On days like that, it was not uncommon to find Allister staring fixedly at a gutter streaming melted snow water from the edge of a roof, tears running down his face. It was also not uncommon for Allister to be unable to explain why he was crying, his tear ducts reacting to something in between the subtle sadnesses of the loss of snow and the subtle happinesses of the coming spring. And this theory comes only as an outsider's observation and analysis. For, it was just as likely that the tears came first for no apparent reason, that embarrassment had filled his eyes after the initial mystery tears dropped so suddenly. That frustration over the inability to control his emotions pushed the tears over the sides of his lower lids to stream down his cheeks. And that he, then, jerked his head up to make gravity work for him and send the streams to flow back into his tear ducts and that this just so accidentally brought him to look at the gutter's streaming flow.
But, to muse for more than a paragraph on the cause of his tears in times as those is a most sincere waste. For, what is known is that Allister felt hollow. Felt disattached. And to state that takes merely a sentence or two. And in some cases, one and a half sentences.
When Allister found himself able to pull away from the gutter, he would walk home and sit in his study. Indeed, in times like these Allister found sanctuary in his study. Oftentimes, he believed himself more bookshelf than man. He would set pen to paper and follow. It was easy in times of hardship to lose yourself inside of yourself, to withdraw, to follow the lines that looped and swirled, to hold the pen and let it drip ink that surely came from a pulmonary well-the pen conducting just as much as the tiny twitches in the hand and wrist that led the pen to swirl and tumble along.
And Allister would get lost in a paragraph, a sentence, a word. He would slide down the slopes of an s and cradle himself in the lower curvature of the e. And what he had written seemed like nonsense at times. But, when verbal tactics could not explain the loss, the disattachment, it was calming to see them drip, even if nonsensical, from a pen.
And it was easy. It was necessary-to be lost. How else could you be found? The tide must recede in order to flow back. And so on and so forth. And though it is necessary and though one must find a calmness in this to regain the strength, one must be certain not to get lost in the uncertainty. One must not remain disattached. We must not get lost in our thought. For this, too, was easy to do. To sleep in the curvature of the e alone in your study.
But, we must wake, as Allister did. We must whisper something (however nonsensical) to the wind so that it will know we are here, that we are ready to wake. And we must believe that it will catch the understanding of another-that in the very least it will shake the branches of some tree or prick up the alert ears of some hibernating rabbit. For, we all hibernate a bit from time to time. And knowing that, we must whisper ever so gently until we have regained our full voice. It is as much to awaken our own spirit as it is to awaken the silent spirits of our friends.