John Travolta’s Dance with Sorrow

Reflections on the death of his teenage son;
A New Year’s Dance-a-thon

John Travolta’s Dance with Sorrow
Reflections on the death of his teenage son

His Jett went down
and John gave up
all hope of finding
that life would ever be
the same as it once was.

This one
(who for three decades
has been defined
by a Saturday Night Fever)
now attempts to find comfort
from a Friday morning nightmare.

The dance beat
of a Brooklyn nightclub
is a distant
(and insignificant)
when contrasted to
the heartbreak
of a Bahamian bungalow.

No Bee Gees music in the background.
John Travolta’s slow dance with sorrow
has a soundtrack of silence.
Staying Alive ceased to be
a memorable melody
when it became
an unanswered prayer.

And so a grieving dad
calls out to a Father
who appears deaf.

A much-loved
special needs child is gone.
But hear his famous parent
(with special needs of his own)
vent his indescribable pain.

“God, if you only knew
what it is like
for your one and only son
to be robbed of life.
If only you could identify
with losing a part of yourself.
If only you could,
then maybe,
just maybe,
you could understand
the agony that consumes me.”

And the solitary figure
continues to turn and twist
in the shadows.

It’s a lonely dance
amid the shattered bits of light
that emanate
from a rotating mirror ball.

As if lost in a universe
of countless stars,
a middle age creature
listens for the Creator’s reply.

A New Year’s Dance-a-thon
Waltzing with the unknown

As we embrace this brand new year,
we’ll learn to dance with change
as God our Father takes the lead
with moves that may seem strange.
And still the music calls to mind
that change need not be feared
for He who knows what lies ahead
has promised to be near.

So let us waltz with gratitude
for all the Lord provides.
Our daily bread, employment too
and loved ones by our side.
Come join the new year’s dance-a-thon
with twists and turns and spins.
Let’s find our feet, kick up our heels
and leave the lead to Him.