Lange and Ruess

Mr. Ruess,
My first cousin is Roy Satterfield.  I talked to him at a family funeral after the 4th of July.  I've never liked Roy. Before I left he handed me a post-it with your email address and said see if Ruess'll listen; he might not, but he might.  Roy called you a spoiled priest, but I don't know what that is.  But I've always trusted Roy.

My name is Lange.  Would you be willing to listen?


Your cousin Roy sent me a two-word condolence when my wife died: Shit. Roy.  I've since wondered how I might repay that singular kindness.  Based solely on that debt, I might consider listening.

Ruess is my first name, call me by that.  If you're looking for a guru, keep looking.  Better yet, stop looking.  And I can't help you with your mommy or daddy issues; my own hound me daily.  A genie gives three wishes.  I'm no genie, so you get two tries at explaining what it is needs listening to. After that I'll know whether or not I can make things worse.  Deal?


Strange, but yes, it's a deal.  Here is my first try.

Thirty years ago at a family reunion, my grandmother, Nora, spent the afternoon in a hammock.  Her feet always swelled when she sat in a chair.  She summoned me, the only grandson, to come and lay beside her.  I was ten and unafraid and I loved her, so I did.  She took my hand in hers and placed them on her chest.  My grandmother began to inhale deep and exhale long, deep and long, deep and long.  Then she moved our twinned hands to my chest. For the next few moments, I was breathing like her.


That's one.  You've got one more.

1 comment:

  1. To be mentored on being in the moment by a grandmother in a hammock ... There's fodder a spoiled priest can work with...

    How many grandmothers figure out that it's important to teach the kids to breath?