April 17th a young singer/ songwriter/ poet moved into our B and B suite for 3 months. . It has been so enjoyable to have her in the mix. Last week she wanted to watch “The Voice” on NBC. That sounds like a simple enough request, but since watching TV is not a priority around here, I had my doubts that the rabbit eared contraption would be able to deliver. Both the wife and I would much rather read a good book, or spend time in deep conversation.
If you ever come to visit, bring a favorite book and read me a chapter
Below is one of my favorite stories from one of my favorite authors, Robert Fulghum:
One Portion Of A Minister’s Lot concerns the dying and the dead. The hospital room, the mortuary, the funeral service, the cemetery. What I know of such things shapes my life elsewhere in particular ways. What I know of such things explains why I don’t waste much life time mowing grass or washing cars or raking leaves or making beds or shining shoes or washing dishes. It explains why I don’t honk at people who are slow to move at green lights. And why I don’t kill spiders. There isn’t time or need for all this. What I know of cemeteries and such also explains why I sometimes visit the Buffalo Tavern.
The Buffalo Tavern is, in essence, mongrel America. Boiled down and stuffed into the Buffalo on a Saturday night, the fundamental elements achieve a critcal mass around eleven. The catalyst is the favorite house band, the Dynamic Volcanic Logs. Eight freaks frozen in the amber vibes of the sixties. Playing stomp-hell rockabilly with enough fervor to heal the lame and halt. Mongrel America comes to the Buffalo to drink beer, shoot pool, and dance. Above all, to dance. To shake their tails and stomp frogs and get rowdy and holler and sweat and dance. When it’s Saturday night and the Logs are rocking and the crowd is rolling, there’s no such thing as death.
One such night the Buffalo was invaded by a motorcycle club, trying hard to look like the Hell’s Angels and doing pretty good at it too. I don’t think these people were in costume for a movie. And neither they nor their ladies smelled like soap-and-water was an important part of their lives on anything like a daily basis. Following along behind them was an Indian-an older man, with braids, beaded vest, army surplus pants, and tennis shoes. He was really ugly. Now I’m fairly resourceful with words, and would give you a flashy description of this man’s face if it would help, but there is no way around it-he looked, in a word, ugly. He sat working on his Budweiser for a long time. When the Dynamic Logs ripped into a scream-out version of “Jailhouse Rock” he moved. Shuffled over to one of the motorcycle mommas and invited her to dance. Most ladies would have refused, but she was amused enough to shrug and get up.
Well, I’ll not waste words. This ugly, shuffling Indian ruin could dance. I mean, he had the moves. Nothing wild, just effortless action, subtle rhythm, the cool of the master. He turned his partner every way but loose and made her look good at it. The floor slowly cleared for them. The band wound down and out, but the drummer held the beat. The motorcycle club group rose up and shouted for the band to keep playing. The band kept playing. The Indian kept dancing. the motorcycle momma finally blew a gasket and collapsed in someone’s lap. The Indian danced alone. The crowd clapped up the beat. The Indian danced with a chair. The crowd went crazy. The band faded. the crowd cheered. The Indian held up his hands for silence as if to make a speech. Looking at the band and then the crowd, the Indian said, “Well, what’re you waiting for? Let’s DANCE.”
The band and the crowd went off like a bomb. People were dancing all through the tables to the back of the room and behind the bar. People were dancing in the restrooms and around the pool tables. Dancing for themselves, for the Indian, for God and Mammon. Dancing in the face of hospital rooms, mortuaries, funeral services, and cemeteries. And for a while, nobody died.
“Well,” said the Indian, “what’re you waiting for? Let’s dance.”
Excerpt taken from the book All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergartenby Robert Fughum
“The length of our days is seventy years- or eighty, if we have the strength; yet the span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass….so teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:10.12
Thursday and Friday night of this week we stood in a funeral home receiving line to acknowledge the passing of two more people. Combine that with my cousin Michelle’s unexpected passing and that makes for a busy month. So, fellow bloggers and Internet surfers, make sure you are not just sitting on the side lines and watching life pass you by. The Indian said it best. “Let’s Dance! “