.  My view has been simply a bush fill of chickadees or the story of a street two stories below.  Always through a window, as I think back on these times, do these memories come - the frame, the glass, the curtains or grime - I see it through something.

It's as though, even as I watch the thing play out in the now, I know it is already in the past.  And yet, when I bring it back again it plays as though it is in the present.  Is the future simply the past made now again?

From Marci's "...things you don't expect to hear from the backseat..."

"Don't lick me, little moose."

I don't even know...

I appreciate the time you took away from your own to give me some, I recognize that as the gift it is, I really do.  Also, I don't want you to imagine me as an beyond-middle-aged, gray-bearded, overweight and overwrought man standing at a window and sobbing uncontrollably.  Listen, I like to weep, sometimes a tear rolls down, sure, but mostly, it's just a feeling.  A feeling that is not sadness or even melancholy, not hope or joy, no, it is merely an awareness of it all.  I weep for the now, whenever it might be.

Peace to you.


  1. Lots of weeping here.
    I really like this line: Is the future simply the past made now again?
    It makes me think of my post "and the circle changes." Anyway, the future may be the past made now again but people are in different roles. We rotate.

  2. It goes so fast. I don't even know how it happens. Enjoy it all, just keep a box of tissues available. :)