A Witness Through the Window – Entry 23

Ever look at the clouds? Ever notice them and think about their formations?
I figured that since we talked about the secrets of jigsaw puzzles, I might as well tell you about the clouds.
I figured this would be a good time to give you a view from the beaches and explain a little more about a lesson I wished I could remember.
Before I go forward, I want to give a little background as to where this entry is coming from. First, I’d like you to imagine a father and his son, together, walking on the beach. It is wintertime on earth and the northern side of the hemisphere is tilted farthest from the sun.

The beach is empty with patches of snow, scattered across the dunes. Otherwise, the beach is mostly bare and empty. The gulls are not afraid of the winter and although the air is cold, the feathers on their wings keep them flying through the air.
Overhead, the sky is showing the glow of early daybreak. The sun is up, however, the horizon is still kind enough to hold some of its new-morning color to reflect across the strips of clouds that branch out like feathery crystals across the sky.
It is far from warm but the view of the beach and the ocean and the scene and the spectacle in the sky is enough to warm the heart.
Imagine the boy is walking beside his father.
He is small and bundled up in a heavy blue coat, a scarf, a knitted hat from Grandma and a pair of mittens to keep his little hands warm. The sands are cold from the winter’s breath which, of course, is enough to chill the toes through the boy’s little boots. This is why the father had the boy double up on the socks. He even went as far as to put some long johns on to keep his son as warm as could be. 

The father is more accepting of the cold air with little to no difficulty. He is wearing a flannel shirt, an undershirt, jeans and his work boots. This is a typical dress code for the father. The air could be as frigid as ever and the father is simply unamazed and unmoved by this; as if he were impenetrable – like a hero.
To their left is the ocean. To their right are the sands and the dunes and the empty parking lots which remain abandoned until the season turns warm again.

The father is pointing towards the clouds. He is explaining about the different formations such as the nimbus or the stratus clouds. He tells his boy, “There’s a lot that you can tell, just by looking at the sky.”
He goes on to explain that certain clouds mean certain weather is coming our way.
“Yep. There’s a lot you can tell, just by looking at the clouds.”

You can tell when a storm is coming.
You can tell when the weather is calm.
You can see what’s coming.
You just have to know what to look for. 

The father and son are walking from the east to the west. There is no one else but them on the beach. There is nothing else but this new tradition which was set to take place on the early morning of every New Year’s Day.

Each year, the little boy grew older and each year, the boy made sure to place at least one step in his father’s footprints, just to be more like his hero – The Old Man. 

I am thinking now about the benefit of words and how someday, I would like to perfect my craft and be more of a wordsmith than a writer. I want to create magic. I want to be the best at this. I want to make you feel and smile and think and imagine.
I want to use this to both settle the accounts of my soul as well as forge into a new territory. Thus, I will find myself living well in a new life built by me, yours truly. 

However, if I am going to use words to build my dream; then I have to understand my words. I have to know them both personally and intimately. I have to know how to explain them and express them in a scenic way – to give you depth and help you understand my vision.
This is why I need you here with me, as a witness.
I want to understand the differences between the connotation and the denotation of the word itself; and to grow, I have to dive into this all the way down to the letter of every word; down to the emotion of every comma, apostrophe and every dash or method of relaying a message.
If I am to do this then I have to do this to the point where I can pull off a magic picture.
This way you can see exactly what I am writing about. 
This way you’ll understand and then neither of us will ever be alone.
(Do you get it?)

There are words that we use or that we hear all the time. Most of them are simple. Some of the words we use have more than one meaning and some of the words we use are either overused or misused to the point that we lose sight of their truth.

Take love for example. Love is a word that gets thrown around all the time.
As a matter of fact, there are literally millions of teenage boys who use that word just so they get a chance to reach second base with a girl. I love a lot of things. I love food. I love pizza.
I love the view from the beach. I love the ideas from the heart and I also love the intimidate depths of true love and the love which happens when two bodies connect and become one.
Then there’s the word hate.
This is another word that gets thrown around. Hate. Love.
Or how about the word friend?
Did you know that the dictionary also defines the word friend as a person connected to or by social media. I suppose my definition has more depth than a simple number of people connected by a social media page. I say this yet there are people who live their life in an online romance which is not real per se, but this is real to them. There are people who live their life virtually with no visceral feel. However, this is real enough to keep them from the loneliness in their thinking. 

