Sunday, July 31, 2011

No Words

A memory from long ago visits me unbidden from time to time. I was almost twelve years old in my home town of Anchorage, Alaska in 1968. These were bad times. My father had been recently killed in an airplane accident at Point Barrow, Alaska, while volunteering for a state labor omission. My mother and I (and perhaps another person) went to the Safeway where we often shopped. My mother's eyes meet those of a female worker there. They immediately embraced, wept, looked at each other again, and went their separate ways. No words were spoken.

You see, the grocery worker was good friends with Violet Dodge, who represented the union of the grocery workers, who was in same plane that went down with my father on board. No words were needed; perhaps, no words were possible. I wish my mother were still alive so I could ask her about this event. I'm not sure we ever spoke it afterward.

How many sacred events do we sully with silly or needless words? Some lament needs no words, no words at all.

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