The boy with the bent neck and a dog whose tail wouldn’t wag. — II

Without hesitation, the man who we will call Larry, took the woman’s advice. Two days and two nights into Larry’s journey, he reached a small monastery with walls of reddish sandstone that blended into the mountainside. Surrounding the buildings were gardens filled with lush vegetation, donkeys, rabbits, dogs, cows, and several men dressed in brown robes with sandals strapped to their feet.

Under a large tree sat Father Ramero, a lean man built like a long-distance runner with a freshly shaved head. He was in deep thought as his mind visited another time and place.

As Larry moved forward, Father Ramero opened his eyes and a slight smile quickly grew on his face. “Welcome, Larry. I’ve been expecting you. Come, sit , and tell me of your path.”

Larry told Father Ramero about the sadness in his life and about a childhood squandered away by physical and sexual abuse. “Let us sit together and find the source of your pain,” Father Ramero said. “Meditate and let the secrets of your life come forward.” They sat for two-hours without speaking. Larry opened his eyes. He felt sadness but didn’t know why. He looked at Father Ramero and was shocked to see teardrops running down his face. The front of his robe was wet. Clearly upset by his experience, Father Ramero spoke. “I saw the boy with the bent neck and a dog whose tail wouldn’t wag. Larry, your child is in a great deal of pain. You have neglected his needs. Sit with your child, learn to know him, learn to love him. You’re welcome to stay with us while you begin your journey.”

Except for the brief moments needed to eat bread, fruit, and drink some water, Larry spent all his waking time sitting or walking in meditation while his energy was focused on the child within. Silence was only interrupted by the occasional words of encouragement from Father Ramero.

Published by llfranklin12

Larry L Franklin holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University. He performed in the U.S. Navy Band located in Washington, D.C. from 1967 to 1971. From 1972 to 1975, he taught music at Southern Illinois University. In 1976, he completed requirements for a certified financial planner designation and maintained a successful investment business until 2007 when he retired to devote his energies to writing. In 2003, he received an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. Franklin is the author of “Mnemosyne: A Love Affair with Memory,” published by Xlibris; “The Rita Nitz Story: A Life without Parole,” published by Southern Illinois University Press; “Cherry Blossoms & Barron Plains: A woman’s journey from mental illness to a prison cell,” published by Chipmunka Publishing Company; and “Supermax Prison: Controlling the most dangerous criminals,” published by History Publishing Company. He currently resides in southern Illinois with his wife, Paula.

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