Today, the geese move in unflinching V-formations across the stark silver sky. Rain is passing over, words seem to be failing me. My plans for writing a revised fortune for my past, present, and future have gone awry in the way writing is sometimes known to do. I will simply say, instead...Friday night M. and Rosie went up to the neighborhood restaurant to bring home Chinese food. I had just seen the prompt for writing the story of personal "fortunes" and smiled at the possibilities. They bundled in the front door through the driving rain, scattering leaves in the entranceway and shaking off puddles from their shoes. We all sat down to eat together, candle lit, plates shared, voices rising and falling against the storms outside.
When the fortune cookies were laid out, we each took a turn. Petunia's spoke of truth in dealings...Boy-o's was about avoiding conflict and restoring peace...Rosie's was about the beauty of life in strange places. I opened mine, against its stale splintering protest--and the message was written just for me. It read:
There is no end. There is no beginning.
There is only the infinite passion of life.
MY BROTHER, Brian, squinting into the sunlight a month before he died...
September 7, 1968-September 3, 1988
He lived with passion, he lived with heart...for him, no beginning and no end. For me, no words but these today--and the strange fortunes and mournful calls of geese overhead, marking my sorrow with unexpected wisdom and broken song.