STOKES FOREST JOURNAL: EXCERPT #2

Sept.29. – evening

I believe this will be a good place for me to rest. Someone I love very much introduced me to Buddhism. The idea of learning to be present in the now, be in the quiet, is both scary and delicious to me. I remember when I would go camping I would just sleep peacefully for much of the day in the woods. Sometimes on day hikes, I would (and do) lay down somewhere warm off the trail and go to sleep. Something embraces me when I am in nature.

Later

I can hear (my father’s) voice at times in my heart. My stomach got a little queasy a short while ago after taking my meds. Usually I will have a piece of bread or an English muffing, something to absorb whatever troubles my stomach. All I have here is a Danish ring I’m saving for birthday morning. But I can hear Dad saying, “Pete, have a piece. It’s okay.” And I did and I feel a little better, which is what he would want – though he would want me to feel all better.

This is a beautiful night. And I am sleeping in the lower bunk! I don’t have a fire going. It’s not cold enough. Okay by me. I’m happy just to be here.

8:07 p.m.

Damned if I don’t get WBGO (a jazz station) here. Nice jazz for the background. Not bad. Just read some of Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass”. The man wrote a universe.

8:52 p.m.

My pen grows still when I think about how to write my love for my father. No words on earth can ever come close. I could say to a passerby, Look at me! Do you see? I am feeling all my love for my father. Don’t you see me glowing? You must!

Were there a just God he would let him come back to me, even if just for my time here (at Stokes). Why would that be so bad? I would promise not to tell. What is the point of death? What purpose does it serve? I suppose the answer is to make way for the new. Yes, we would run out of room eventually if no one died. But if there is an afterlife, if there is an existence beyond this one, why can’t there be communication, contact between those on both sides of the border?

Am I expected to be satisfied that my father helped me get up off the ground (after being shot) and without him in that moment, I would have died? I am not satisfied. I am deeply grateful, but I am not at all satisfied. I want to sit and talk with him. I want to hug him while he is wearing one of his flannel shirts. While I can’t describe it, I can remember his smell. His was the smell of love and safety – the scent itself cannot be expressed in words. What the hell would be the harm in giving us a little more time together? Time for us to go for a walk. I could talk to him about how things are going – and thank him for all he has done for me before and after his death. I don’t know what God’s game plan is, but I don’t like it one bit.
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2 thoughts on “STOKES FOREST JOURNAL: EXCERPT #2

  1. Peter, G.O.D. is the great out doors for me also. Serenity a quiet place in space, when you get home want to get your hands dirty??????????????????????????????????????I wish I still had my CDL to move heavy equipment but we have friends.?????????????????????????????????????When are you do home??????????????????????????????????????Don’t be surprised if your Dad sends Pedals from Heaven.???????????????????????????????????Be strong – Just For Today

  2. I bet he smells like Aqua velvet, my Dad also flannel shirts and all. My Dad is lying in between crossover. Trying to keep him on this side but if he goes it’s OK acceptance where he wants to see his family and friends. Miss you, come back soon-a BLOOD BROTHER we earned it.

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