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Lions Roar : November 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2011 34 Failure IstheNameofa Song Alternative rock bands belt out songs about it, great poets honor it, and all of us have smacked headlong into it. Sit with failure long enough, says ELLEN GRAF, and it always transforms. MY FATHER’S BEST FRIEND was Gilbert the carpenter, whose right hand often had a hammer-purpled thumbnail and whose broad mouth was always almost laughing. One summer when I was a little girl Gilbert made a St. Francis bird feeder out of a hickory tree that had grown in a gentle curve. The seven-foot statue leaned slightly forward with its branch arms outstretched and was fitted with wide- open hands, palms up, for offerings of seed and suet. Its creased face looked kind of like Gilbert’s and its feet were PHOTOS BY BRETT WESTON