Is this heaven?


With the successful run of another show now in the can, I am free to move forward in another direction. For months now I have stood at the great precipice of this case and wondered what other adventures might ensue if I make another footfall towards its rim. Out of fear I have paced the edge and waited for either signal or fate to plow my path. I now know it is mine alone to clear. This is not only a chance to discover the anatomy of a murder, but essences of the man that was murdered and in doing so perhaps rediscover the essence of who I am.

Life is a funny thing. Just when we think we have it figured out, it changes the landscapes around us and we become both instantly lost and found within a new adventure. Were it not for Charley, I would still be wondering why in perpetual motion, I continue to remain so still. Why all my valiant efforts and dedication to my craft have garnered much, yet not provided true release for this soul? Is it for lack of context or lack of volume? If this internal mantra be true, that I bleed in ink– then how much can be bled for others before I begin to truly bleed for myself? When does the compassion of my pen run dry? And what will I have to show for endless nights and early morning vigils kept silent and steadfast unto the sacred art of writing? As it feeds my soul, it breaks my heart anew with longing that I be better for its worth and yet am I? Does it bring to others what it has brought to me… and to that end am I gifted enough to write of its intrinsic worth?

I critiqued a manuscript the other day and asked its architect- for whom was this built? For whom do you write? If for the masses, then your focus becomes skewed; something commercial and homogenized. If for yourself… then you must take care not to give so much of your soul to your work that it leaves you spent and with nothing at the end of your discourse to live on. Charley…I am told I am but at the tip of the iceberg of your tragedy and see no other way but to go forward from here. I ask that you continue to guide and mentor my every thought- that I not cause harm where it can be avoided, but show no mercy where none should prevail. I ask of St. Teresa, my patron saint and the patron saint of all writers, that she watch over us all as we move through this journey. That she teach where wisdom can be absorbed… that she bless where merit warrants and that she warn where dangers exceed their worth. I thank you RS for the gift of my parent’s expressions. I thank you for the audience and captured moments for Julie… and for the release of a man who stopped in his tracks of eternity to bend and ask the child he never got to raise for her forgiveness. It was one of the most moving moments of my life and its gravity will weigh heavy upon my heart for years to come.

I am reminded of the final scene from A Field of Dreams and the moment of sacred connectivity, when a son asks a father for a catch under the dusty haze of a Midwestern sky. “Is this heaven?” the father asks as he surveys the baseball field and endless rows of corn? The son quickly replies. “No… it’s Iowa.” Then the father looks again at all before him and says, “Funny I cold have sworn this was heaven.” When the son asks, “Is there a heaven?” the father smiles and says, “Oh yes. It’s the place where dreams come true.” Filled with hope and new appreciation for his world, the son reappraises the landscape before him overflowing with objects beloved… his wife, his child, his home…. his farm and the beauty of the setting sun and replies, “Then maybe this is heaven.”

How far away from our doorsteps can heaven be if we can still touch and be touched by those who have passed beyond us? Charley has taught me to stop in my eternal tracks and ask forgiveness for all I have done both by accident and by default. With humble heart then let me ask…
“Is this heaven?”
Until later then…

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