I doubt Dad saw any of it that first day. One of the nurses took him by the hand to show him around the facility, while Carmen and I finished a few things. When Dad returned he wanted to lay down. We hugged him…kissed him…and said goodbye. We spent the drive home recapping the day to each other. Exhausted, emotionally, physically, exhausted. We plopped down on the couch.
We had about an hour before dinner. Nope…brains on overload.
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Instead, we sent a quick update to the sibs, trying as much as possible to keep them in the loop. We changed and headed out to dinner. Nothing could push the thoughts of Dad out of our minds. It dominated our dinner conversation. We ate, taking a bit longer than planned, then rushed to the concert, arriving just a few minutes before show time. We made our way to our seats…very last row, a row with only two seats, tucked way in the back of Orchestra Left.
Neither of us had seen Garfunkel nor Simon for that matter. The show was a combination of Art singing and telling stories from his sojourn across the United States years before. We loved the format.
The Sounds of Silence
As he talked and sang, we were barely holding it together. At one point he relayed a story of talking with his father. I wish now I could remember the quote. I have tried to find it online, but to no avail. What I do remember, is both Carmen and I inhaled audibly when he said it. To my right, Carmen was doing the same, tears streaming down our faces….
And in the naked light I saw Ten thousand people, maybe more People talking without speaking People hearing without listening People writing songs that voices never share And no one dared Disturb the sound of silence. All the emotion from the past week came pouring out.
I am sure the people in front of us thought we were nuts…. Fools, said I, you do not know Silence like a cancer grows Hear my words that I might teach you Take my arms that I might reach you But my words, like silent raindrops fell And echoed in the wells of silence. Carmen dug tissue from her purse and by the end of the song, we had pulled ourselves together….
And the people bowed and prayed To the neon god they made And the sign flashed out its warning In the words that it was forming And the sign said, the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls And tenement halls And whispered in the sounds of silence. Maybe, perhaps, the very last row, a row with only two seats, tucked way in the back of Orchestra Left was exactly where we were supposed to be that night…sitting among the sounds of silence….
I now have tears streaming down my face — having been through all these difficult times many times before. You are quite talented. Thank you for sharing your gifts. Talked to your Dad at church Sunday, asked him how he was doing, he said some days good, some not so good. He then told me they had put him in a prison, had to let them know where he was going, when he would be back. Until God calls him home the road will be bumpy, but I know you will be there with him every step of the way even as it breaks your heart.
The sounds of silence: exploring lessons about silence, listening, and presence.
Take care my friend. Your email address will not be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. You might also like The Sprinkler Head. Just Gene. Thank you for sharing your journey and speaking your truth. Absolutely beautiful, Dad.
Sounds Of Silence Lyrics by Simon & Garfunkel
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