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davids
01-10-2007, 08:21 PM
Passing On

Dedicate to Susie Q and Pat-two beautiful people who have brought great joy and serenity into this old Lobster’s life!


Ellie asked her Papa what was beautiful.
“Oh, it’s hard to say dear, sometimes it’s just the turning around in a dark place and seeing the smile of a stranger, something that you don’t expect and are happy and surprised to see!”
“Like when you’re scared, huh, or lonely?”
“Yes, that’s beautiful I think. I know the sunsets and sunrises and the deep blue of travel book seas, sure they are beautiful; after all Ellie, God made them up for us didn’t he, and so they have to be. Beautiful I mean!”
Ellie’s Papa sat and talked to his daughter. If you were to walk into the room where they were conversing, you would probably have to say something like, now that’s a beautiful scene. A Papa with his daughter sitting before a glowing fire, talking about the uncertainty of beauty, you’d have to think to yourself, no, that is no more, it can’t be. Not possible now. Maybe before, but certainly not now! If you stood and watched and listened maybe you could trick yourself into hearing what you really wanted to hear.
“Ellie dear heart,” Papa tickled his little girl under the chin, then ran his hairy adult loving hand up the outside of her cheek and nestled his fingers in the beauty of her clean, full child’s hair. He lightly scratched the top of her head.
“That feel good Ellie?”
“Oh yes Papa, it does! Don’t stop, okay? It feels really good, too good!” The Papa continued giving his little girl what she wanted.
“That’s kind a beautiful isn’t it? S’pose scratchin’ the head of somebody you love and making them feel really good and cared for, that’s beautiful, isn’t it sweetheart?”
“Oh yes Papa, it is, yes, this is really beautiful, ‘cause it feels so good, so really good!”
The little girl stared up into the face of her Papa. It glowed, ruddy against the flames of the fire. His eyes sparkled as though given a second chance to hold, to be forgiven, and to carry on forever the dreams of so many others. Ellie didn’t understand her Papa’s face, but she knew that it too was beautiful.
“Papa, why is your face so beautiful?”
Papa started, just a little bit, the question surprising him, pulling his thoughts away from his daughter and the crackling fire and their beauty.
“Is it Ellie? That’s awfully nice of you, sweetheart. I mean, that you find my face beautiful.”
“Oh Papa, I do, I do. You and Mama have the most beautiful faces I’ve ever seen, but why are they beautiful Papa, why?”
“Gosh Ellie, I never thought about that. I know that Mama’s face was beautiful, that’s for sure. You and Mama, so beautiful, but me, don’t know about me baby?”
“C’mon Papa, you have the most beautiful face I’ve ever seen. Why?”
“Well sweetheart, I s’pose it’s a question of the beholder, isn’t it?”
“What is the beholder, Papa?”
“You Ellie, you, beholder that means the person looking at and beholding.” The Papa chuckled lightly.
“I think it comes from an awfully old language Ellie. The word beholder I mean.”
“You think so Papa?”


The Papa held his sweetheart a little tighter, comfy-tight. That was also beautiful. He rested the underside of his face on the top of her beautiful hair.
That too was beautiful.

