like illuminated ants in file this nightly dance a ritual bath in the sense of sameness the commute – blurring lane lines bow bright red flashing ants marching single files for miles seasons pass frames change drapes seasons pass the way remains the same morphing into a sense of lost time and time spent where did I even begin?
(for the uninitiated, this is freeform where I sit on my porch and let the thoughts flow… sometimes they even do)
sitting outside and being able to unpack the day has been far and few between, aside from life, and winter, and all those things, so tonight, at least a window cracked open for some time to unwind, the day struck 80, so I’m told, I can not say it felt that warm, but a welcome departure from the lately norm, but tonight? not as nice, in fact there is a gale warning, so I’m told, but I happen to enjoy listening to the stories of the wind, especially a busy one, and one not carrying rain, more like performance art really, wind does not make noise it simply rushes over the strings provided, slides over the reeds, bends to creeks, reverbs in the hollows, even here, staring at typical suburbia, my neighbor has company, they all drive hondas, but the not so subtle voice of the wind is able to bring me somewhere else even if I remain right here in place, the pine tree is making an odd clicking sound, almost like tic tacs falling on a tile floor one by two, lights dance, well, at least what blocks them is swaying like peekabo with a shake, the wind brings me a reprieve, empty branches reach out like the skeletons of ancient horned beasts, lined up the trunks like sentinels in formation, at least for the time being, nests of antlers, barren like bone, I enjoy the build up of a strong gust, I can hear it coming like a big ocean wave roaring, hard to gauge the direction until you are inundated in the bluster-under, and then gone, I wonder if this land, this home, will retain some memory of me, some piece, some energy, nearly my whole life have I haunted this space, I think of being buried here, or maybe my ashes can be spread here, so I may remain, here, in this comfortable familiar earth, my little patch, shared through the ages for sure, mine for now as long as I endure, and I feel peaceful as the wind has washed the toil from my daily brow, even if – only for now.
‘Why is traffic not moving?’ sipping my coffee, nearly on gulps, a swig of spring water, the minutes turn to fifteen, fifteen feet maybe moved, on the turnpike, no exit within sight, I fiddle with my radio, adjust the tunes, tap the wheel, pretend to be happy with the distraction, and I am, for at least an instant, then I realize, coffee gone and downed, halfway through the spring water… I look up and focus for once time in an hour… I am stuck in traffic behind a truck, carrying porta-pottys, the irony- not being able to go and not being able to go. I guess I will have to hold it… (and my frustration).
(stream of consciousness post, meaning I wrote it in one sitting, maybe five minutes, so here it is…)
I might appreciate the application of wonder, for a blue sky, what is it? why does it hold such sway and magical spell upon my mind, is this an ideal planted as a seed long ago from when I was a mere sapling? for today is nearly one of those, and I suppose it has some effect on me, regardless of the now blighted snow, jammed, packed down, browned, kind of sad lumps as adjuncts abutting the sidewalks and roads, the only pretty perfect parts remain framed hanging in trees, on branches, on leaves, well, at least on my bean pole bamboo stalks or the evergreens, what is it about a blue sky? even in this seasonally frozen tundra where I am currently marooned, kind of a reminder, a marker, a beacon, a little pat on the back from mother nature, like a giant exhale that makes everything feel right, a release of sorts, I could dwell on the science, the cold, the reality and measurements of the actual, but that is bereft of emotion, of this feeling at least, I know the why, intellectually at least, but I would rather cuddle up and snuggle with the old cozy afghan of hand-knitted-human wonder, to close my eyes, and remember-recall-relive-revive those perfect days of past time, clear blue sky, maybe a cloud visiting once and by, but that shining-inviting-hypnotizing clear blue sky, like the world smiling, a cover, a mask, a solid illusion bolstered up against the sheer vast darkness just beyond, our fragile bubble just spinning along in such, invisible forces all at work that create a cradle of our daily harmony and ability for life, the miracle of just to be, and that little reminder, the flag up on a mailbox, a squirrel’s pause to look at you and still chew in puffy cheeks, your dog’s jaw resting on your leg with a beg for the simple pleasure of a scratch around the ear, a hug where the warmth of another becomes your own together shared, yes, the clear blue sky, reminds – and informs.
