Monday, November 2, 2009


So much can happen in a single week.

My father-in-law passed away this past Monday evening after having lived a long life. The illness and its complications, its associated pain, having to constantly visit doctors, the stays in the hospitals, the medications, the inability to perform the simplest of tasks he did with ease in the past and the feeling of being burden on those around him eventually brought this very strong man down. Having made peace with his situation, he sought comfort by simply letting go. The world grows a little bit smaller.

My wife went up to Wyoming almost immediately, one step ahead of a large storm that was building and getting ready to slam the Front Range. After many harrowing hours driving in blizzard conditions she and her sister made it to Casper to assist in his final arrangements. The kids and I were to follow but the snow began and never let up for two solid days, closing the lone highway north into Wyoming, trapping us here in Denver. School was closed for three days, and I waited for a break in the weather that came only as the funeral was underway. Since it was too late, a decision was made to stay home and instead go up with the kids the following weekend.

This weather was very unusual in that it struck with the fury of a January storm in October. This is the first Halloween I can recall where a snowman could be dressed as a vampire. Over a foot of snow fell around the house by the time it all ended, up to three feet in the foothills.

Claim its for freedom
When asking our men to die
Far off civil war

In the dawns faint light
Sitting still on the roadside
Gunshot wounds to head

Plans for the surge grow
Feel they must support the team
Cheer from the sidelines

Death toll on the rise
Cries for more troops to be sent
Into the meat grinder

Sent around the globe
Our troops now go out to fight
Someone elses war

I attended my sons Halloween play at the junior high school, after which we went to one of those "haunted houses" that spring up all over the place this time of year. My daughter was a volunteer that evening, swinging a shovel and smacking chains on an iron fence with a casket half buried in the ground nearby. I wonder if she realized the picture she presented, considering what had taken place earlier that day in Wyoming.

I had tickets to go see Meese and three other bands play Halloween evening at the Fillmore, but everything had changed by this weekend. My job was to make sure the kids had fun trick-or-treating this evening with their friends, being available to deliver and then pick them up during the night. By the time it was all over sometime around 11 PM I was ready to relax with some music and a cigar. Since I missed the live show, I opted for the next best thing: a good quality performance by the Bunnymen.

I picked their live show in Glasgow on December 21, 1985. A really fine performance and high quality recording. I stood outside in the darkness, smoking the cigar and dancing in the snow. The tequila melted the years away, slipping into an emotional state of mind that made the experience seem real. Even at live concerts I often find myself closing my eyes to simply release myself and embrace the music, not to be distracted by the lights and colors. Will's dreamy guitar plays and I visualize seeing his hands play as they did in LA. Ian's mesmerizing voice brings images of him gripping the microphone close to his lips. I am lost in the moment. I could not resist hearing the show a second time.

I fall into sleeps grip by 2 AM.

Dances with eyes closed
Cold can't penetrate his world
Moonlight on the snow

Feels so all alone
Embraces the darkness
Eyes close forever

Seems so far away
Bedridden spirit struggles
Youth that's been vanquished

The struggle is over
His twenty one gun salute
Ears no longer hear

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