Monday, January 10, 2011

Sarro's Balloon

When I am paying attention to only the notion of paying attention, and nothing else, I am always always stunned by what rolls out of the ether to rest at my feet, my ears, my heart, my soul. On days when I risk cracking open the door in the floor, risk being knocked flat by the tsunami of the collective beating, breaking, elating hearts of this world, I am transformed. Not without cost.

Yesterday I drove to my parents' house alone. An hour and a half along familiar roads from suburb to the lake country where I grew up. From day-to-day familiar territory to the places that have always known me. And I was listening to this little piece of radio - mesmerizing art of sound called Sarro's Balloon. As the story ended and I exhaled the extra breath I was holding - letting just enough come and go while listening to stay alive - I glanced to the shoulder of the road to see exactly what I had been thinking about without thinking. A white cross with the artificial flowers and other icons that have come to be familiar on roadsides where a life has been lost.

I was driving on this road with my husband the day after Christmas. Returning home, having left our daughter to hang out with her cousin. My sister would take this same road to deliver her to me later - a handoff in a restaurant parking lot. Convenient. Logistics designed to maximize my time on a busy busy day. In that small slice of saved time, a family lost control of their car on this very pavement, this very spot, and their little boy died. My sister was late to our meeting, the road closed between us for some unknown reason.

The radio story, the moment, the place. The door in the floor ripped off it's hinges. I pulled over and had a much needed cry. Hey Dad. There's this little boy, just arrived. I didn't know him but he has people near our people. Maybe you could teach him to fish. I bet he'd like that.


  1. beautiful...thank you for the gentle reminder of our connections here on earth and beyond.
    love to you.