“First of all baby, in this ancient language of our forefathers I believe that be, that is the first part of the word beholder, meant to take the person or object to be scrutinized and---!”
Ellie pulled away from her Papa, just a little bit and looked up into his face.
“Scrutinized means to examine and to judge, sweetheart, it’s not part of the old language.”
“Okay Papa!” Ellie nestled back into the beauty of her Papa.
“Like I was saying, this word beholder comes from the ancient language. And be means to hold the person or object in your hands, hold it, feel it, and see it. That’s what the be part of the word means.”
“So does the Holder part of the word, Papa, does that mean the looker?” Ellie giggled, and tried to get even closer to her Papa.
“Well, yes, it kind a means that Ellie, but it means something even a little more!”
“What’s that Papa?”
“Ellie, in the old language of our fathers, the Holder was a special person a person picked out by God and blessed with the gift of Holden. The Holders, as they were called way back then, they didn’t ever ask themselves what was beautiful, they knew it ‘cause God had chosen them to know and not to have to ask the question.”
“I think it’s kind a sad Papa!”
“What baby?”
“That God didn’t give everybody the gift of Holden. Not very nice of him, was it?”
“It’s a good point that your makin’ there baby, but I don’t have the answer. No, I can’t answer for God sweetheart, just the way it was and back then nobody did much questioning, it was all just taken for a matter of fact that some could see the beauty and some not, but God, in his great wisdom had given some, but not all, the gift, and the some who were the Holders could at least describe the beauty to those who were not.”
“I don’t like that part Papa I don’t think that is beautiful at all!”
“Do you want me to stop telling the story of the Holders baby? I will if it hurts.”
“It doesn’t hurt Papa, but it is unfair!” Ellie stiffened under her Papa’s touch and it was less beautiful.
“Well Ellie, want me to go on?”
“I s’pose so,” the daughter shrumpfed together and shut here eyes tight.
“It’s not so bad, really, sweetheart. After all, you are a Holder!”
“Me Papa, I am a Holder?”
“Sure are baby, and one of the descendants, that means you’re a child of our ancestors, Ellie, old great grand relatives who were Holders, understand?”
“Yes Papa!” Ellie snuggled closer, back to where it was more beautiful.
“The Holders are the sweet people, the innocent and loving ones.”
“Papa, if I am a Holder, how come I have to ask you what is beautiful? Shouldn’t I know Papa? Shouldn’t I?”
“You do, sweetheart, you do, but the in between has confused you, has messed up your ability to be a Holder.”
“The in between, Papa?”
“Yes, the thousands of years since the first Holders passed by. It is like this Ellie, long long ago the Holders, as I said, were the folks who could automatically see beauty. They had a direct connection to God, and you and I know that God is beauty, that we know for sure, don’t we Ellie?”
“That’s what they tell us Papa.”
“Ellie baby, you know when folks talk about their blood kin, don’t you? You can remember Uncle Robards Langley talking about the fact that one never never lets blood kin down, is always there to help our family, our own blood? You remember Uncle Robards saying that?”
“Yes Papa, I do.”
“Then you know that families however great or small, share their blood with each other, right?”
“Yes Papa, I undertand.”
“Well, Ellie, you know then that there is good blood and bad blood and that it is in all of us. Over the thousands of years, the Holders, ‘cause they were closer to God then the others and more perfect, pitied the lesser ones and gave of their own blood so that everyone might see the beauty. Now that was beautiful, wasn’t it?”
“I’m not sure Papa!”
“Ellie, you are so beautiful and so smart. After the thousands of years, the blood did get a little thinned out, had too many of the non seeing folk mixed in with it. We are all a part of, all folks from the first mixing, that’s why you question and ask and are not sure of what is beautiful and what is not, it is cause of the thinning and the mixing, that is the reason and there is nothing we can do about it, I’m sorry!”
“Don’t be sorry Papa, we still got the good in us don’t we?”
“Yes Ellie, we do. That’s why we are still looking for the things that are staring us back in our faces and why we sometimes don’t recognize them.”
“So the folks who weren’t Holders, they were bad folks, Papa, so part of us is from bad folk?”
“No baby, some of us is from different folk, and that is the beauty of the whole thing!”
“You mean, Papa, that different is also beautiful? I don’t think I like that!”
“Not beautiful, Ellie, but it can be, like sometimes we are, and sometimes not. Think about when we do different things. What about when you hurt a friend or twist the tail of our cat, or swat a living insect to death. What about that?”
“That’s not different, Papa, that’s bad!”
“Do you like it sometimes when you do it, baby, just remember, does it make you feel good, just a little bit good? Does the feeling bad about it later, after you’ve done it, does that make you feel good?”
“No Papa, after, it just makes me feel bad!”
“All the time Ellie, all the time?” Papa leaned to his daughter and kissed her on the forehead.
“Most of the time Papa, but not all the time!”
“Bad, baby, but not different?”
“No, Papa, different is day and night, white and black, blue and red, that’s different Papa, but it isn’t bad! I do the bad things Papa, like twist Frieda’s tail, or when I say to Rebecca that I got a better doll then she has, just ‘cause hers is really better, that’s bad, Papa, but not different!”
“so you think about it all sometimes do you my love? Think about the times you feel bad and promise yourself not to ever ever do the bad things again? Do you think about that Ellie?”
“Yes Papa, I do, and it makes me scared, makes me feel bad inside! It’s not beautiful, Papa, is it?”
“Yes it is baby, yes it is. It is the part of you that is the Holder!” Ellie tightened her bear hug on her Papa.
“You gonna finish telling me the story Papa?”
“Do you remember when Billy got his new air-rifle for Christmas, do you remember that?”
“Yes, Papa, I remember.” Ellie sank into her Papa, the remembrance hurt.
“Do you remember the killing?”
“Do we have to talk about this Papa? I want to talk about the Holders and beautiful things, alright, please?”
“We are doing that honey, shall we stop? It’s up to you!” Ellie felt her Papa, felt his fingers stroke her hair, felt his beauty. Her Holder asked him to continue.
“You came to me with the Robin in your hand. You had picked the bird up off of the ground and it had fluttered its last death struggle in the palm of your hand, it bled and stained you, do you remember?”
“Yes!” Tears ran down her cheeks and her Papa’s checked, red cotton shirt blotted them up.
“I didn’t mean to, Papa, really you know I didn’t!”
“It’s alright sweetheart, it’s alright, but you did kill it, didn’t you?”
“Yes, I did!”
“Do you know why, baby, do you know why?”
“Cause of Billy, that bad boy, he did it, he made me. I didn’t want to Papa, I love birds, you know that, especially Robins!”
“But baby, he made you want his gun, didn’t he? He made you want to show him that you could and that you were with him and the same as he, right?”
“Yes Papa, I s’pose so!”
“What did you do then?”
“I took the rifle and killed the Robin!”
“Did you want to?”
“No, I didn’t!” Ellie sat up and stared into the fire. The child felt itself, hugged itself.
“Yes I did!” Once again she fell back into her Papa and wept into him. He reassured her, talked to her of her, stroked and loved her.


