Beatitude Point # 7

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“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven “. . . Matthew 5:1

He is driven by a strange desire . Someone is calling . It could have been George Harrison – yes , from The Beatles , those ” long-hairs ” this middle age man detests – it could have been George with his guitar , his tune dropped on Dave’s dad from the clouds above Charlevoix that might have drifted like a paper boat from across the Atlantic .

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

I look at you all see the love there that’s sleeping

While my guitar gently weeps

I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping

Still my guitar gently weeps .

I don’t know why nobody told you

How to unfold your love

I don’t know how someone controlled you

They bought and sold you .

I look at the world and I notice it’s turning

While my guitar gently weeps

Every mistake , we must surely be learning

Still my guitar gently weeps .

I don’t know how you were diverted

You were perverted too

I don’t know how you were inverted

No one alerted you

I look at you all , see the love there that’s sleeping

While my guitar gently weeps

I look at you all

Still my guitar gently weeps .

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Here lays the port of Charlevoix , named after a French explorer who stayed one night during a harsh storm.

Charlevoix , where fossilized corals from the abyss have been rounded into pebbles by rivers and seas . Here Dave Sr. stands on the dock , stands looking out at the Great Lake , stands tired after driving his car for eight hours , stands in his shiny wing tips , rakish in appearance , a furniture salesman , standing small and often being mistake n as Italian with his dark angled face , large nose , black hair – the “bad-boy” image still imprinted from his younger days . He stands like he once stood searching for planes while a private on a Navy ship during WW2 . Just the previous year in 1971 an air force plane had crashed right here in these waters during a practice bomb run , exploding on impact , nine crew men died .

Where is his son ? …his oldest son named not only after him but also his own father . He knows they have planned to pick up a spare part here for their boat . Who is this son now that he has left home , left the dinner table and the golf course they both love . He worries yet feels pride rising like a singular wave at this boys independence and courage . This is the paradox of having adult children , this is the pain and pleasure , the oldest daughter , the one he doesn’t understand but who owns his heart , just married , pregnant with his first grandchild … his other son a “screw-up” with no job , lazy attitude , sleeping till noon … And then the joy of his ” late-in-life” little angel girl , a gentle resettling .

He stands with a head ache , loud like the sea singing hallelujah , memories annoying his mind , memories of the party the night before the boys left . He stands and hours pass , his gaze from sea to ground and he hangs his head and sighs , a slight tremble in his hands . A tremble like a mistake that won’t leave him troubles him , has troubled him for a long time . He thinks of his wife , still angry with him with a silence as cold as winter rain . Lost in anger , lost like a dropped handkerchief in a dark movie theatre , she has forgotten the attraction of their first meeting , his being the same age as their son is now . They met at the roller rink , her looking like his favorite actress , Lee Remick . He was wild , she was calm . But now she is weeping behind their bedroom door over his bad behavior at last weeks party . The party she so carefully prepared for with an overly clean house , new tablecloth to match the draperies , appetizers ordered from the chef at the country club , good silverware polished and a new dress bought from that boutique downtown that makes her look like she belongs in that new movie , “Diamonds are Forever”. . . and music chosen , a surprise to him that she likes Diana Ross and the Supremes !

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He stands , feeling his heart tumbling , tumbling like dice at the memory . He stands on this grey dock . Is that smoke he spots over the water … is that the devil ? He silently recites the Lords Prayer , the only one he ever says . He sits on the empty beach but the earth is a swelling ocean and he will find himself feeling seasick for many years .

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Showing up three hours late , the guests already eating , the music playing , the girls in mini-skirts chatting like a group of hungry seagulls , he enters . “OK ” , he shouts , throwing his overcoat on the floor , his eyes glazed like a deep ocean shark from the earths belly . The room is silent , the room is embarrassed at this fathers humiliation . He is drunk , he is late for his sons Bon voyage and he is drunk . Many there are unaware of his affliction and the pastor from the church stands now , watching with compassion at this disease of this mans soul – this poverty of spirit . Heard like gale warnings from shore , Dave continues from the center of the room  , ” OK , OK everyone , if any of these boys make a phone call home , anyone of them , do not refuse their calls , do you all here me ” ? He smiles , smiles trying to seem agreeable . ” I don’t know how they are going to cook and eat , they are just boys and don’t know much “!

Buzz’ mom try’s to cover the awkwardness and responds , ” Buzz is a cook “!

“Well Evelyne , how does he know he’s a cook “!

” Because I taught him ” , she answers , dumbfounded .

Slowly the room begins to move at this fathers pain and weariness , the guests flowing with this new energy of kindness preparing to leave with well wishes for everyone . Something has been endangered tonight – some chose not to ponder this , but for those who do , their thoughts are sobering , just having witnessed a capsizing and hoping for the survival of their friends dignity . A sunken ship they pray will sail smooth and free again . This man , this father , this friend of theirs , an anxious character hiding behind a diving mask .

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The words of Jesus and George Harrison merge from the heavens . Someone is calling . ” The age of the universe is about 13.75 billion years . The diameter of the observable universe is estimated at about 28 billion parsecs ( 93 billion light years ) as a reminder , a light year is a unit of length equal to about 6 trillion miles )”

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Chris’ Journal … Thursday , 9-21-1972

I awoke at 9:00 am and proceeded to relieve myself and do what I could for a throbbing head ache , in that order . I returned from the head to find all hands still sacked out so I too returned to that unconscious bliss . Dave woke me up again at 10:30 looking for a key . For lunch and breakfast we ate the hamburger left over from Glen Arbor , the previous nights supper .

