5.6.09

Elegy

Police Lt. Gen. Worapong Chewprecha told reporters that Carradine was found with a rope tied around his genitals and another rope around his neck.  "The two ropes were tied together," he said. "It is unclear whether he committed suicide or not or he died of suffocation or heart failure."

Long before Bill, there was Caine.  He would shuffle into our den every Sunday evening in the days of my childhood about 5pm.  I would breathe in the Shaolin priest as long as I could and then leave to hear the Southern Baptist preacher, my father, conduct Sunday night services.  I never got to finish an episode of Kung Fu; always Caine-us-interruptus.  

When my father would open the Scofield and speak of the Savior, I'm not sure who or what others saw in their mind's eye.  But as for me and my house, in those days, Jesus had a visage like Carradine's complete with lips that gently dispensed wisdom and accentuated by hands and feet that could multiply fish and loaves or take out a room of Pharisee cowboys when necessary.  It was the 70s and there was still dew on my soul.

And so it was with sadness I heard the news of David Carradine's death.  The death of any man diminishes us; any clod washed away lessens our lives.  But some characters are coastlines of our imagination; their earthly performance definitive, their absence palpable.  

In many episodes, when Caine was asked what he would do, his soft response was "Work.  Wander.  Rest when I can."  My lord.

Rest in peace, my old friend.

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