Saturday, September 22, 2018

Surrendering Talents

by Shane Joseph (writer), Cobourg and Toronto, November 22, 2012

There comes a time to return the gifts we have been given. They were never ours, just leased to us to develop our species. The question will always be, "What did we do with them?"

I had a dream. An old man was dropping objects from a bag into a lake. I seemed to be able to read his mind. The first items to go in the water were a cricket bat and a ball; they eddied and floated away. “Goodbye little friends, and thank you for the joy you once gave me. My limbs are too stiff for you now.” A theatrical mask followed. I recognized it from when I played El Gallo in amateur theatre, years ago during my youth. “And my voice cannot hold that tenor anymore,” the old man said. “But it was a happy time. Thank you.”

I walked closer and there was an odd familiarity to this old man, I had seen him somewhere. He took out a guitar and set it adrift in the water. “And this can go along too. My fingers cannot reach the chords fast enough anymore – arthritis.” It was a good Catania, one I had played often but never owned, and therefore, always desired.

A tear rolled down his cheek as he took out a well-thumbed notebook. He flipped the pages, smiling at some lines, getting angry over others, looking proudly at the horizon from time to time. “You are hard to give up,” he said hesitantly. “You are all my thoughts, desires, and machinations. You are the messages that came to me from across the water, in the middle of the night, which I recorded; the seeds of the novels and stories I wrote for many years. Until you stopped coming.”

He rose and paced, slowly at first, reaching a furious march, to and fro, scratching his head, gesticulating, pleading with some unseen entity, reluctant to let go of the book. Finally, as if embraced by an invisible but caring hand, he calmed down and turned towards the horizon once again. “What is in here does not belong to me; it was placed in my custody and stewardship, as lessons for others – my readers. And that I have accomplished. Now, like me, it must return to its source.” He set the book floating out into the middle of the lake, where it weaved and bobbed among his other talents. As he removed his clothing and prepared to enter the water, I rushed over, determined to rescue the man, yet knowing I was going to be too late. Who was I to save him? I caught a glimpse of his face as he slipped into the inviting lake. I finally recognized the old man.

About the Writer

Shane Joseph is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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4 comments on Surrendering Talents

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By melanie jean juneau on November 22, 2012 at 07:24 pm

a powerful, wonderfully crafted parable

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By Shane Joseph on November 22, 2012 at 08:40 pm

thank you mo9. i hope my "surrendering" is still a ways yet. lots of stories to write in between. if you are on wattpad ( i am posting my previously published short stories there this month and next , just in case the "surrendering" call comes unexpectedly. all the best!

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By melanie jean juneau on November 22, 2012 at 09:30 pm

I learn something everyday- today it is -let's see if I can get on!

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By Fryda88 on August 07, 2014 at 10:42 pm

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