I was reminded to pay attention. Why? Am I indebted to it? If so, do I have enough time to spend on it? Should I get a mind equity loan and pay it in installments? It would most likely be a balloon loan hanging over my head with captions in it. Like the one yesterday suspended above me; “put the wheel barrel down, back away slowly, and go get your son”.
Bash told me he wanted to gather wood with me. He was engaged with helping someone else when I finally found my beat up boots. Then I did what comes naturally, I set out alone. The grove across the street was stuffed with fallen branches of all sizes. I dragged a few larger ones across to our driveway and fetched a wheel barrow for the kindling. One tire was flat and I injected it with a sealant that resuscitated it. That’s when the bubble appeared like a cotton ball just off my left temple. “Go get your son.” I had just said no to have friends over after church since I had been away for three days. Family time I said. There I stood like a big fat liar with a caption hanging, waiting for a response.
So, I fetched him. Maybe one of his tires needed airing up. He dropped what he was doing, threw some shoes on and walked and talked a few feet away. The cotton ball captions between us cast little fluffy puddles of moving shadows on the ground.
He started seeing things in the branches we carried, like one does when looking at cumulus clouds. Creatures and feet dragging and dinosaurs and letters were infused into severed dead things. He walked on the wall and was taller than me for a moment and he let me know. He asked questions about what kind of sticks to pick. He commented on how big the “forest” was and I remembered the little grove of trees on the other side of the Stump’s house when I was a kid, how big it was and the bravery it took to enter into it.
We laid the twigs like a pile of pick-up-sticks on the bonfire circle and I wondered what Abraham thought as he paid attention to his son. God didn’t caption me with a “Go get your son, your only son…” and yet I wonder if in some odd way, as I pay better attention, that someday, as I send him out into the world with a few of our memories in his backpack, I will feel a sting of separation because of the installment payments of attentiveness. He is my son, and I long to fetch him again and again.