Day 41: Why?
Today’s the first day of fall quarter. New beginnings for so many. As planned, I’d be teaching. This year’s not planned. It’s uncertain. In every way. Not having you in our life makes everything uncertain. Unplanned. So I dwell on why.
A-Man’s visiting and you know we’d be having a beer at the KT Granite Bar. The famous wayside rest stop in our back yard forest. A-Man and I talked about all things ephemeral. The past. Your presence. Our trips to the edge. We’re at a time when people will move on and you’ll be left behind. You can see it in the day with new students coming to campus so they can move on. Grab the wind and move forward. Be different. Learn some cool stuff, much of it irrelevant but who cares cuz it’s new stuff and needn’t be slotted into a purpose. Just let it be. Why: Why not?
We need more Steves to tell stories about people in the past who must be carried into our lives in the present. Good narrators like him, people who were there and know. Kindred spirits. In his case, a runner like Pre, to help us understand why, which is the essential verb without operations. Why introduces questions without functions. Hits the essential question of life that seems so elusive today. So uncertain. Why did you die so early in your life without the possibility of being with us? With athletes who compelled you. With new boundaries to test your performance, which was part of you. With the huge world of sports, which defined you.
I write early in the morning to avoid the crowds of thought that come with the day so I can be less certain. So I can visit your life and try to understand why. In my replay tapes, why comes up over and over. All the other questions pale in compare. Today will unfold without any clear line between what we do and why. No certainty between how we roll and why. My calendar is without meetings so when doesn’t matter. Who matters little, as it’s you who matters most. Why just sits front and center. So there you have all the question verbs lined up in neat order introducing irrelevance except why.
Why are we without you and moving on? Why did you die so suddenly? Why weren’t we by your side? Why didn’t I pay more attention to you, even as I was with you? Why should I show up today and decide on this or that? Sign a form. Attend a meeting. Talk to people. Teach a class. Sit at my desk.
KT Man: This is an impossible story that needs to be told so we can eventually understand why. The story of your life needs to be told over and over so we can help others know who you were. How you rolled. When you were with us. What you did. As an athlete, son, friend, mate.
Today’s just starting. I’ll sit quiet and see it unfold and you’ll be with me. It’ll help me understand why. Quite likely not.