With apologies to Herman Melville, Call me Ivan.
When I retired last year, I did so with fears and misgivings that, I am told, often accompany a dramatic change in life.
I did, however, have hopes and dreams and the beginning of a plan to turn them into reality.
But new realities, all the more harsh because I could never have anticipated them, dashed those plans. Now I'm faced with grieving losses and accepting new realities.
I feel much like Ivan, the middle brother of Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. His hopes and dreams were smashed. The pain of plans gone badly awry resulted in a kind of depression:
To go on means kindling new hopes and dreaming new dreams. Given my grief, disappointment, and fear of the unknown, my self-confidence, not very strong to begin with, is shaky.
But I find hope in, of all things, my fireplace:
The fire is noisy tonight.
Deep inside the old, dry logs
Long-dormant sap explodes
Again and again
Sending embers crashing into the screen
And sparks careening up the chimney.
The boiling sap entertains me
But it makes me think.
I wonder, Lord,
After more than sixty four years,
Is there any dormant sap in me,
Waiting for a fire?
God, I hope I have a few explosions left.
But I won't,
Without your fire.
I take great comfort in the belief that the author and finisher of my faith also meets me in my hopes and dreams.
We meet. I learn. We move on.
(c) 2017 Larry Pizzi
50 years of photographs and 35 years of keeping a commonplace book.