December 11, 2011
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He hadn’t been back in this house since he graduated from the university and his mother had the parapet decorated with red pennons that waved in the ocean winds and his father sat already troubled to stand and shook hands with the well wishers on a chair by the window always staring so far away across the ocean. His father had made this house. His father’s hands held with them the impressions of all tools could be used in its creation and with them on the cliff for seven months he stayed constructing a building whereby he could call his own to all and all would know it as his own. The house in similar pride could not be found in disrepair and it sat still as ever on that cliff and only the people about it ever showed signs of age and the dirt road perpendicular became paved over in grey. The son now stood in the large room in which he had as a child played and as a student studied and where he now stood watching his father’s disrupted silhouette as it sat back to him looking out the large window onto the ocean. The man, the son looked up and spoke.
He told his father he had dreamt he saw his sister as he had when they were children. She was standing sideways as he had just opened his eyes from sleep atop the floor and she and the room sat turned on their side incongruous to his personal gravity. A blue white light shone in from the window and drew her as a ghost in the darkness and she whispered to him across the caliginous expanse.
Your hair is long but not long enough to reach up to me.
But your beard someday might be.
He tells his father those were the last words he ever heard her speak and that the next day was the day she died. He says he had this dream the week before last on the night before his mother succumbed to the cancer. He cries and his father continues looking at the waves and begins to recall the dreams he himself had where out this window the whole ocean froze solid and a rope ladder fell down the cliff to the briny tundra and he found himself down there walking along the grey ice. He dreamt he was young and had brandished high in his hand an iron torch from some ancient tomb but that as he continued out towards the obsidian horizon he grew weaker and greyer with the distance. Eventually he stumbled and could not walk even as he maintained the torch high above his head and he coughed into his hand and looked backwards to his home on the cliff but saw it only as a square of blue light coming from the window. He looked back at his hand and saw the blood from his cough and sat down and bore the hilt of the torch into the black ice and watched it undulate in the frozen ocean winds.
His son still stood eyes raw and wet and watched his father in his chair by the window. He said I’m sorry I’m sorry but then his father quickly stood and turned and walked limping to his son and put his hands on his son’s shoulders. Those same hands which had built the house and closed his daughter’s milky eyes and held so tightly to his wife’s withered fingers and now he looked at his son and he told him No one is to blame.
Now go and be alright. Fly across your life come death and not before.
The old man out on the frozen ocean now sits and is content to watch his torch burn out.

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