Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Tell-Tale Heart

Julia Cameron writes in her book, The Artist's Way, all about the meaning of synchronicity. She quotes Ovid, "Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish."

Since beginning an Artist's Way group three weeks ago, my eyes have been wide open to the possibilities that the Universe works in powerful ways.

Two nights ago, I struggled with a connection to my Dad. I wanted his advice, his guidance, his unfaltering love. Yesterday afternoon, Will came running in from school. "I have to read this story called The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe. Have you heard of it?"

I ran to the closet where I keep all my old albums and pulled out my absolute favorite one. It is the telling of The Tell Tale Heart by my Dad over forty years ago. Recently, a dear friend, who was working on a documentary on Dad gave me a digital recording of this wonderful record. I told Will to listen to it. I sat in the living room as Will lay alone on his bed in his darkened room listening to the tale (it is much scarier if you listen to it alone in the dark). I remember so vividly the day Dad came home from recording this album. He was completely hoarse, and couldn't talk for the entire night. He left all he had at the recording studio that day. And to Will's delight it all ended up in the grooves of the old LP.

Will was the most excited I think I have ever seen him. He was blown away by my Dad's talents as an actor, telling one of the greatest gothic tales ever told. He decided to sleep in his clothes last night so he would be ready for school earlier than usual. He couldn't wait to share this with his English teacher whom he adores. He couldn't fall asleep. I don't know if it was the intensity of the experience or the sheer joy of getting to know a Grandfather who died way before he was born, but he felt utterly connected to him.

I want to cry right now thinking about his excitement.

"What would Grandpa think if he knew I was listening to his rendition of The Tell Tale Heart?" he asked.

"Quite honestly," I told him, "He wouldn't allow you to bring the record to class tomorrow," I told a puzzled looking Will. "He would have marched himself into your classroom and preformed the entire piece to your class personally."

Will's smile widened. I could see him imaging his colorful Grandpa coming to his class and scaring the wits out of his friends.

The morning came and Will jumped out of bed with vigor. He stopped on the way to school because he saw a seal playing in the water next to him. Will was racing to school to show off his The Tell-Tale Heart but stopped to watch a beautiful seal play by the shore on the bike path next to our house.

Now, you tell me, is this all a coincidence? And what was that seal doing playing near Will this morning? My Dad most definitely had a part in the synchronicity of life.


  1. Two great stories -- The Tell Tale Heart and the connection to your Dad. Honestly, I don't think we know enough about the after life to NOT believe that there is something to this.
    If I remember correctly, you can hear the heart beating throughout the story, right? As creepy as that was (as it was intended), how quickly it can turn around. Perhaps you "heard" your dad's heart when you needed it most. It gives me the chills -- but the good kind! Keep writing Terry!!

  2. I love these two stories together. I read the Tell Tale Heart first. Now there's real ghost story-- if you read this one first and then the cigar one! Yikes!