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By:Julie Grinstead

Andy and I were waxing philosophical last night as we drove through the twilight on the way to contradance. This six-nearly-seven year old has a power over me--the power to make me laugh with tears rolling down my face, the power to amaze, to make me fish around for words to explain the almost unexplainable, or to explain the things that are so simple that I've never thought to put words to them.

And so it was as we delved into spiritual matters last night. We talked about how Elvis has been dead for twenty years now. Andy is fascinated with Elvis, and he says it seems like he died just yesterday. I asked him why and he said it is because he can still listen to his music anytime. We talked about the spirit, how the spirit is the part of us that doesn't die. Andy and I have many conversations about the spirit. We talked about the different things that people believe happen to their spirit when they die. Andy told me what he believes. Then this six year old boy told me that no one is right, no one really KNOWS. Or conversely, I said, everyone is right.

Artwork By Sarah Sammis I love his questioning. I see a spark in him that I fail to see in many people around me, adults and otherwise. Sometimes he is exasperating because he questions everything. He questions, whether I am stating facts or offering opinion. I sometimes have to go to great lengths to convince him of something. He has the spark that starts fires, this son of mine.

On the way home, still talking, we look to the skies. The moon is nearly full. The manface is big-eyed and open-mouthed. I tell him about the Sea of Tranquility. Andy asks how we can keep moving, yet we never drive past the moon, and I try to tell him how it works like that when things are very, very far away. He says he doesn't understand. I'll draw you a picture, I tell him. He says how can I draw a picture of how we can't go past the moon. These are difficult things.

We lost the moon for a bit, and Andy was ready to disprove all my theories about the moon and distance, then turned back east and there it was, hanging right over our house. This morning he reminds me, "Remember you are going to draw me a picture of the moon and why we can't go past it." So I have to go do that now.

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Julie Grinstead

Julie Grinstead has adventured high and low and come home to nest in Bloomington, Indiana, where she raises perennials and two boys, programs computers, hikes as much as possible, dabbles in grass roots environmental activism, and contradances every Wednesday. Through her writing, she examines those things which are painfully, joyfully, intimately personal, in hopes of finding something universal. She does not mince words or eat animals.

E-Mail Julie Grinstead

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Song & Story Articles

A Pocketful of Musings * Moon Dancers
Sins of the Daughter
The Wedding Dress * What is a Family
The Moon & Why We Can't Go Past It
The One-Eyed Seagull * Velocity

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