I planted you at the edge of my patio, where the terra cotta meets mother earth.
I took a hasty breath and dug until baby blisters spread across my hands.
I filled up on sunshine and let moisture spill from my eyes. Burnt cheeks ran with salty and honorable tears, for you.
I fastened you into ground, mixing drought-ridden dirt with youthful compost.
I pushed a treasure from an ex into your roots, a raw piece of turquoise that squeezed into the little space that was left in the ground. The old with the new. I buried a small piece of the past, a piece I guess you could say broke off.
I scooped up two tangled worms and tossed them onto more abundant earth, where stands of grass dare grow out of the barren terrain on the cliffs in the Santa Monica Mountains.
I sweat out all of the self-doubt, yours and mine, as I dug deeper.
I planted you alongside the Pacific Ocean, so you have a view.
I made sure you could handle the dry and dusty Santa Ana winds in the summer.
You are not needy, you thrive on little, yet you produce life, oil, olives and you have a fearless tenacity to persist.
You are tall in pride and extend outwards like a giving hand you might encounter on holy grounds.
I buried you in old dirt on an aged property that has dealt with fire and flood.
While Sinatra bellows in the background, your branches brush my arms as I lower you down into her earth. I know you are happy to be back home, you always loved this earth. Your leaves bend to grace the ground.
I buried you next to a huddle of butterflies, near a gecko’s playpen and a beautiful home that was built to last.
You are on the edge of my infrastructure where I dance, practice yoga, naked write and morning stretch. Where your family has gathered one after the other to seek solace, beauty and reprieve.
I watered you until a moat formed. You sat in a puddle for about an hour.
I kicked off my dirty sandals and sat in the dry heat, waiting for you to absorb the nectar so I could sit next right next to you.
I buried you wearing your worn leather gloves. I let all the stuff leave my brain and I let the process take me away.
Thank you, thank you, thank you…
For allowing me to give you life the only way I know how to.
I hope you thrive.
I love you wildly.
I miss you Joe. I miss you for the sake of my mother, I miss you from my own indulgent love.
You are buried with your mother earth, the one that gives you new life under her icy skin in the Rocky Mountains and in the flesh of the fish you loved to study.
You were a dreamer, a doer, a saint and a mild sinner.
You are the veins in this family, the fuel, the energy. You brought a collective together and daughters to remember.
The walls were let down because you are bigger than pain, you are all around in the most visceral of ways.
You are buried today, on the edge of a cliff, near the projects of my passion and the secrets of my dreams. You are rooted in my future, all of our pasts and within every olive branch, the honest laughter and expressive pain.
You were buried today,
the most humble release of a man in new form,
my dear Grampy Joe.