My memories of you, by now, are more imaginary than real, just like my memories of working and living in Ireland over a decade ago.
You and I played together 45 years ago.
Back then, I never imagined I’d write that last sentence, our days in school nearly carefree.
But here I am, without you all these years, checking myself every now and then, making sure I’ve held to my promise to remember your name, Renee Dobbs, that I’ve lived the life that makes up for both of us.
A small piece of Irish turf smoulders on a small stone burner during this cold, wet, rainy day in early December, a reminder of those moments spent in pubs or Irish office buildings, making international conference calls in all hours of day and night.
I sit here calmly, part of me wanting to feel the old internal fire that chased me out of my trancelike dreams to write here on Sunday mornings like this, meditating upon the social interactions of our species.
That fire has nearly died out, my internal state of being more like the turf embers, warming my insides, no longer burning up, no longer wanting to take up a pen and battle the old fights of Man-vs-God, Man-vs-Man, Man-vs-Nature.
I am no longer a man, no longer in contrast to God, Man and/or Nature.
I am the set of states of energy in motion I have grown to know and understand more completely.
I am at peace, waiting to die, ready to die, ready to let go of memories no one else has, including those of Renee and me which dimly come to me at odd times, more often recently, such as the moment when, during an uplifting “Peace on Earth” community concert, the guest a capella singers performed part of Carol of the Bells, a piece I first performed with the junior high school band about the same time I knew Renee was dying.
“I” am just a set of memory states, am I not?
The tiny turf fire has burned out.
Time to meditate on something else.