“Should the children of the Robin hate you?”
“I don’t want them to, no I don’t, but yes, they should!”
“Should they make you pay for the death of their mother?”
“Yes they should, they should, I did such a bad thing Papa, it wasn’t beautiful, no it wasn’t! I can’t be a Holder, no I can’t, I am too bad!” The Papa’s tears streamed down his face, they fell into his daughter’s hair and he held her tightly, as he would have held her mother.
“I love you, baby, but you know the children of the Robin are dead, that they could not live without their mother, that they could not feed themselves, could they?”
Ellie wretched in the agony of herself, in the self despising of a little girl who was trying to understand, who could not forgive herself.


“Should you be dead, my beautiful daughter, should you be dead?”
“It would be the only fair thing Papa, yes, the only fair thing!”
“Should I kill you then, fair daughter, should I?”
Ellie looked up to her Papa.
“Should you Papa, should you?”
“Would it make your mother happy, restore her to us, would it be beautiful?”
“I killed her Papa, I did it, I killed her. She was so beautiful, so beautiful!”

“Her love was her beauty, my daughter her love was that and nothing else. Do you want to kill that? Would it make her happy to see you now the way you are, punishing yourself for her?”
The Papa took the child up to himself. He held her straight out and looked into her eyes from one who loved unconditionally to one who had yet to learn.


Ellie and her mother had driven together in the rain, the automobile too heavy, too hard for Ellie’s mother to handle. When the dog had run in front of the car, Ellie had screamed and her mother had jerked the steering wheel to the side, sending the car skidding on the wet road into the drainage ditch. The Mother had removed her hands from the steering wheel, instinctively realizing that there was nothing else she could do. She had thrown herself over her daughter and saved her life. She was beautiful.


“Your mother is beautiful, Ellie. Do you want her to be sad? Do you want to hold her back, to make her love meaningless? Your Mother loves you she is the spark inside of you that makes you a Holder, that makes you closer to her, that allows you to live!”


The fire began to die down, light crackles popping up as the flames died. Beauty danced on the ceiling of the room. The Papa and the child slept together as one, held in each other, the essence of the Holders and beautiful.

Susie
01-10-2007, 10:14 PM
Beautiful story, Dave and thanks so much for the dedication. That is really appreciated! You write so well. It is a deep and moving piece. :Hug2:

Pat~
01-10-2007, 10:23 PM
Agape love. There is nothing more beautiful than this, and the grace which gives this spark to "holders". I am so humbled and touched that you would post this story for Susie and me, Dave. Thank you for this creative expression of the essence of true beauty. :Hug2:

davids
01-10-2007, 10:28 PM
My pleasure Pat-can't think of two more lovely lasses-other than the one the old Lobster is very happy to be married to-she has learned that love is putting up with an eccentric-thank God that he made her a patient soul!!!!

Kate Thornton
01-10-2007, 10:40 PM
What a beautiful story, Dave.

Pat~
01-10-2007, 10:45 PM
My pleasure Pat-can't think of two more lovely lasses-other than the one the old Lobster is very happy to be married to-she has learned that love is putting up with an eccentric-thank God that he made her a patient soul!!!!

And happy is the marriage that has this type of Love (agape) as its foundation. Hurrah for Mrs. Lobster ;-)!