Chapter Nine

I always knew that one day I would take this road. But yesterday I did not know today would be the day.

-Nagarjuna-

Tears welled up in Clare’s eyes and flowed down her cheeks. She looked at me with amazement and relief. It was a look of knowing and friendship even though we’d just met. I felt my heart stir with some unknown emotion and sat silently in a compassionate presence waiting for her answer. She seemed to be lost in thought.

“Angelina Fischer? She’s not here at the moment. This is her daughter Clare. I can take the call for her.”

“This is Captain John Garner with the United States Coast Guard, Marquette Station. We had a Mayday call from a William Fischer and his crew of four on Mystic Travelers, a sailing vessel in passage from Copper Harbor to Thunder Bay. Do you know William Fischer?”

“Yes, he’s my father. Is he all right?”

“It doesn’t look good. We dispatched a helicopter and had a brief sighting but lost them. We’ve had no further contact and there’s a squall out there with forty foot waves. I’m sorry but we fear the worst. I’d gather the family if I were you Miss Fischer. I’m sorry. I’ll get back to you when we have more information.”

The phone went dead and Clare stood motionless in her mother’s living room. Her dad and his crew were all such competent and careful professionals, yet Lake Superior had her history of swallowing even the best and brightest of them. Her body went numb, but somehow she was able to hit the flash button on the phone to call her mom in Marquette and her brother in California, leaving messages to call her cell phone immediately. She then went to her grandmother’s suite to relay the news and broke down with all the rage and sorrow of a Lake Superior squall.

She pulled a handkerchief from her sleeve, wiped her tears, gently blew her nose, folded her hands on her lap, took a deep breath, and made eye contact. My heart stirred with an unknown emotion as I sat silently waiting for her answer.

“Yes,” she answered, “he died in a storm on Lake Superior with his crew yesterday. You knew him didn’t you?”

My excitement was immediately doused by the shock of her answer. Her revelation evoked an immediate and deep emotional response from me. I felt my eyes well up with tears and little rivulets streamed down my cheeks.

Clearing my throat and wiping my eyes with the sleeve of my shirt I finally answered, “Yes, I knew him when we were young men back in the seventies. I didn’t know of his death, Clare. He was an inspiration to me. His influence led me to places I wouldn’t have gone on my own.”

She nodded, still visibly troubled. “Many people have said that about him. He and I were so close and shared so much.” She quieted as tears welled up again. She reused her handkerchief, regained her composure, and continued. “I know that life and death are integral to one another and that he’s moved on to new places but I just miss him being here with us.” Clare leaned back in her chair and stared out into the darkness beyond the cabin, looking exhausted.

We sat there listening to the silence between us, the sounds of the night, and the logs crackling in the stove. I regained my composure as I ran my hand across my forehead and down my face. I leaned forward, folded my hands and rested both arms on my legs. “The last communique I had with your dad was a little over a week ago. Our conversation had me wondering what kind of work he was doing beyond his brief descriptions and inquiries. He was a scientist and artist dedicated to the expansion of human consciousness and repeatedly pushed the envelope in his work. He told me of some private research that concerned scalar electromagnetic energy, transportation systems, and weather control. He asked a few questions about the social and psychological implications of a world without war and thinking back on it now, I sense he was asking something more of me than I knew at the time. Unfortunately I didn’t pay much attention, and answered superficially.

“Clare, do you remember the last conversation you had with your dad?”

She sat very still in a meditative posture for a few minutes while I waited attentively. Her breathing deepened. She relaxed her eyes, now clear, and softly focused on the window of the wood burning stove as she recalled the conversation.

“We were walking in the woods out along the south end of the lake. There’s a lone cabin over there that Dad used as his hermitage when he wanted solitude and deeper silence. We stopped, sat in silence on the porch for a while. During our walk we hadn’t talked much. He asked about my doctoral thesis, my involvement with the outside world, relationships with Mom, Atom, and Gram, typical stuff.” She looked up at me as she continued.

“I asked him about his life and work and much to my surprise he was vague. He would usually take off on some tangent he was following, ask for some advice from me on a piece of the puzzle, be quite animated and excited about a new discovery he’d made or a possibility he was pursuing; but that day, the day before he left on the trip to Thunder Bay, he was different. He seemed pensive, talking about all we had been able to accomplish here at Sunnyview. He spoke of the great love he had for Mom, Gram, Atom, and me and the global transformation that had to happen in the twenty-first century. He seemed to be lost in a wonderland of possibilities and yet there was something else, something he was pondering that he couldn’t speak directly to.”

She paused, gazing into her reflection. The fire in the stove was dancing with popping and snapping sounds. The atmosphere was soaked with remembrance, nostalgia, and hope. I sensed a presence in the moment. This room, this fire, an old friend’s daughter, a death, and a new life was all coming together in me. Was I waking up to a destiny that had been far off and yet very near? I listened more attentively.

“He wanted to say something to me.” Clare’s eyebrows were drawn together in concentration. “He wanted to tell me something of great significance and importance. Maybe he couldn’t because it would have compromised me, put me in harm’s way. That’s what I’m picking up. Yes, there it is, he knew something, a message that slipped right past me until now. He conveyed an uncertainty that I rarely saw in him, as if he was entering something that was unfamiliar, untested, unproven, risky, and dangerous. The conversation ended in a sea of speculation, hopes, and dreams. We walked back to the compound and just as we parted he turned to me, looking deep into my soul with a profound intention. I can’t believe I forgot about it until now. He said Clare, remember to remember. The facts are always pointing to facts beyond the facts. An old friend of mine will come to your assistance. You’ll know him when he shows up. Remember to remember. Things are not always as they appear to be. You, your mother, your brother and Gram are safe. Love is the healing. He kissed me on the forehead, we smiled, hugged, and I haven’t seen him since.

“Michael, you’re that friend. You’re the one he sent to help! Who are you and what do you know?”

Chapter Ten 

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by Rick on September 26, 2011 ·

Lisa Kellogg

I enjoyed connecting the prologue to the story line in chapters 7-9 and I’m looking forward to finding out how Michael will be carrying on Will’s work. How will this journey continue? A personal connection in these chapters is the quote, “My life is 2/3 over and I’m still finding my path.”

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Rick

I remember reading somewhere that the path is created by walking it. The longer I live in this realm, the more I’m coming to discover the truth of this wisdom. Each step can be another moment of awakening. Hmm, I wonder ………

F. W. Rick

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Doshin

Enjoying the mystery and creative fire.
Each breath is a birth and a death
Each new word brings infinite possibilities
The only way out is through and once
We make it through we see the new beginning

Much love and appreciation,
Doshin

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