Me, I’d rather feel the fabric. I’d rather touch the substance of a real person’s soul.
I’d rather dance and laugh and hear the music than think about this or only pretend.

I’m not sure how old I was.
I’m not sure when I learned what real love is. To be truthful, I wish I can say the same things about hate – but hate and I go way back. Hate can move in many directions too. This can be inward or outward and whether we do or not, hate does not discriminate.
Hate and me, we know each other on a first name basis yet hate is not me and I am not hateful. More so, maybe I was hurt. Maybe I was scared too.
Maybe hate is only a defense mechanism and in its “shoot first and ask questions later” mentality, hate is a self-propelled thief. This is a weed that suffocates the roots of our personal gardens and, therefore, by starving the flowery substance of our true lives – we become wilted and bitter; never to enjoy the true bits of the sun and sour to the mind, unwell, unwilling and unmatchable to the world by choice. This is the theft of services provided by hate,

But yes, hate and me, we go way back.
Maybe I was uncomfortable for too long. Maybe I was hurt to the point where I lost my head – and besides, you know what happens when you lose your head, right?
You lose perspective. You lose an accurate view of what’s happening around you.
You lose your ability to connect to logic or rationalized thinking. Hence, you react. You respond and sometimes preemptive; you strike first to keep yourself from sustaining any damage.

I’d like you to go back to that beach with me.
I’d like you to consider that young boy is now grown up and there are equally as many questions.
All that’s changed are the boy’s incentives that have now matured to meet the goals of a grown man’s intentions.
There are no more footprints to follow.
The cold is not so biting anymore and the younger is now the older. The cold is more acceptable. However, the appearance of warmth and the spectacle in the sky is equally as heartwarming as the memory of his father’s love.
(I remember.)

There are ways to see what’s coming. Although there is no way to tell the future, there are ways to prepare yourself.
The Old Man used to tell me, if you can learn about the different formation of the clouds, you can make a better prediction of the weather.
He used to tell me about a man who lived at the same building in the Bronx at 1435 Taylor Avenue.
He was a trusted man who would go to the roof and look at the sky. Then he would predict the weather. Yep. You can tell a lot about what’s to come just by looking at the sky.

My last walk along the beach with The Old Man was January 1, 1989.
This was our last time to honor a tradition between us. Though it’s hard, I have no memory of this last trip to the beach at Point Lookout.
I only know this.
I know that this was part of an action; this was part of a procedure which we call life and that as the gears of time clicked forward, there was no way to go back or to relive that day. I know that if we knew then what we know now, our last goodbyes would never be what they were. Still, none of them would ever be good enough – at least not as far as love goes.

There is another word that we use often.
This is a word that I want to know as intimately as the word love. I want to know, understand and learn to utilize this word.
The word is bravery; as if to mean that fear is real and necessary.
To be clear, I am afraid.
I’ve been told it’s good to be afraid.
This brings out the need to build up our strength – so we can be strong and keep ourselves safe.
However, bravery has nothing to do with the absence of fear at all.
No, bravery means that in spite of fear; in spite of rejection or failure or falling down or even in spite of pain – bravery is the ability to move and carry on by any means necessary.

I don’t remember the lessons about the clouds.
I wish I did.
However, I agree with the idea that if you look up sometimes and if you look around – you might not be able to tell the future, but can see what’s coming your way, if you know what you’re looking for that is.

I can’t read the clouds and I’ve often misread people as well as their intentions; however, this idea about bravery interests me the most because although I am afraid sometimes, bravery is the ability to overcome.
This is the ability to endure; to stand, to keep my chin up, to dare, to challenge and to openly weep or walk the beach and say this: I miss you, Pop.
I wish we had more times like this.
I wish I knew more about the clouds so that I could tell what’s coming my way. 

I wish I could hear your voice, just one more time.
Just to hear you say, “I’m proud of you son.”

Ah, there it is. Another word that I want to know.
To be proud. Or to hear these four words: I’m proud of you.

These are the words where healing comes from.

Know what I mean?

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