Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Day 317

there was a knock on the door this morning and i stumbled out of my room barely conscious as i'm pathetically inclined to do. my friend chris had stopped by to give me this. what a good dude.

there's much prepping to do in this final week but i left the house with the specific intent to wander downtown. i had a feeling that something was going to happen and even went as far to post ''gonna wander around town all day. see who i run into. could be good'' as a twitter feed. i've never done anything like that before and after stopping by the bakery to pick up an apple fritter i wound up at the tea house. again.

the three leather arm chairs in the front in the familiar cove next to the windows and fireplace were all open. my new book was eventually paused by a man who looks like a less eccentric version of canadian nardwuar. narduar does the best musician interviews.

anyways, he asked about the book and then pulled some bullet shell from his jacket pocket and explained about an up-and-coming extreme sport that involves timed target shooting. pierre was his name. soon another, older man walked in and took the other seat. i recognized him as one of the musicians from thursday night jazz and blues at the brickhouse. he remembered me as a fourth man, bearded and wearing carhart workpants, pulled over a chair and joined our conversations about books, canada and america and politics, travel, places, people, music. man, where did this all come from? they joked that they had a club and welcomed me. it seemed for a while that they envied me and they eventually said something like that.

mike the musician went on his way before too long and pierre got a call do to some sort of repair work, so the man who i'll call 'bill' and i were left in the seats. bill is a big man in probably his late thirties and we kept shooting the breeze while watching the streams of people shuffle past the window. i'm not even going to try to remember the exact dialogue because it went on for over an hour, but it started rolling after he'd asked about my janitor work at the church, how i got involved, and was impressed to hear about that first, homeless sunday in town. he knew pastor shawn as casually as he knew most locals- said he sensed something different in that guy, something peaceful in his face- and went on to tell me about his long struggle and recovery from drugs and alcohol and wealth. he was a single parent, too, and i remembered seeing him with his young son in the shop days before.

man, i don't know what to say or how to outline anything we talked about, but in the end he compared his current state of recovery to falling short of the parallel desire for understanding the 'higher power' he'd learned to rely on while recovering physically and mentally from addiction. now he feels the yearning to try to fill in the blanks in his faith- said he comes to this tea house because he knew the owners were from our church and because the place was just different here. a good different.

said he's been getting real curious about it all again, about all this love stuff and genuine people and community. its hard being a single parent with a past. feels alone sometimes. he stared out the window at mnt fernie and admitted that going to church would feel a bit like walking into a new high school for the first time.

we kept going, back and forth and a little deeper each time. during one pause i thanked him for telling me his story. i thanked him for letting me know that money isn't all its cracked up to be and how his addiction had been seriously affecting his life. life. at the end i repeated an invitation to come to church this sunday. it'll be my last in this place- at least for right now, i told him. that way, he'll at least know one person. he said he should and would and wanted to meet some other parents who might be having troubles raising a boy. said he wanted the kid to have the chance to make some good friends and get that good kind of influence too.

pierre came back and i'd been at the tea house for over three hours at this point and i left the two of them to an open table and fresh tin of soaking tea. i remembered the twitter feed and the strong urge to wander today, the strong urge to expect something today, the strong urge to be ready for something today.

man, it's gonna be sad leaving this place. even as i left the tea house i ran into some 'long-lost' seasonal friends who wanted to hang out later. he told me of their plans to road trip down california and then mexico and south america.

i don't know how to end this day. this time. are bigger things meant to happen yet? this life is feeling that way and i'm alright with not having any big plans or talents or paved roads. this is all really perfect to me.

1 comment:

Heather Horton said...

Beautifully told Joe. Clearly you have a great impact on those you interact with and I am sure you energy and compassion is palpable to them. You are a great soul with so much to give and share. It is quite inspiring.

I look forward to our pivotal journey to Denali/Healy/Bus 142 in August of 2010. My other friend has confirmed...so I hope you can be our "third" on what will be an unbelievable journey.

Thanks for your wonderful blog. Be well. Stay safe. Travel with light feet and a light heart.

Heather