10:10 P.M.- throw your arms to sky and promise…

The numerical power of this day is enormous- remember it as all things begin to change from this moment forward. This morning I drove away from Valdosta, a bit confused as to why I thought Charley needed me to be there so badly this weekend. Clearly it had been my decision to go and I understood J wanted me there to share the anniversary of his death and I did get information. Which of course is always a plus. Yet, I could not get out of my mind the feeling that somehow I had missed something while I was there. When I ran a mental checklist, it all added up- but felt incomplete. I had met with most of the folks I needed to- learned a great deal of the periphery information I had wanted to and even found a new lead or two. Still, there was a void. Some part of me felt empty and so with sunshine and the blush of color amongst the tree line, I sallied forth into the last day of the weekend thinking about homework and deadlines and what I might have missed. With tank full, coffee hot and cautious heart, I left J to the McDonald’s parking lot to find her way home alone.

Somewhere after Tifton I began to parse the merits of the trip in my head. As radio station after radio station faded in and out, I began to grow weary of the static in both the airwaves and my life – all the while keeping a keen eye on the time. I went over the clues left unvetted and noted Charley has never left me before to wander aimlessly without segue. For that I have always been grateful and yet it is that precedent that told me I had left some stone unturned- some clue unheeded. As I drove further, I asked each of the three I have come to have a personal connection with as to why it had been so important for me to be there; aside from the obvious sentiment of the occasion. I cleard my mind and they began the shorthand of the spiritual. But it was not until the clock approached the bewitching hour of 10:10 on 10/10/10 that I consciously surrendered to listen.

This may come as a shock to you all. After all, blog after blog has been relentless, borderline obsessive and bloodthirsty for the why’s and the wherefores of Charley’s murder… and in truth, I have not lost the passion to bring the story full circle. But suddenly I realized that as important as that is, that was not what this trip was supposed to be about and if I had been more open and less tunnel visioned… I would have understood in the dark last night what Charley was saying from the light.

For those of you who like movies, I often quote from them as gifted writers abound everywhere and when their words ring true- the music is so sweet to the soul that one never grows somnolent at their mention.

One of my all time favorites is, the Field of Dreams. So much so, that I have dirt in a canister from the field in Dyersville, Iowa where it was filmed. I have a T-shirt somewhere, a dehydrated corn husk and an article sealed in plastic about the filming on location… all this to say, that the premise of the film is the premise of what I learned today.

“If you build it, he will come. Ease his pain. Go the distance.”

Now, I have not constructed a baseball field outside my brownstone- nor plowed under a ridiculous amount of acreage in order to right some childhood wrong… I do not expect Charley to bargain with other deceased friends for some unsanctioned baseball team to clutter my lawn. But what I did do almost two years ago when he was first brought to my attention, was ask for guidance. My own father had passed and lost, I found no internal compass able to guide me anymore. My parents had always been my true North, without them I could no longer find the rising star of my being.

Ok… I can hear you now. What the devil is this crap? What happened to Rox, the MOT and Charley? What about the murders and the porn… and the- this, and the- that????? It’s all still there, my friend and I am in no way finished with what it is I need to right… and to write. But what I wish to share with you right now is the epiphany of what it was I learned today.

“I built it. He came and together, we have gone the distance.”

Why? Because it wasn’t his pain, or J’s, Rox’s or even the MOT’s he was trying to alieve. It was mine. He came to me, to ease my pain and keep me from making a similar mistake. The mistake of half -life.

Charley died in half-life, but more importantly– Charley was living in a half-life the night he died. One foot in and one foot out. His whole world was in a state of flux, but most importantly his relationships. His job was secure, but his personal alliances were not.

R reminds me constantly that it isn’t always about the information those who have passed are giving to us, it’s about the journey they provide us to find it. But I have been so concentrated on the chaos of his death for the last 10 months, that I lost sight of the beauty of his life. The message he was trying to send me was so simple, but because I was looking for things more complicated- I refused to listen to the message he wanted me to hear.

Today at 10:10 A.M., I finally heard and even more,  I finally understood what this journey was meant  to teach me.  I suddenly saw in my mind all the people I have become connected to; both dead and alive and the role they have all  shared in bringing me to this point.

The message was so clear. As the numbers on the clock rolled over to the 10:10 on 10/10/10, I threw my arms in the air and in a somewhat reckless act of trust– I took my hands from the steering wheel, both literally and metaphorically. Closed my eyes for a second and pardon the pun… gave up the ghost. Transparent in my sincerity, I asked for guidance once again- only this time I meant it- for everything. And the message came through-no more half life. No more half hearted living. If I can’t be all in, then I must learn how to navigate my world from all out, until I can find my way back in again. I cannot play at life and think that I can always make-up for things tomorrow and accept that some times in the dark, we take a step and we never return.

Now… don’t worry. Tomorrow I will be back at pounding the metaphorical pavement to bring his murderers and Rox’s to justice. But for today- on this special day of 10’s, I urge you all to walk out into the brisk night air at 10:10 P.M.- throw your arms to sky and promise yourselves not to live a half -life anymore. Whatever half-truths you tell others or yourselves to get by, let them fall behind you now. Be honest with yourself. Be present in your world- all in or all out- but be decisive and for sixty seconds before the clock rolls over to 10:11 P.M. and the universe begins a new course…set yours too and commit to living a full life with a full heart and follow your dreams.

Until later then…

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