“Is this heaven?” he asks?

2/23/11
Clearly I am in a holding pattern, while dust settles on several fronts around me. Charley continues to keep silent vigil, while I take care of other sections of my life and for that I am grateful. This will be a difficult time for you dear readers, as I will not have opportunity to sit and write for several days. Cardboard calls and I will be very busy taking apart one house and re-piecing myself into another. I will be thinking about you all though and pondering my latest visitation.
The other morning, just before dawn, I dreamt about one of the last scenes from the movie, “Field of Dreams” where Terrence Mann is telling Ray the reason why he was chosen to go out into the ‘cornfield’ with Shoeless Joe Jackson and the other players.

I paraphrase:
‘… There was a reason why they chose me, Ray. I once wrote a story about Ebbets Field… the one that charged you up and sent you all the way to Boston to find me…’
‘I’m a writer, Ray. It’s what I do.
‘What’s out there?’ he asks.
Terrence replies, ‘I don’t know; but if I’m brave enough to go out there… ‘ he pantomimes a headline.
‘Shoeless Joe Jackson comes to Iowa! What a story that will make!’

I try to comfort myself with those words as I worry I have somehow missed out because I do not have visions. I’m a writer- that’s what I do. R is a psychic- that’s what she does. This dream sequence, I believe was in response to my asking the cosmos why I could not see Charley the same way R does. Why she gets to see him smile or wink. Why she can talk to him and I must ask questions through her?
I feel a bit like the character Ray Consella sometimes. You know the… ‘What’s in it for me?’ syndrome. ‘Hey-That’s my cornfield they’re living in out there! That’s my corn!’ I hear myself yell at the sky.
Well, kind of. My office is like my cornfield and every once in a while I wonder why I can’t see Charley and my parents the way R does. Why R sees Charley and can talk directly to him and all I get are just impressions or intuitions?
I know that what I do matters; that it is important because this story will be written by me. They will be my words and my descriptions. But some days, I just wish Charley would come talk to me. That he would walk right up to my desk, sit down next to me and say…”Hey, let’s chat.” I envy R and yet I cannot begrudge her anything. Charley does talk to me through her and so do my folks, so I really cannot complain and I’m not really. I just wish I could see him one time- to know this is all true. To know that the connection is real and that I have not pieced this all together from shoestrings and paper clips. I have a formal report to author and so very much rides on what it is I say and do from this point forward, and I guess I just would like further confirmation that I am on the right track and that I am doing right by all concerned.
So here you are Charley! My personal invite from me to you… come see me Charley and let me see the man I have been championing for over 18 months now. C’mon! Grant me an audience!
(I’m shaking just a bit inside my sneakers as I write this because he may just do so.) I think about taking back the request the instant I make it. The petty words make me feel small and whiney. It’s not that I am not happy with what has transpired- that I am ungrateful. I just wish I could see him… once. To know that it was real. That it mattered. I wait and the 8 x 10 is silent. I feel like a schmuck, but can’t help myself. He has been such a huge part of my life this last two years… Hell, he practically has been my life these past two years! I just wanted what any other person would want- a chance to see him smile. I calm myself and know that there was a reason I was chosen and it wasn’t to do R’s job. It was to do my job- to write. Why? Because that’s what I do. Just like the character of the writer, Terrence Mann. That’s why I am a part of this. Humbled, I remember the final scene from the movie as Shoeless Joe squares off with Ray, trying to help him understand that his father appeared to ease his pain and not the other way around.

And so it goes…
“So what are you saying, Ray?” Shoeless Joe asks.
“I’m saying… what’s in it for me?”
“I really think you should stay, Ray.” he replies.
“But you guys are guests in my corn! You’re living in my corn! Why can’t I go with you?”

The silence fills the air as one lone player begins to gather up his things.
“If you build it… he will come…”
“Go the distance…”
“Ease his pain…”
“It was you Ray… it was you…”

It was for me that Charley came, so that he cold ease my pain. My pain was the loss of my parents and the unbalance in my life they left in their wake. In my grief I lost my true North- my internal compass was so off mark I could not see the forrest for the trees anymore.

I built it… he came.

I cried… and he went the distance to ease my pain. Charley not only gave me his story, he gave me back a way to reach my parents and for this I will be eternally grateful. So with baited breath, I wait at the metaphorical fence and pray that my ‘John Consella’ appears, so that I may talk with him and share one more catch as the sun sets so that I might find peace with my new path!

The lone player takes off his catcher’s mask and reveals the face of Ray’s father as the young man he was before Ray was born.
“Is this heaven?” he asks?
“No… this is Iowa.” Ray replies, confused. “Is there a heaven?”
“Oh yes… there’s a heaven. It’s the place dreams come true.” he responds with absolute certainty. He looks around and sees the green of the fields, the streaks in the evening sky… the family upon the porch swing. “Funny, I could have sworn this was heaven…”

Ray searches his fieldd of vision and sees his wife, his child, his home and his life… “Maybe this is heaven” he sighs.
I shall try to stop a moment later tonight and survey my new world, just as Ray did and if I am lucky… I will begin to find my new world can be heaven too.

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