Sunday, August 14, 2011
Monday, August 08, 2011
Sitting by the Fire
Will you help me, please? You see, you have something I lost. At least I hope you have it because it is a terrible thing to lose. I have tried to get mine back for years with little success. What is it? you ask. Well, belief, of course. I can’t seem to find mine. It’s why this story has been so difficult for me to write – because, as you will see, the story is unbelievable.
It’s a story that my grandpa told me when I was perhaps the age you are now. We were sitting by the fire in the room he called the den. I remember it vividly: the embers in the fireplace beating like a heart, their sleepy hiss, the orange glow dim in Grandpa’s cloudy eyes as he finished the story about the night he should have died but didn’t.
It was clear he believed every word. He said that when you experience something of that magnitude you find yourself capable of many things. Perhaps that is why I didn’t believe it right away. Not that my experience changes the story any. It’s just that at some point you may begin to wonder if this is all made up. I did. When I heard it, I wondered. I still find it hard to believe even with the proof right here in my hand. That’s why I need your help. I want to believe again.
But now that I’m finally writing the story down, I realize how foolish it has been to let my doubts get in the way. After all, though the outcome affects me, the story is not really mine.
It’s not really Grandpa’s for that matter. It’s Clay’s – the story of what happened when he became made. He’s the hero in Grandpa’s story. That is the unbelievable part. You see, Clay was clay, and to some extent he was made already. He was made of clay, which is really just a nice way of saying mud, which isn’t really a nice thing to call anybody (even when it’s accurate). Anyhow, Clay was the name Grandpa chose to call him. Grandpa always did give the benefit of the doubt. Not that a name matters that much. The important thing to know about Clay is that he was real. He was as alive as you or me. He could twist, jump, stretch, roll, walk, talk and even whistle!
Now, I can see that some of you already are thinking to yourself, how can a piece of clay be alive? That’s impossible! Well, that’s exactly what I thought, too. And that’s exactly why I need your help. Because Clay was real to Grandpa, and if you are going to appreciate this story, Clay is going to have to be real to you, too. I’m saying this to myself as much as to anyone. So what do you say? Will you believe with me?