It’s  only a buck seventy-five a night here and Dale put down five bucks figuring through Saturday . Dave bought an ice fishing pole in Manistee and a combination perch and coho pole here in Charlevoix . We found a man at the Fairport radio repair shop to install channels 12 and 14 for the locks at his suggestion . The Irish Mariner will take our boat out of the water and the owner can help us with charts , spare water pump , spinnaker block , spinnaker halyard , sea cock and the installation of the sum log . We also purchased the Great Lakes Pilot , a ships log and a shackle for our new anchor . We still haven’t a light list , but no one else seems to have one either . We’ll probably drop a couple hundred here , but then will really be set . We changed our course again . Instead of sailing across Lake Huron , we’re going to take a longer but more beautiful cruise through the Canadian Northern Passage .

Another sailboat bound for Florida has been watching our progress as we have been watching theirs . They were surprised to see us in Charlevoix ahead of them since they had assumed we didn’t sail Wednesday . There were gale warnings out that we didn’t know about since our radio has no working frequencies . This I found very sobering . Thankfully we will have the channels we need when we leave here .

Dave’s dad showed up here today , taking us by surprise and out to a great dinner . He seemed happy with our seemingly self-sufficient responsibility and resourcefulness . We told him Dave was quitting his smoking and that pleased him no end .

Tomorrow at about nine we’ll have the boat out of the water and we plan on working on it all day . In some introspective self-criticism , I decided I could make life in our confined space more livable with a more amiable attitude . So I’ll be working toward that goal from now on . I hope I’ll be successful . We seem to live together well and everyone is fairly easy going . Everyone had a turn at sailing in high winds yesterday and we all have gained in confidence . If all goes well tomorrow , we’ll leave for Mackinaw Saturday . The winds are high at this hour , 10:30 pm , and cool .

Yesterday we sailed through a bridge that opened for us on signal , one long blast and one short . Our horn sounds sick .

Daves dad said Glen V.O. didn’t believe we could make it from Sleeping Bear Bay to Charlevoix in one day . That made us feel great . I guess we will have a very long run Saturday ; around 80 miles . I really think we are doing alright . I’ll have to write home and Mary soon .

We may have a traveling companion in that blue striped sailboat I wrote of earlier . I guess we’ve got a fairly appealing route . Boy , am I beat again . There are a lot of ducks here .

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Dave recieves the following letter at a future port :

” I wrote to you in the other letter about Dad and how sorry he was about that night and hoped he talked with you , so I hope you have forgiven him … keep praying for him and all of us . Love , mom ”

… and folded inside this : ” If it stays this cold (38) tonight , looks like the end of golf for the year . Great you quit smoking . Get a haircut , shave , clean your ears , don’t wear flair pants .   Dad “

24 thoughts on “Beatitude Point # 7

  1. Great writing; for example, I loved the imagery of ‘. . . lost like a dropped handkerchief in a dark movie theatre.’ Very clever, yet unpretentious.

    I knew George Harrison by the way – a great human being, without doubt.

    Hariod. ❤

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    • You just type [<3] Meg. There must be a space either side for the heart to appear; so if you removed those brackets [ ] you would get a ❤

      I was very fortunate to have known G.H. in the late 70's and early 80's, the period when I visited him at his and Olivia's home in Henley-on-Thames on many occasions. I'd met several internationally known artists by then, but he was uniquely humble and generous of spirit. I always get a tear in my eye when I see Billy Preston singing this at George's memorial concert:

      Hariod. ❤

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  2. Beautiful boy , looks so much like him ! … Hariod , I just ordered your book from Amazon … Wish I could make you a cup of tea ! P.s. My youngest son and I once had a border collie named Prince ….

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    • Dhani does look a lot like George doesn’t he? And Olivia too actually. Thank you for the offer to share tea with me Meg; it’s a thoroughly delightful idea that I very willingly accept, if in spirit alone. Oh, you had a Border Collie? Well, you are a woman of quite impeccable good nature in that case; just as I suspected. My Collie Nellie died unexpectedly in the night a couple of months ago (I may have mentioned it before). She was an utterly beautiful being who gave me so much affection and for which I’ll remain forever grateful. Nellie was very much a soul-mate to me, and we read each other’s minds – she rather more effectively so than I.

      I’m very humbled that you would buy a copy of my book Meg; thank you very much. If like me, you’re not a great fan of eBooks, then should you want to email me a forwarding address I will happily send you a gratis copy of the paperback. [Unfortunately, I don’t have U.S. distribution for the paperback which is a shame.] It’s not generally wise to let unknown people know your address so if you have some neutral point, such as a local store perhaps, that it could be delivered to then please feel free to use that. Still, you may be happy just to have the eBook so I’ll leave it with you Meg, but the offer is there for you to take up at any time.

      Hariod. ❤

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  3. Thankyou Hariod … I’m sorry about Nellie , I didn’t know . I love books , to touch them and have them nearby , to scribble in , to smell , to gaze at their covers of design sitting on a table or chair or rug … I never ordered an e-book before this …. I would so appreciate and be grateful to have your “real” manuscript in book form …. You are so kind to offer and I thank you truly . .. I will send you back some special tea from a far away country too . Here is an address :
    Meg
    P O Box 338
    Glen Arbor
    Michigan U. S. A.
    49636

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    • Okay Meg, I will post you the physical book in the next few days; please accept it with my very best wishes and deep gratitude for your interest. It should be with you within two weeks I would have thought. Can you just confirm that I am sending this to Meg Dekorne – i.e. is your surname correctly spelt in that manner?

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  4. Yes Hariod , correct spelling … You are so kind , your words beautifully thoughtful and I feel blessed by this connection to you and music by George Harrison …. I wonder the year of your birth ?

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  5. Blessed are the poor in spirit – yes! Meg you are courageous to write this and I realize it was with much emotion and no doubt some tears. You are truly blessed with a God given talent in expressing yourself. Hugs and loving squeeze.

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