how subtly we move down the long table, a feast with our family, different times of the year feel the same in here, time is somewhere peering in with jealous eyes. knowing at some point we will venture outside again, once small children (so I recall) are now here at the main table as adults grown up, their kids at the small one or running around, the parade of cousins, aunts, uncles and those married in moves on, the table has swelled all these years, I always knew, but never saw the subtraction coming as I do now, this soon, expected at some point, sure, but never on my side, in my direct row of chairs, a reckoning, for this is the way life is, I suppose we all hold onto untouchable belief, even in the sheer face of the inevitability, the reality, maybe we are fools but I would rather side on the side of belief against all and embrace that fool of myself, for what else can we do, pass the potatoes down and share a drink or two, a sliding moment of smiles, a flash of stories brought out like seasonal accouterments, as the actuality of the tales seem, and are, further off in the distance, for perhaps this is the time of my reckoning, at least as I slide chairs, as the elders inevitably become phantoms, one by one, some by some, so, all the more – stop and enjoy the spectacle, the pageant, the miracle, the banquet of life while the fruit is ripe, the buffet is vast and the glasses full, a moment to take in, as I approach the land of reckoning, not for myself, just yet, but I see, and feel, the coming of the sunset for the generation I am replacing in line next as I move toward the end of the table, may I carry such yoke with dignity and humanity – and love.
the howling winds yes, the cliché, like a freight train, but I must say, whoever coined that phrase, was quite correct, I saw the line coming in on radar, somewhere over Dingman’s Ferry just an hour ago, now, as predicted quite sitting, over my homestead, I sat out for a bit, enjoying the sheer raw power wind, found a spot not quite so wet to take it all in, seeing my newly planted bamboo bent and flailing about surely gave me pause, but things and trees have to learn after-all, I did however batten down whatever hatches I could, the reports of 60 miles per hour received and understood – and felt, what few leaves survived the autumn culling will surely not survive the night, and thirties temp in the forecast later certainly have snuffed out any oxygen left in hopeful lungs of summer, or spring, or whenever this began, the holidays and days that never were, the stalking virus seemingly an eraser of time (where did easter, 4th of july or halloween go?), things changed in a blink, kind of standardized but never slowed down, for children I suppose it might be worse, a stolen summer, a time in life never to be realized, how important things like 9th grade or 8th grade seemed, a prom missed, and there were, no second chances there, children have such strict avenues until they are out in the world embarking in their own canoes down that river… the roaring continues, but now rain has come to play, no place safe, well, no place dry to stay, save indoors, so I retreat, still, I open my window just enough, to invite a piece of the tempest thus, the TV is out, all the better, I have power, tough life I have no doubt, I can only imagine the spectacle such a whip coming through caused in a frontier house of old, wind finding every little crevice and racing through infiltrating, gas lit lamps flickering, threatening to go out and bring the dark veil, huddled in a patchwork waiting for the wind to die down, I romanticize this scene, only because secretly I know my modern convenience provides me the protection to watch the beast thrash about like I am watching some show, the sound though, the sound, my eyes deceive me as I watch a car drive down the street with no sound, I am sure the sound is in there, somewhere, in the blender, but damn if I can make it out, all there is, is nature’s voice, a roar, a throaty steady bellow racing through the leaves fallen at varying pace, stalks touching toes, why does this enthrall me so? maybe I am jealous, I can not conjure such magnificence, I only get to be a witness, but such things are better than not being here at all.
the road to purity (that is the term that popped into my head and inspired this post), or the better version (or best) of one’s self, is this just a path to destruction or salvation, or is it a matter of perspective, I spent the whole of the week walking along a beach, cradled in a spider web hammock of self introspection, I mean what else do you do on the beach, oh yeah, normal people, swimming, tanning, a touch of volleyball perhaps (I was a bit more into kadima ball and kites I must confess, back in the day), not me, well, not anymore, somehow the shore has become my temple, my church, my place to unpack the world and move in with just me for a time, an extended sunday morning as sunday is the traditional day of rest so I’m told, the sound of the surf becomes a lullaby for an overactive mind, a drug administered by mother nature in kind, just as intoxicating as any chemical otherwise known by mankind, I am truly moved to a different plane of existence, everything just sheds, or is washed away, glaciers sheer off so easily, alone with my thoughts, conversations I should have had long ago, or did and forgot them, or they have been obscured in the so called real world, no shiny distractions here, no plethora of channels of niche information to browse, the reality of life, the cycle, birds, fish, insects and plants – your breath, all engaged in being what they are or what they were born to be, so odd, us humans, we have the right to decide what version of ourselves in which we reside, and I guess I know, at moments like this, I am not living up to my end of the bargain, the bargain of life that I have been gifted in this limited, there is only so many things you can do with this realization, be better, get better or just accept that perhaps you are not quite the lion on the golden hill you might have thought or were told, but am I shorting the world…? and myself, for not going all out, and where down the road does that mate with actuality indeed, as I walk here among all the broken shells, some seem familiar, a pattern of at once perfect forms of life laid now in tatters, all these thoughts flood my matter, no one will ever know, except this inner-verse that I am conversing with now, I suppose it is this way with everyone, even those we think have the perfect life, from the outside, who knows who they really are unless you walk in their skin for awhile, along a beach, see what washes up, hearing their thoughts, wearing their feet.
