Unravelling and weaving, sometimes simultaneously

Requiem (for Mani)

Just imagine this in the voice of Garrison Keillor doing The Writer’s Almanac.

It’s the birthday of Manuel J. Abreu, French-Portuguese native of Lowell, Massachusetts, who said his life was transformed by a near-death experience during surgery in 1984 and spent the following 24 years exploring the realms of spirituality and healing, becoming a Massage Therapist, Hypnotherapist, Tau Chi Chu’an instructor, Chi Lel Qi Gong Practitioner, Reiki Master Teacher, an intuitive healer and seeker, nature photographer, armchair philosopher and sometime guitar and harmonica player. He belonged to a large and loving family, was a Staff Sergeant in the Marines during the Vietnam Conflict and was married three times, having with the first wife a daughter, the second a son, and the third a decade of partnership and adventure. For many years he made his living with computers, from punch cards to software, and was able to bridge that left-right brain gap without problem. He was high strung, slender, smoked like a freight train, often drank, and once in a while indulged in a left-handed cigarette. He was funny, loving, loyal and kind. He didn’t know a stranger. He had three dragon tattoos, a Yin Yang and a monkey with a Marine cap sticking out his tongue. He was simultaneously full of awe and irreverence at all times. There won’t be another White Wing Owl like Mani, so seven years ago, when his body wore out, the Universe put him on retainer and he left on a spiritual sabbatical with the stars. He left behind a lot of people who still think of him often, love him always, and talk with him when they can.

And here is a poem, by his third wife, Caroline, who married him on the beach in Plum Island and later scattered some of his ashes in the surf there, both times surrounded by his family. It is entitled “February, 1997”.

The first time
I lay down with you
and knew you
after having known you
for several years,
we were in your attic bedroom
overlooking the Merrimac River,
and the moon was full,
which was your excuse
for having me in there
peering out the window
after a long cross-country drive
from my southern home
to yours in New England.

We had talked,
and snarled,
and found our corners
in an attempt
to locate the boundaries
of our territories
before you seduced me
with the slight lisp
and broad accent
of a true bullshit artist
into thinking
the whole thing was romantic,
and somehow ended up
with my skirt flipped up
and your pants around your ankles.

If I hadn’t been in love before,
it was listening to your
incessant narration,
occasionally degenerating
into a philosophical rant,
that made me certain
I would never
know anyone
quite the same way again,
so I had no choice
but to love you,
and to hang on tight
as we both cried,
in the afterglow.

(c) RCGA 2015


Comments on: "Requiem (for Mani)" (2)

  1. Greatly enjoyed. Your suggestion of Garrison Keillor and The Writer’s Almanac is excellent. Coincidentally, Prairie Home Companion was playing in the background as I read this, giving it a voice I might not have otherwise imagined.

    Liked by 1 person

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