This comes from me, Philip Andrew Merrick to you. The people I love.
I don’t know if you know this but the only real joy I get from writing all these things down is the joy in knowing that already, more than ten thousand of you, in nearly country in the world are reading the stories that I love so much to learn from you.
For some reason I only seem able to write about what I actually see and hear and remember and what I have lived and what I know. All of that comes from you.
Now if you’ll just be patient a while I slow down and help who ever I can. I think I might have a good plan for the book some of you have told me I should write. All I need to do is be among you now, quietly listening and watching you and then telling the rest of us about what I have learned from you.
I’ll check in a lot to let you know I’m still here, waiting to meet you and to hear your story so I can tell it to everyone I know.
In the meantime, I’m going to spend a little while reading every story I have told you since you told me I was a good writer. I hope you will too. I never knew whether that was true until now. Now that I see how many people I can at least entertain, if nothing else, I know that much of it is true. Now let’s wait and see what I can do with it. It might be a book. It might just be more little stories with more circulation. I will enjoy traveling slowly and waiting, watching watching for you and listening to you.
Those of you who helped the most are the quiet young men and the sincere young women, the most aware young people I have met. The ones who ignored my fancy clothes and the frightened and lost look in my eyes and believed what I was trying so hard to say. You are the ones who made sure I didn’t go ahead and die in that old bell tower you told me would be the safest place for me to hide from them.
You may remember me, the old man you tried so hard to protect while you watched all the well intentioned, kind and honest people who treated what they looked at and not what they saw. They saw a crazy old homeless man. You saw another lost soul that they couldn’t only hear but you heard what I was saying and you believed me.You watchers that I called the Hawks, those of you strong brave people. You Watchers on your bikes and your skateboards, swooping silently in and out of all the huddled little groups of all the lost people, wherever they may be.
You gave me a secret name so none of you would lose me like the few living members of my own once large and caring and loving birth family did. Only because I wandered off and they couldn’t find me. I didn’t need to look for you. You found me.
You told me where I would always be safe if I sat still and quiet and waited for you. You promised me you would watch out for me and you always did. I don’t remember your names or if I ever even knew them but I promised you I would never forget your eyes or your smiles and I never did and I remember you still and I will always recognize you wherever I go, for I know you will always be there and that you will always find me if I just sit still. If I keep watching and waiting. I will listen and you will call me by the name you gave me and you will say what you mean and you will mean what you say.
Every one of you. I will always know you and any place in the world where I find myself, I will find you, the members of my new family, my real tribe.
Now I think of You in terms of Us. You are my tribe now, I call us the Tribe of Us. Now I can tell you who I really am.
I am Storyteller. You gave me that name and with that name, you saved my life, all of you.
Now we are Us.
Now you know that I am that guy that many people thought died long ago and they call me Spike. I like that name, it’s easy to say and easy to remember. Any time you hear of Spike being back in town and I hear a clear voice and see clear eyes look at me and address me by the name of Storyteller, I will know who you are and I will trust you and I will help with what is needed. That is all I can really do for you now, but now you see what happens if you just stay honest think about what you say, say what you mean, and mean what you say.
Now I live a beautiful life again and I share the beauty of the earth and the people around me with everyone I meet who looks into my eyes and sees me smiling back and they can see the love you restored in my heart.
That is the message from Storyteller to you, the Hawks, the Watchers of the Tribe of Us.