... Now it was my turn to feel shot full of Novocain. I remembered the power of a good story, especially told by someone who had never written one. I remembered how my father, in his way, had also deserted me and how, even after his death, a part of me wanted him back, partly because I knew if he read my memoirs he would be proud, very proud.
I didn’t have to wonder why Thomas told me his story. He wanted me to write it and, in a sense, keep him alive in the small world of fishing. But did I, a little-known writer with a long line of mistakes in life, have power over who lived and died? If so, did I want it?
The wind, I noticed, had retreated. The leaves were still, and the Meer looked like a life-size frame on a movie screen. Then I realized it was a three-dimensional frame, seemingly a moment frozen in time. Did the Meer somehow create the frame to acknowledge Thomas and to give him a little more precious time? If so, I wished the much larger world could do the same, for him and for other cancer patients as well.
Though the water had become darker, the colors of its vibrating reflections—trees and tall buildings—had brightened, ironically. I thought, again I wish that, as the sun sets on our lives, we became beautiful, like autumn leaves. Are men and women less deserving than leaves because of our mistakes, especially our long, long string of wars? But now, as I look back, I see my cancer-stricken mother having been more beautiful just before she died.
A flock of geese dived and shattered the calm surface of the Meer. The geese and seagulls soon formed two distinct camps on the water. The camps reminded me of opposing armies on the night before they clashed. But the geese swam away. The seagulls didn’t pursue. Yes, geese and seagulls are more like anglers sharing the same lake or river than like opposing armies fighting, killing for the same land.
“Randy, I have to go. Good luck with your test.”
“Thanks, Thomas, thanks.”
I watched him drive out of the park. Will I see him again? I wondered. If I don’t, I’ll miss him. How I wish I could see my parents again. But at least I can still see my sister. Thank God she never overdosed. I wonder what’s going through Thomas’s mind, knowing he might not ever again see the Meer? What will his final journey—to where time cannot go—be like? And what will my final journey be like? Is it better if I don’t know? ...
The Way of the River My Journey of Fishing, Forgivness and Spiritual Recovery