About ten days ago I had a dream of my brother Lou. It was a strong dream, something I often think of as a “sending”. We (he and I) had/were doing something good together. When I left the deeper dreaming of the night, my first thought was to wonder if he had crossed over. I did not worry that … not all dreams say the whole story, but I suppose I expected that if he had died, I would hear about it, so the dream was shelved with a long list of other-dreams, October Dreams we could imagine … Lou introduced me to Ray Bradbury.
Children know fathers. Wives know husbands. Aunts and uncles and cousins – a tree of many fruits, still growing. Only brothers know brothers.
Lou liked fear games, and one time when he had me alone in the basement of the house 3004 on the way to East Bases, he was sitting on my chest, holding the threat of an awl in his hand, a sharp tool for making round holes in leather, … the wrestle overbalanced, something slipping and the awl penetrated at least an inch into my upper arm.
Scared us both … later in 1804 country he taught me chess, and when I was eleven and twelve I started to beat him, once in a great while his hand would be a hurricane rearranging chess pieces all over the rug (we laid on the carpet while we played)
In my teens he took me mountain climbing. I think he was happiest the years he got to work for the Forest Service, who liked his skill set: skier and mountain climber.
My older brother had an amazing friend, who deserves his own book: Howie Clark.
Lou taught me of the love of science, and of the costs of the pursuit of the truth. We lived together in northern California, at the foot of Mt. Shasta. Along with my second wife, and second son. We later lived in the woods of New Hampshire near Wilton, at different years working in the same local factory. When he was broke I’d give him five dollars, and drive him to State Liquor store for some vodka, which he sipped out of tea cup all day – self medication a fine and necessary art – who knows the state of their own consciousness best, but the one living it. I suspect Lou learned this trick from mother Dorothy. She was ours, us brothers three.
In NH we shared the first home computer. My capital, his curiosity, and Adam/Zarta Ivy’s being at one with the machine insights …
Brothers don’t talk to each other about wives and children, except in brief spurts of sympathetic noises. Guys talk #metoo all the time, just a different subject of can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Misery Loves Company.
Families and Children a strange school. Lou sent me a capsule of LSD the Christmas of my senior year in law school in Missoula. It came with two hand written pages of instructions for having “trip sitters”, who were not partaking, hanging around for … our Dad was still alive, we were taking acid, the summer of love was birthing itself, and Lou&Linda&Company were living in the San Francisco Bay Area.
A year later not so true … Dad gone, and brothers gather, safe in a special way in each others company. Somewhere in there the nicknames: Snoony, Loony, and Puny … affections are hard to express … we wanted to make a rock album together, snoony in Denver, puny in SF, and loony in Lou-isianan.
We were stunned to be part of a funeral where over 600 people came from all over America to honor dad, who had been one of the fallen in the year 1968, along with MLK, and RFK, and the Democrat Pary. We were sons, wished all many of well, destined to go back wherever, although for loony and puny Montana was always a stronger calling of the heart.
Lou’s words after our father died (loony was a sensitive soul in a cruel age – still/yet, landing in the bosom of family in the last of 82 years – that’s a successful life, we all survive … but not without pains):
***A second spring
within life’s matrix
alternatives branch, bud
The delicate lace of
fine new leaves against
a patched gray sky suggests
Many branches and growing points
Farther north and west
where winds exposed to
snow chill the
and winter’s death has not
A second spring will come
new buds flower
the soft rains warm
This promise lies implicit
In the earth’s course.
Somewhere within the matrix
as on earth
is always ending.
lou w wendt