goodbye good man
after a year in which so much bad stuff had gone down
that it still pains me a little to remember it
but having come out still breathing, still fighting, alive,
hardly able to believe that i was still somewhat whole,
i gave myself a present.
i flew to tennessee to see amy grant
who was touring the twentieth anniversary
of her album lead me on, which was special to me.
i have been meaning to write an article about the whole experience
for some time now
maybe pitch it to some of those magazines
that run personal-narrative articles
you know the kind of article i'm talking about
they begin in medias personal res
and then gently flesh out a few details
and toward they end they circle some greater truth
like a dog who's worried there's a trap somewhere near the food dish.
i wrote the intro to the article and tucked it away.
it was going to take a long time to process
how i'd felt seeing those songs played by the band that recorded them,
or most of that band. today i learned that will owsley,
who played on that record, is dead by his own hand.
mourn for his family, mourn for his friends,
mourn for the darkness so deep that a man can see no way out.
will owsley, you are gone and can't hear my voice.
i bear testimony that your music, while you were here,
made an enormous difference to lots of people.
i was one of them and i'll remember you.
who among us has not stood near the abyss that claimed you,
and heard in its roar some ghost of a liar's promise,
and wondered how hard it it would be to find out, at last?
let those few of us count themselves blessed indeed.
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