Stories from the Mission... bit 6
My condo is gone, they took my guns and my car was towed. The only things I have left is my laptop, a back up hard drive, and a pile of note books at my sister Tracy's house over an hour north of here. Oh, she also has my 7 foot long Lego spaceship Dynonochus in her basement. I have clothes that used to be someone elses (They call them dead mans clothes) and pennies I pick up from the floor. Depressing eh? Well, not really. The Lord has provided me with everything I need. I have food, structure, a job, and companions. My memory is clearing up and my hand writing is better than it has been in years. Heck, my cholesterol was tested at Alexian brothers 2 months ago to 181 now! I am surrounded by like minded people reading Bibles and there is always someone near by that can help me find answers about it. The only tie I used to have was tied for me by a friend years ago, so I would carefully loosen it and slip it on and off my head every time. Now I know how to tie a double Windsor and have taught 7 other guys how to do it.. Sure, there are crabby, self e=centered guys here, but the caring, kindness and miracles far outweigh them. I had reached rock bottom and found it to be a good thing... rock bottom means a firm foundation to rebuild on.. For 48 years I had done it my way and gotten no where. Now the Lord had pruned me of all the junk I had found important and is now giving me new room for growth. The old Zac is dead, and while the new Zac is having teething pains, he so much better off than he had ever been before.
In the winter of 1995 I was volunteering at a place called JES Exotics animal sanctuary in southern Wisconsin. I would get off work at 11:30 at night and drive an hour and a half to get there. On this one fridged night, the roads where hard packed ice as I drove through the hilly back roads at q=a quarter to one. All was dark but for the strip of road ahead, normal people asleep in the farm houses you'd see on occasion. As I crested one hill, the world ahead of me was lit up with a dazzling array of lights... seems the county and electric company where doing some work on the lines and had 5 or 6 large, blocky trucks on the shoulders of the road. They had every kind of blinding flood light and flashing yellow light you can imagine. I was dazzled as I flew past them at 60 MPH, passing within inches of the unforgiving slabs of metal, I realized anything but a straight line would kill me. A bit too much to the left and I'd bounce like a beer can hit by a 45. A little to far to the right and I'd spin off into old growth trees and a stone wall. In an instant it was over, cresting the next hill I plunged back into the soft darkness of the next valley. Needless to say, my heart was racing like a rabbit, but I was ok.
I'm not sure that story had anything to do with my time at the mission... just what was next in my notes. Same with this next story.
The amazing beauty of earnest music.
There came a day after my Dads funeral that everyone else had headed home and it was just me and Mom alone. In the morning after we had eaten breakfast I told her she should have the TV or radio on as she hadn't been alone in quite a long time. I click on the TV and continue talking with her in the next room and saw the day everything changed. It was 9/11. We watched for hours, we had no where else to be. Finally I suggested we needed to pry ourselves away, go out to dinner to get our minds off the horribleness. We walked to a small Italian restaurant near by that had only three other people in it, the mood politely subdued. We order food and try to not talk about anything but, but do. A man walked in carrying an acoustic guitar, dressed very crisply in a comfortable suit. He walked to the corner of the restaurant to his spot and did what he loved as a job. When the rest of us where so caught up in the moment, he soothed our souls. He played near perfect, I turned more than a few times to see if it was live or a CD. Amazing clarity with none of the electronic static inherant to a second hand sound. Every once in a while a small slip would glitter on the crystal edges of the music, letting you know just how alive it, and we, still where. On such a dire day, that memory my Mom and I shared is precious to me.