Pattern Recognition

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Location: Here Of Course

I like to talk. And write poetry. I paint a little too.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Psalms and Grass

Psalms 103, 15-16:
15 As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.

I remember the passage above from my father's funeral-- it is beautiful.

A couple of days earlier, after the procession in hearse from hospital to chapel mortuary, we had a simple family cakes-and-coffee gathering at home.

My oldest nephew is 16, a handy boy-- so he is outside changing wheels on my Dad's car (now borrowed by my sister)-- taking off studded winter tires now the snow has gone.

His father comes out and says, "I remember last April, how Grandpa watched you do it, grumbling and suggesting different procedures..." Then he interrupts his own musings with, "Oh BTW, Jan, look out, watch that nut..."

Jan grins in a resigned way, and his Dad goes back in the house, soon to be replaced by his uncle, "Hi there, Jan...You know, a good trick when you change tires, one that I find useful is..."

I laugh, and Jan fumes quietly.

Task done at last, he looked at a big gouge in the lawn, left by his tractor when he cleared snow for Grandpa a few weeks before. The kid sighed, smiled and said to me, "Hmmm. At least this saves having a strip torn off me by Grandpa for the grass!"



Blogger Eliot Prufrock said...

I like this, it's the way memories come, people are remembered.

It's as though I'm standing in the back yard on a late November afternoon, raking up the last of the leaves from a now bare tree. I rake the leaves one by one, two by two, in no particular order until they're in one large pile. I can view the pile in a general way, know that all the leaves belong together, but if I look at the pile, I pick out specific leaves, specific combinations of leaves, until the wind kicks up and rearranges everything. Again.

Memories are not a person so much as they're shifting patterns.

That's the way I remember my father.


1:43 PM, October 26, 2004  
Blogger Aisha said...


A beautiful metaphor for memory!

This became a poem, didn't it --
-- to your mother, whose birthday is today:

Remembering You, in your blog at


10:29 PM, October 29, 2004  

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