On a Rooftop Dreaming

Jordan last day on earth

This is The Boy.  He is an Epic child, a Mythical child.  He is pure joy.  Look at him, sitting up there on his roof, gazing heavenward.  Dreaming.  Making it up as he goes.  Always climbing.  As a child he scaled whatever heights he could find.  We have the pictures to prove it:  the Boy in trees, atop statues, fences, and walls.

Now he writes songs about rooftops and soaring through space; about sailing the seas, wanting to be a pirate.  He dreams in such bold swaths of color and clarity, and with such passion, it takes my breath away.

He set this photo up of himself on his roof with a tripod and a timer.  It was still daylight at the time.  When he sent it to me I took the original and made it night, threw in some stars and a sliver of moon, because that is how I have known him best — at night.

Even as his life was forming, the wriggling/squirming/kicking came at midnight.  (Oh, how that kid could dance.)  And I was up anyway at that hour. So we introduced ourselves, and communed through the wee hours of the night.  Not for nothing, it was midnight when the labor pains began.  As though he’d decided then, Knock, knock, can I come out now?  Ten hours later he arrived with a skinned nose to mark his blazing entry into the world.  Eyes wide open.

He hasn’t slowed down a bit.

He’ll be home later today for a whirlwind stay.  He has a dentist appointment in the morning, after which, we’ll put him back on a train to where he now resides.  But this evening will be filled with music and laughter reaching into the hours when most people are long in bed.  And the stars will shine among the clouds and the moon will be there, as always.

And he’ll tell me his plans and dreams, and it will all still take my breath away.

Addendum:  The video below was made by the Boy a few years ago for a song he wrote and composed, Aurora Boreality, featuring the Boy and his band — Break Stuff, Steal Things. 

Beautiful boy

dill 1bThe poesy he smells is so small we can barely see it in his pudgy fist.  (We would have overlooked it — there were so many tiny flowers hidden in the grass that day.)  It is a thing of wonder to him.  As he is a wonder to us all. His curls and creamy skin, his brown eyes kissed by innocence.

See how he clutches his little dog?  What a comfort it is to to him to have it, his reassurance for the times when the world is a scary place to be. (Remember when it was that simple?)

Had you known what the future held, you might have wished to stop time, to freeze that moment forever, because surely there would never be another so perfect.  But then you would have missed the astonishing mystery of him as he grew into a man.  A child so fierce in his conviction that he damn well KNEW when didn’t want to nap, and if you tried to make him he would scream until you got him up.  You would have missed his shyness, his goofiness, his sweet, sweet laughter. His unflinching loyalty to the people he most loved.

Even between the grooves of anxiety and worry that spun the record of your relationship there was still laughter.  Moments of silliness and forgetting.  And love, always love.  A child cries and a parent wants to hold him.  That is the way of life. When that’s gone we grieve not only for our immediate loss, but for what might have been.  We grieve for the potential that will never be fulfilled.

But there is this to keep:  the memory of a sunny day and the single pleasure of watching a child smell a flower just because it’s there.  A child who was then as he will forever be.

A beautiful boy.

n.b.  For my dear, dear friend Andy whose loss I feel and whose pain I share.  And for sweet Dillon.  . . . and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.