Posted tagged ‘journey’

The Home-Ground: an introduction

2010/05/14

Today I begin a detailed, yet hap-hazard, journal of memories.

Memories of my life, living and growing up on a small farm in western Indiana, on the banks of a stream in which my view of life was baptized and will forever remain locked in a love affair with the natural world.

This journal is the seeding for a book. A book I’ve long wanted to write and even more importantly, I needed to write.  This book will detail my life growing up in, on, around and among the waters of this stream.  The waters of this stream have an ever-present flow in and out; fully encompassing my life.  I ebb and flow on its undulating pulse.

I didn’t really know how to describe my feelings about this rivulet of water. Not until I watched – for the third go-round, the infamous movie version of Norman Maclean’s story, A River Runs Through It.  The final words in the movie, read by the author himself, are the same as those in the story. They are: I am haunted by waters.

Profound.  Insightful.  Revealing.  Deafening.  Frightening.

Completely unexpected, I had feelings gushing upward through my emotional mantel. Coming from somewhere inside, in a deep seated cavern of sequestered protection.  A place I sensed, but did not have a clue to its location.  With it surged a flood of emotions, capped by flooding tears, accompanied by a jolting wave of sobs.  What good fortune it was for me that this revelatory event took place in my own living room, in the predawn hours, while my wife and son were asleep in their rooms, carefully cloistered away from the man breaking down not 8 yards from either of them.

How could have I missed, before, the cataclysmic force unleashed in those 5 words?  Did I really miss them?  Had I just not understood them?  Questions I honestly don’t know the answer to.  But I do know that in that moment, during the serendipitous late-night, channel surfing,  I had an explanation for what that little stream in western Indiana meant to me.

For I too, am haunted by waters.   And I am eternally grateful.

The water in a stream never stops, never rests, never remains in one place.  The water is always moving, changing, being changed, actively involved, never passive.  Life is just like this. Even when we think time has stood still, it is only our mind’s perception of halted time, that is in neutral. For all life is constantly flowing in the same stream.  Nothing ever stands still.

I eventually left the banks of my beloved stream.  But only physically.  That was almost 38 years ago.  Yet, to the very second I am typing this my every action is directed, mentored, motivated and purposed… by what I lived and learned along the banks of that stream.

I am compelled to write of this stream and it’s effects on my life. Not by vanity, but a desire to tell others of the richness it imparted to me.  The story may only be a work of recording memory for an unwilling audience, but at least it will have been recorded.  And if, perchance, one other person feels anything positive from reading it, then the effort was a compete success.  I am, however, optimistic.  I do believe many people will be compelled to read the book. Compelled for the same reasons that compel me to write it: the richness of it all is overwhelming and it beckons to be touched, tasted, breathed in deeply, exhaled lightly, supped, cherished. It will be at this point, when the reader of my book, sees their own home-ground in a light of loving appreciation. For the first time, or for the umpteenth time. Either way… it is all good.

Thus the saga of my remembering – mes mémoire dú coeur – my memories of the heart, on the little stream in western Hoosierville, begins.

What Papa Bear and The Gar People Taught Me About Life .. begins now.

memdecoeur

From the series, “In The Shadow of Gar Island: a life of wonder on the edge of the Hoosier prairie”

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