Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Touch of Pete's Hand:

On the way home from voting I took a whim and drove through the housing development that now stands where Pete's place once stood. When my sister Phyllis was here last week she made a little map that pointed out something I had once known, that there was a path leading up the very steep slope above Pete's Spring to where his house was. I was wondering today if I could still find a trace of it. I did. Once I was on it I let my feet and legs find the way ~ the path, of course, is the easiest way to make the climb. At the rim of the holler I walked on to the spot where I thought the house (or cabin more likely) had been, scanning the earth carefully to see if I could find anything that Pete might have touched.

The first thing that caught my delighted eye were meadow mushrooms! It's been so dry here, two months of drought, that I was beginning to think that I wouldn't find any this fall, but there they were, peeping up through the grass. Once I'd focused on their white color, and stooped down to pick them, I noticed a tiny white chip in the dirt. When I picked up the little piece of porcelain, the first thing that I thought was that it had a face on it. Under the circumstances it was thrilling. A little more searching revealed a dozen shards, probably of the same dish, another chip that had a blue pattern on it, and a piece of clear glass with concentric ridges. Then a little piece of lead.

So here they are ~ objects touched by Pete's hand. The face may be as close to seeing Pete's face as I ever get, unless I can locate one of his ancestors. I took the little white shard down to the spring and washed it off. Pete, you'll always come back.


Cathy said...

That gave me shivers. Will you show me Pete's Spring when I visit?

Dan Dutton said...

Sure! We're all excited about THAT already. I'm starting to think of You'll Always Come Back as a sort of second location of Pete's Spring in another dimension.

Mary Beth said...

How thrilling to find Pete's face peeking up at you!

Isn't it perfect to see only half the face? Half was with you at the spring, half lost to eath/mystery/history!

SBD said...

I know Daddy is whirling around Pete's Spring...
I hope I will have a chance to whirl with them when the time is right.
Cathy, I only hope you will walk there in early morning light or late afternoon light...
I was the last Dutton baby to be born in the holler (well, actually, hospital... I was the first to be delivered in hospital)It was cold and snowy that February 28th, many, many years ago....
Daddy had to bring me home on a sled pulled by Pat & Peg. Right down to the little house at Pete's Spring.

Cathy said...

I hope you'll walk there with us, Sarah dear!

Dan Dutton said...

Locating an ancestor, or a departed friend, in a place, (perhaps a little more enduring than an object) gives memory something to work with - so that the resonances of weather and season can connect with the qualities of personality and history. And I've been thinking of that Old Norse slant of mind that sited endurance in reputation.

I like the idea of whirl -


It's your vision, not our dance, that's grim
you cannot sense the swirl we're in

We spin in rounds beyond belief
and never count our dancing brief

Past the plodding mortal pace
our atoms zip through time and space

We keep the beat of thrumming stars
you cannot sense how fast we are ~

Death is not as slow as thought.

SBD said...

Poetry to match my mood.

Dan Dutton said...

That's from "Letters from Death" ~ the papercut illustration shows skeletons dancing - kindof helps the meaning!

Mary Beth said...

I'm in sheer awe!

The elders I worked with spoke of " dancing between two worlds" ( usually in reference to between tradition/spiritualism and modern life/materialism).

Now I see Pete, guardian of the sacred spring, whirling in a timeless dance! Past/preseent, here/ there, life/ death, are all slipping away like a moment of Buddhist enlighment! The ilusion that cloud the mind are gone. There is only the moment of shining beauty and the flowing of a clear sweet spring.

Please allow me to buy a front row ticket when "You'll Always Come Back" opens!

Dan Dutton said...

I'll be more than delighted to comp you a front row seat for all the help you've given! Thanks Mary Beth!

Your description of the spring is exactly what I'm aiming for in "You'll Always Come Back" & I almost feel like I've gotten the hang of the more intuitive method it requires.