What was it like my friend, If I may call you a friend, to scratch and scrawl on the back of the spade, only to have it erased by the rocks and sod?
Were you grieved to have your creation buried? Was it like laying out a corpse? No tombstone to commemorate its passing.
Did you hold a memorial service in your mind? Were there others who mourned with you? Did you grieve in silence, with no one to see your tears?
How lonely was it, you whose future seemed so dim? Dim, like the cabin in which your germinated thoughts took root?
Or, did the fields, in which your musings were planted, scream forth and comfort you?
Were you comforted in knowing the displaced ash was but a kernel which would later flower?
Did you have hope? Or, did your melancholy, which characterized your life, begin then?
Was your morose, like the deeply rooted weed, which spurned the very spade you loving labored to create upon?
Was your black mood a curse to be contended with? Or, did it fuel your passion to succeed?
Were you a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief? Were you a man who used grief as a means of liberation?
I find myself grieving with you. Then, with guilt and sense of recognition, I remember:
though you might have once despaired, you forged doggedly ahead to become the great emancipator!
How can I then stay in my sense of loss and self-absorption, seeing only weeds, when you allowed the crops of wisdom to nourish you.
-Richard L. Brewer
January 16, 1997