Naked Banjo

I’m thinking about our core humanity. You know. That part that you are born with, lose, and spend your life finding again . . .
We have this story – this mythology in our house – that we call Naked Banjo.
It was not that long after I met my husband that he spent some time living in my home, while he was waiting to move into a new place of his own. I’m laughing as I reflect.  Men are known for sending a certain kind of selfie to women.  Mine sent me a … banjo pic.
I’m pretty sure he wasn’t naked.  More likely wandering my house in his underwear, hammer and clawing his favourite instrument just as the mood struck.  It was quite something to have that banjo around, and the wave of a man that came with it.
I’ve said before that I chose to love.  And as time passes I think about what that choice has brought.  I’m alone now; nothing but me and to reflect upon what is changing.  That naked banjo player is home, infusing the lessons learned from his body.
You die how you live.  But perhaps the discontent that I collected as it poured out, just needed to be left behind. The act of dying was the effort of shedding, by a soul that chased its core and is only now surely on route. Airborn.
I feel as if I am sandwiched. On one side is the choice to love and its unfolding.  The festering and the pain.   The balcony citronella sunsets and the rooftop homemade margaritas.
On the other side is the peaceful passage that says to keep going. Keep moving through discontent and the unknowing and the false expressions, the trips and rages. Because at some point you ride a(nother) wave.  Pick a banjo.  Choose to love back.
So here I am. Finding. Behind me is the imperfection of having cared for a dying man as he shed his too-tight skin.  And in front of me – airborne – is the gift of return. I curl into a  ball, squeezing faith into my arms so that they might stretch further.
“Ophelia. Where have you gone?” (The Band)

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