I've been wracking my brain this evening, trying to remember the title, or the author, or at the very least a line, of the poem that Jeff Rundell read at my father's memorial service, down by the water's edge at Mohegan Lake.
I remember Jeff's voice, that deep and resonant voice of his, though only fragments of the poem remain -- it's been awhile. But those fragments were enough, in the end, in this miraculous internet age. Snow. I am not there. Weep. It's a little cheesier than I remember (the seventeen years in between that adolescent memory and now, this moment, have perhaps taken away a small part of my ability to be moved to tears by such things), and a little less beautiful. Even still though, years later and feeling jaded, there are images that resonate.
I've been thinking about the memorial my boy is helping to organize for his brother next weekend out on the western rim -- an afternoon potluck full to the brim with local brews and delicious food and live local bluegrass and, I imagine, an uncomfortable and beautiful and heartbreaking and cathartic mash of laughter and tears and tall tales and rage.
I was going to post something to the invite page for this potluck since I won't be there, a song or a poem or something, but felt too self-conscious. The sad songs were too sad and dreary, the poems weren't quite right (though this poem has been one of my favorite poems for years now, and came close but ultimately was rejected for being too long).
Back in November of '99 a boy I knew in college drove his car into a tree. I went home to Brooklyn the night I found out, and I listened to this song. A lot. And so I share it here*:
And when the body finally starts to let go,
let it all go at once! Not piece by piece,
but like a whole bucket of stars
dumped into the universe.
(Sleater-Kinney, Get Up!)
*Also, this video was directed by Miranda July, who, in my ever humble opinion, rocks.