For Piano, Solo Cello, Strings, and Woodwind.
· no letter sent, nor scent received ·
For those alone who find themselves surrounded by life, yet unable, unfortunate, or unwilling to welcome its company.
. . .
This man has no family, no close friends.
He lives by himself for many years, a stone's throw from the edge of high wind and northern sea.
I come to know him through my work. After I leave we keep in faint sporadic contact.
He is a tall man, a big man whose later life is full with illness and discomfort.
A man absorbed by detail and knowledge. A proud man.
A man unaccompanied in the world, without a soul to care for, without someone who cares for him.
This man falls silent.
As he has lived, he dies, alone.
He leaves no sign of who could be told of his release. No letter, sent or received. No photo on the wall. Not of someone loved, someone lost, or someone hoped for years ago. No poem in a dusty draw. A man without close friend, who sought and found, anonymity.
His life was more than anyone knew, and now he is no more.
What sound remains of he and those alike? What memory persists?
He was a profoundly private man. Perhaps he preferred to live his last days alone in the comfort of his home, rather than in a hospital bed surrounded by the gaze of strangers. I will never know. I know only of myself, and so I ponder on his final hours of life in light of wish for mine.
I for one would like to share my passing time with those I love before my journey into the unknown. With every person, sight, and sound, that I have loved throughout my life, and those I love today, for then, at that very moment, I would be in paradise.
For me, the love of others, of nature, art, music, and word, is as treasured as the air I breathe. When any one of these recedes I feel their loss.
I think back to the man I knew who passed away. Although I may falsely project my distress of isolation, most value the company and care of others.
For those alone who find themselves surrounded by life, yet unable, unfortunate, or unwilling to welcome its company, I mark their passing with sound and light so they do not fall forever from our view.