Now? Or Before?

I stumbled out of slumber; resistance, prolific (an exaggeration).  No turning back.  Onward.  Life moves toward the finish line, while some still live in the past, keeping a strong focus on memories, life in the rear-view mirror.  I struggle at times, embracing  present and future, vigilantly keeping the past at bay.  I grieve for the loss of my dad, who honorably crossed that profound finish line in June of 2016; ten months have passed.  I remember so much about my dad, the adventures; the pain of what I missed out on, important words unsaid.  I shake my head with frustration: the grieving has gone on for just shy of a year.  I want to wrap this up, move onward from my dad, let him enjoy the great festival of freedom and joy, released from this jaded world.

Image result for Images map of Noatak, AlaskaEven with my intent to be present, in the “here-and-now”, images, people, memories, drift in from the past.  Intrigue.  Curiosity.  Recently, I stumbled across a picture of an Inupiat family in  Noatak, Alaska.  A good-looking family, from 1929. The Inupiat are in northern / northwestern Alaska, and  part of the Northwest Territories.  Inupiat traditional territory spanned Norton Sound on the Bering Sea to the Canada-United States border.  

Inupiat_Family_from_Noatak,_Alaska,_1929,_Edward_S._Curtis_(restored).jpg (3751×2872)
1929,_Edward_S._Curtis_(restored).jpg (3751×2872) …  

Noatak sits on the west bank of the Noatak River, 55 miles north of Kotzebue, 70 miles north of the Arctic Circle. This is the only settlement on the 396 mile-long Noatak River, just west of the 66-million acre Noatak National Preserve.  Noatak was a fishing and hunting camp in the 19th century, evolving into a permanent settlement.  In 1880, the census listed the site as Noatagamut: “inland river people.”  A post office was established in 1940.  So, you could probably send a letter there if you felt so inclined.

A beautiful woman, a radiant mother, exuding a quiet, authentic, joy.  The man, with an enigmatic mix of confidence, strength, and peace.  The little one, surrounded by fur and love.  Below, a photograph, an Inupiat group heading out to fish in their kayaks, the same year, 1929, by the same photographer, also in Noatak.  I wonder if the Inupiat man (above), is one of the Noatak kayak-fishermen ( below)?  

Eskimos in kayaks, Noatak, Alaska. Photograph by Edward S. Curtis, ca. 1929. Edward S. Curtis Collection at the Library of Congress

 I revisit stories and individuals in the past.  I draw strength from them.  Going back “there” empowers me to move forward, onward.  C.S. Lewis’s words resonate:  Image result for Quotes Onward

Some parts of the stories, I do not know.  I visit the lives of  sojourners who have gone before us, highlighting mystery.  Mystery is very much alive, all over: the mystery of how love works, how love looks; how to find meaning and joy in our circumstances and our stories; gazing into a ravishing sunset; seeing a harvest moon arise, especially when one is not expecting it; and the Northern Lights.   Within this tension between reflections on the past and returning to the present and the future, I am there.  The grieving process … mysteriously … continues, longer than what I would like.  The grieving process continues beyond my timetable; I want to know more about the mystery of the man, my father; and the memories.  My cell phone still shows me the current time.  My heart continues to beat.  My breathing continues.  The future is around the bend, and I cannot hold it back.  I live in the present, and I ride it like a wild bull.  I hold on for the ride of my life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dad Man: A Tribute

Bill Davis, AKA Dad Man on the right.

 

Odd, it is, such a nickname.  Not used exclusively.  We used “Dad” most of the time.  Grandkids called him “Popaw”, who was married to “MiMi” (short i). And if you weren’t family, he was known mostly as “Bill”; sometimes “Billy”; and rarely “Willy”.  Dad Man, also known as Bill Davis, was my Dad, as already Mentioned.  And Dad Man passed away this morning: Friday morning, 7:45 CDT.  We are hugely thankful that he did not suffer in his final week.  In fact, he fell asleep on Thursday the 16th, and continued sleeping until this morning.  Dad Man was on a U.S. Navy ship in the South Pacific, in WWII.  They did “mine sweeps”, sending divers down to release the mines; they would rise to the surface, where sharp shooters could detonate the bombs.  My Dad was a passionate high school basketball coach; a  high school principal; and he loved his golf.  His storytelling ability / giftedness was second to none.  He was authentic, trustworthy, and had real humility.  A great father, a great husband, and he loved to laugh … a laugh that was wildly contagious.

My last post was about the Return of the Prodigal.  This man in the picture is the Dad who always loved me, never rejected, always welcomed me.  A great man, Bill Davis.  I will miss him.

Piano Guys Hanging Out With Some Seniors

ThePianoGuys.Com

The visual …

that goes along with the medley, performed by the Piano Guys is unexplainably moving, unexplainably important, a reminder of honoring those who have gone before us.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyPDQpel8bI&index=9&list=PL7496CDCFFD1B83AC

The theme of community: I am compelled to write about community; and the theme of community, swirls here, in this video.  Let us not forget each other.  

Piano Guys, hanging out with some Seniors. us105fm.com

 

Piano Guys For You: 7 Cellos

Good Morning.  Piano Guys, again.  7 cellos.

7 guys, 7 different cellos, working in conjunction, producing something so beautiful.  Is this a metaphor, a reminder, of what community could look like? 

People taking time to connect, and hear each other, and speak words of life into the hearts and lives of each other, and to support each other, on some level.

Again, good morning.