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Reflections On A Sunday Afternoon

September 28th, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments
Fall comes to Meigs County

Fall comes to Meigs County

The tides of life rise and fall obedient to the gravitational pull of celestial bodies known and understood only by them. The cycle of good times lasts only so long before the sine wave of life thrusts us below the surface in a bi-polar swing. It used to be that a decade seemed like a lifetime… now it’s more like a month.

I was thinking about my friend Marjorie who passed earlier this month. She and hers had become family to all of us here in Southeast Ohio over the last fifteen or so years. Where did those years go? I guess the river of time claimed them as it swept all those moments downstream. It seems so… well, unlikely, so inconceivable, that she and I will no longer confer before a class at the Fur Peace Ranch… that I will no longer benefit from her often incisive and opinionated world views.

Grieving is such a selfish thing. Marjorie’s pain is over… her Samsara has moved to another plane, and she with it. I have come to realize that there is no way that one can ever truly say, ‘I know exactly how you feel.’ I believe that to be one of the most presumptuous statements. No one can ever really know how another feels… all we can do is try to relate. I guess what I am saying is that my grief is for me… that I will miss my friend. Do my thoughts and prayers go out to her family? Of course they do. But the grief that we all feel from loss surrounds us alone. I have realized that I am sorry for me… for my loss.

At almost seventy four years of age, I have lost friends and family members. Fortunately I have the distinct good fortune to still be alive… to be sitting here writing about it. My Dad has been gone for eighteen years, Mom for seventeen. They were both born in 1910… they would be 104 years old if they were still alive… Let’s face it, we will all pass at the end of the race. At least that’s what I’ve been told. When our breath stops, we truly belong to the ages. Everything we might have been will never come to pass. The story will have been written with a final ending. Those ripples we send out as we plunge into the pool of life will expand in concentric circles… and grow less, and less… until the pond is once more like glass.

And that is the way of things. A strong memory keeps things of the heart close at hand. At the end of the day, those of us left behind soldier on and new stories will emerge to be told, retold and heard.

To have made waves in our time here would seem to have been a good thing. As I sit here on the eve of beginning a new recording project I am thinking about making a few more waves. Still and all, the fragility of it all is inescapable. Thinking back on one of the great Robert Duvall movies, Broken Trail, one of his lines sticks with me. ‘Birth to death, from the sweet grass to the packing house… we journey between the two eternities.’ At this point in my life with the journey closer to the end than the beginning, each moment seems more and more precious every day.

It is a beautiful Fall day here in Southeast Ohio. I would like to go for a motorcycle ride and convince my daughter to go with me. This may or may not happen depending on her mood and desires… but one way or the other, we’re going to spend the rest of the afternoon together. If she doesn’t want to ride, we may do some archery or the like, or maybe I’ll just keep her company while she reads.

If that’s as good as it’s going to get, it’s perfect.

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  1. Phil Zisook
    September 28th, 2014 at 16:44 | #1

    Great thoughts on subjects we all must face and so perfect at this time of year. May it be a healthy, happy and good year for you and your family!

  2. carlo pagliano
    September 28th, 2014 at 18:29 | #2

    The Symphony Jorma composed here above, it’s just the lyrics, now comes the music!

  3. Hamneggs
    September 28th, 2014 at 20:26 | #3

    If your jumping in to make a waves I hope one or two is a cannonball.
    Be careful on your bikes, my nephew just spent the day getting his road rash treated at the hospital, he goes home tomorrow.:)
    Love All Ways

  4. eaglesteve
    September 29th, 2014 at 09:44 | #4

    Somber thoughts, thinking of a friend’s passing.
    On the other hand, you’re still alive, and I hope for many years to come. Your concentric water ripples are going to continue to extend outward like a tsumai, now and after the full go round. Make no mistake of that. No one needs to say to you count your blessings though; you’re in tune.

  5. John B
    September 29th, 2014 at 12:10 | #5

    Tears do flow…….. Thoughts of my dad , aunts, uncles, grand parents and dear friends. Yes I weep for me because they have moved on and left me without their laughter, love and smile. I am reminded of James 4 verse 14. Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

  6. Brett
    September 29th, 2014 at 13:35 | #6


    Thanks….Great post…puts a lot of stuff in focus…especially the definition of perfection


  7. bob b.
    September 29th, 2014 at 14:10 | #7

    I’ve fallen in love with a woman I met at the Bergen PAC Concert on June 21. We both traveled about one hundred miles on that day to North Jersey and with the help of the Good Lord and Hot Tuna Music, we found each other. That’s my “ripple story”, and may the pond Never return to glass.

  8. johno
    September 29th, 2014 at 14:32 | #8

    @bob b.
    Good luck buddy – if she feels the same way, you’ve got it made. Think of all the billions of people on the planet. The only common denominator – Hot Tuna. How cool is that.

  9. johno
    September 29th, 2014 at 15:19 | #9

    Talking about celestial bodies – someone recently asked a noted astro-physicist how big is the universe. He said ‘it would take 100 billion suns to form just our galaxy – the Milky Way. It would then take 100 billion galaxies to form our universe.’ Asked how many planets in the universe could sustain life – He said ‘approximately 100 million planets.’ Give or take a couple dozen.

  10. John B
    September 29th, 2014 at 18:26 | #10

    Great story Bob. Congratulations to you both ! @bob b.

  11. jim hitchcock
    September 29th, 2014 at 20:11 | #11

    Neil deGrasse Tyson i believe. The updated Cosmos was great.

  12. September 29th, 2014 at 22:21 | #12

    Thanks for your earnest thoughts on this difficult subject. I suffered my own losses this year… and it is a very hard thing to come to terms with.

  13. cyndy consentino
    September 30th, 2014 at 15:31 | #13

    Dear Jorma,

    Very lovely… life brings us many beautiful things, and many sad things as well.

    Stay well my friend


  14. John Foote
    October 10th, 2014 at 13:44 | #14

    Thank you Jorma.

  15. Paul Wasserman
    October 21st, 2014 at 11:48 | #15

    Jorma, that is so beautifully and perfectly stated. Wonderful poetic prose. I feel fortunate also to be treading lightly and to have had the great pleasure of journeying so many mies together.