Four-Car Journey

October 11, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Category: Auto-Biography

My wife, Marcia, has two daughters, and I have a son.  Blended family.  My first wife has a son, now 36 years old, who just had a daughter.  Katie, Marcia’s first daughter, is about to have a son.  Marcia is traveling down to St. Louis for the baby shower tomorrow.

I had my second root canal on Monday.  I called my dad and found out he’s had four.  My son just asked me if getting a root canal is related to how frequently he brushes his teeth.  I’ve noticed a pattern.  I ask my dad questions having to do with what I can expect in 25 years.  My son asks me questions about what he can expect when he’s my age.  I’m experiencing life as this little four-car train, with four generations connected, chugging along evolution’s pathway.

My father’s wife just died about a month ago.  I see his engine beginning to disappear into the tunnel.  It’s a saddening experience to watch that train car you’re directly connected to start to disappear.  I can feel the vanishing as if it’s happening to me.  And so it is.

Facing the other direction, babies are emerging from the other tunnel.  Still, the wind feels to me to be coming from where we’re headed.  Watching the women, the wind seems to be in their face where they are turned toward where the young are coming from.  It’s odd that the wind comes from two directions with males, but females are mostly noticing only one.

In this ridiculously brief period of time, four generations long, which stretches between these two tunnels in two mountains that seem to have no end, we make our observations about the universe we’re in.  I feel surrounded by clues.  I feel terrified.  I feel accompanied.

On a journey only four train cars long, we somehow have just enough time to see the world.


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