Thursday, April 25, 2013
They were there in the sand for miles, across lands that would later be states and then called by proper names. But for now, it was just land. Wide open land that crossed pine laden forests thick with owls and foxes and all the creatures that come with such dark mysterious places.
I would cross myself out of habit, never for one moment believing help would be heaven sent- and after a pause, I entered the darkness of those trees, spooked as much by the unfamiliar sounds as by the lack of light. My horse would move, sensing my hesitation, feeling the same shift in perception as shadows and the wild creatures of bedtime stories appeared before us dancing.
Still now I wonder if it was the place where monsters and fairies and wizards were made, there in the darkness of sweet smelling pine. Was it there? Or was it the light- was it me?
Let me pause as I laugh and reflect, reading the words I have written thus far. Such a mind I have, always trying to land on the truth when there is none.
It was the darkness and the shapes created by light. It was I, the man upon the horse following the footsteps who saw them.
And they were there, as real as shadows and perceptions. They played on the thick tree trunks of those mountain pines. I, who lost all bearing as the light vanished.
Where I had been, where I was going, those thoughts left without a trace of memory, not a single remnant stuck to my boot. Every rock and bough, every creature with flittering wings was intertwined with my story, and I with theirs. Here to help or thwart my journey, I could not tell.
So we moved forward cautiously, tasting lightly the treats brought forward by the mountain creatures. The footsteps brought me to those mountains covered in pines and creatures with red and white spotted eyes and to the dwarf women with hair that trailed behind them like fine golden cloth and furry animals covered in stripes and the gold of kings.
The footsteps that had brought me thus far, those footsteps that had crossed the sand covered deserts and stone-fortified towns of the south, the places beyond common language and religion where I had been a foreigner, sometimes god and sometimes devil depending on the most recent tales spun around campfires in the night; those footsteps which I followed had left my mind as well, not just the ground.
Sitting here now I wonder if I had ever seen them, had they ever truly been sunk into the mud or sand or was it just me again, looking for what I wanted, seeing what I needed?
And again I laugh, perhaps all those things wrapped up in the leather armor of the young man on that land. That grand land shaped and etched in patterns as varied as the clouds.
Monday, April 8, 2013
Nothing inside, nothing outside. The construction continues.
There is really only one space that we occupy, it is our relationship to the flow of energy through ourselves and the space which gives the space shape. The form comes from within, from a certain nothingness that hides itself in endless dancing.
A night not too long ago. She was awoken from the silent sweetest of dreams. It was precisely when the first bomb struck the earth, only a block from her house.
She lies now on a hospital bed with her arm nearly severed. Her nervous system recurrently informs her that something has gone drastically wrong. Somewhere, something has gone wrong. It is difficult to place it, difficult to ascertain the nature of the problem. But it's there. Palpable, close.
On the corner of the hospital complex a re-construction project is underway. If she lifts her head up onto the pillows, she can see it from her window.
A flimsy chain link fence surrounds the dusty site, the worn woven metal providing little more than a psychological barrier between the hospital and this budding new project.
She can not recall the details of that night. A night not too long ago. Certainly no details of the day after. No details there. Only dust and clouds and a kind of nothingness full of expectation.
But she remembers waking in the middle of the night. She remembers smiling, she remembers the feeling of lightness and air. Something rising, something expanding and seeking freedom.
As she was pulled into waking consciousness by sirens and the sound of splintering metal, she felt the softness drain from her mind. Some things can only be felt at certain times, some times are more rare than others. The smile was gone before she knew where it came from.
There is a big gap in the fence, making it easy for the workers to enter and exit. If she lifts her head up onto the pillows, she can see it from her window.
The enclosed area is large, big enough to contain the planned 5000 square foot clinic that will sit here in the near future.
She watches them from her window every day, hour after hour. They provide a kind of solace that she can't find elsewhere, not in the words of the doctors, not in the voice of her relatives through the phone, not in flowers, not in light.
The boy no longer cries. She may feel despair, fear, anger, or more likely a sensation that escapes definition but is nonetheless extremely unpleasant. Her eyes are certainly wide open, watching the strange movements outside. The construction continues.
The ground is made of dirt and the 12 inch boot imprints of construction workers poke the dusty surface. A small handful of construction workers are present, all looking identical in their uniform of blue jeans, white sweatshirts, tan boots and white hardhats.
The crucifix hanging over the bed seems awful, like a foreshadowing of impending punishment. Sacrifice, death, pain, sudden change, sacrifice, punishment, pain, change. The entire mood is sinister.
Before her brain could catch up to her movements, she was already running for her son. The loud echoes of the bomb were still in her ears. There was nothing to do but run, run for him.
A bomb, so close, too close.
After gathering the crying infant in her arms, she ran once again for her husband. She asked what was happening.
"It's them..." was his only reply, and then he left to turn on the TV. The news sounded like the singing of birds, the words didn't make sense but it seemed as if they were saying something.
Construction has just recently begun, only a dozen metal beams have been put in place to create the foundation of the building. Three steel beams, each almost four hundred feet tall, stand vertically. If she lifts her head up onto the pillows, she can see it all from her window.
Despite the size of the proposed project, there is a quiet calm within the construction site, like the relaxed mood of a warm Sunday afternoon.
She may feel despair, fear, anger, or more likely a sensation that escapes definition but is nonetheless extremely unpleasant.
The small group of men work efficiently with the instilled knowledge of their craft. They move confidently and smoothly, knowing all the necessary steps needed to complete the project. Hardly a spoken word is heard throughout the construction zone, every man knows his role and performs each small task with an effortless ease.
A night not too long ago. The night before the day. The day she can't put together, the missing pieces she can't remember. The day she tries to build within her mind and yet fails, over and over again.
She spent the rest of that long, black night alone in bed, trying to console her crying son and failing once again with the sound of a new explosion. One after another. Sooner or later the sound would be too near, sooner or later the sound would be so near that she would no longer be able to hear, no longer would be able to see, no longer would be able to remember.
Four of them are working on raising a metal frame, the dark metallic frame looks purple in the sunlight and the huge square piece of welded steel rises vertically into the air, forming the skeleton of the new building. With only a couple of men, they manage to lift a thousand tons of metal, there are no cranes or mechanized machines in sight.
Her nervous system recurrently informs her that something has gone drastically wrong. (Memories, flashes of insight, understanding that fades as soon as it announces itself with finality.)
She lies now on a hospital bed with her arm nearly severed. The boy no longer cries.
The form comes from within, from a certain nothingness that hides itself in endless dancing.
There is really only one space that we occupy, it is our relationship to the flow of energy through ourselves and the space which gives the space shape.
The cries of the little boy lasted through the night, never ceasing, never slowing. It was as if he already knew what was coming. As dawn broke, the sounds of explosions continued.
Eventually she got used to the sound. It took a long time. She got so used to it that she forgot all about the danger, all about drastic possibilities of irreversible change.
The boy. A construction worker every so often descends from the top of the highest metal beam.
No longer. His toes are tucked into a groove in the small metal beam and he slides down to the earth slowly, like Dracula with his arms crossed at his chest and still wearing a hardhat.
Nothing inside, nothing outside. The construction continues.