Wednesday, August 26, 2009
On Roadside Discoveries (Discoveries for 8/25/09 and 8.26.09)
A homeplace, left to be devoured by the ironweed. Once, someone lived there. A family, maybe. They had lives and loves and sorrows and most of all, they had their own stories. In the cool of the day they'd sit on the porch and tell big tales and flies buzzed in the kitchen and the children ran down to the creek to play and a woman with weary eyes broke beans on the porch, so used to this work that her hands didn't even think about what they were doing. One of the children--the last one--left when he was eighteen and looked back at the little house and remembered all the good and the bad and everything in between. He had no idea that he'd never be back there, that he'd go off and forget who he was. He had no idea that someday nobody would remember any of them and the house would sink down and down and down until it had been completely overtaken by the wildflowers, the weeds. He had no idea that the only thing that kept the roof from taking flight was the gathered mass of their stories, an entity which survived, a poltergeist, hiding in the corners, warmed by the heat of tin on an misty August morning.
2. The book of Habakkuk is part of the Old
Testament and is only three chapters and
has three clear parts: A discussion
between God and the prophet,
an oracle of woe, and a psalm.
They call Habakkuk a minor prophet, but
Paul the Apostle admired his writing, and
used it, and spread the Word of it. Some
prophet in Irvine, Kentucky took it upon
him or herself (let's say it was a man, just for
the sake of brevity) to work hard on this sign.
I'd love to know what the builder thought while
he worked, while he latched those black letters to the
board. I'd like to know why he used a U instead
of YOU. I'd like to know what happened to
him that caused him to feel to strongly about
drinking. Maybe he had a good, thick testimony
when he stood up in church and curled his calloused
fingers over the rounded part on the back of the ash-wood
pews. Maybe one of the hands rose up into the air
as his voice grew in strength, telling how he used to be
an old drunk but then a stranger stopped and helped him
and made him see the Light and ever since then he had been
living that good old way and then the whole church might
have exploded in praise, the Sermon the Mount fans stopped
from their waving momentarily while the people cried out
their approval. The next day, I bet he went back to
work on the sign and felt that his hands were being
directed by God. And for all we knew, they were.