just enough humidity to break a sweat, and just enough of a breeze to cool down, two days… two days of nearly 80 degrees, I feel like my hand got slammed inside the cookie jar, waiting for each cloud above to explode and rain on my socially distant non parade, but no silver linings tarnished, I can report, at least not yet anyway, there are many folks walking around the neighborhood, some with masks, some not, a lone gentleman, well – I am giving him the benefit of the doubt, he was wearing a full outfit including surgical gloves, honestly, walking alone outside there is not really a need for that, well, to each his own, and update, in actuality he wasn’t a gentleman either, not a nod, nor a look, not even the ole hand throw, not any gesture whatsoever to acknowledge your fellow traveler in this life, nope, nothing that could even be remotely misconstrued as a ‘hello’, be PPE’d to the max man but at least be cordial, ya’ know? most passer bys at least offer a cautious verbal or mouthed a greeting, the real adventurous throw a hook in the water with a “how ya’ doin?”, daring a conversation, oh the bravery, oh the humanity, two houses down they have their own setup, they block the apron to their driveway with their two SUVs, and let their kids play all day in the space between the garage and the auto blockade, their own little sandbox carved out like a country in all this covid driven madness, all the while mom does ‘laps’ of the perimeter, for exercise or guard duty, I’ll throw my hat in with a little of both, honestly that would bore me to tears, but probably beats doing laps of TV networks or websites trying to find something new, familiar, or vaguely OK to pass the time, they are Korean, not that it matters any day, just happens to be true in this case, maybe there is some cultural thing I do not understand, I’d ask but, I just remember the parents always seemed appalled that their two little girls always joyfully broadcast out monumental smiles and genuine loving hellos to absolutely everyone (my dog included) as they went up and down the street on their big wheels, I catch them watching me as I tend to my bamboo, I catch a hand wave now and again (and their folks disapprove with looks)…
I get it, we all cope differently, I think some have welcomed the isolation super gladly, I thought I might be the same, but a couple of weeks in, my ship yearned for shore, maybe not a popular resort port but definitely some semblance of the dry land of old…
what day is this? Sunday you say? I suppose so, what’s the difference? some rogue could hold a gun to my head and I’d swear on Tuesday, I didn’t log my digital self into work today, I think, so I guess that squares that vote down, but everything else? the same. the weather is vacillating, the atmosphere seems quite undecided in mind, sun filled hope has given way to rumors of storm, or maybe the trees are just finding their voice more, more green drapes, buds graduated into kindergarten leaves, every moment struck past one further down the rail line took, spikes driven in, for miles back, through this latest mountain pass, you never know quite where the end of the line will be, and always the questions, the doubts, am I doing this… right? starting over not being an option, as the only direction now and ever is forward, the only place to ever start is this foot right here, now, this step, this one that leads to the next, I must remember that little epithet, like a tattoo perhaps, no, that is voluntary (usually), something more, something with no outer choice, a scar, yes, a scar, something that will pull that next step into a different space, maybe for better, maybe for worse, but forward nonetheless, for lest we let fear stop us in perfect statuesque, to be admired by others in perfect pose, then, left behind, museum, forgotten in some room, or left to creeping moss watching a tomb, I wish to have the fire to live like a lightning bolt, so I might, so I may, I can, but only to turn on that first corner, and turn my back on where I began, a real place no more, a memory, lore, the time now is the journey, forward.
notes… so this is a strange time, especially here in the metro NYC area, or the tri-state area as we call it, kind of hubris, I know, there is many tri-states out there, I could google the results but nah, I get it, we east coaster’s have a bias, I used to be that guy before I started exploring the states, let alone the world, the coasts are biased… but honestly, I can not imagine living away from the ocean even I do not go there nearly enough, some things are a calling, what does this have to do with my post? well… nothing, just my thoughts, back to work, erm, again from home tomorrow, the days blend and are so long now… but yet, so not distinct, am I getting used to this? the supermarket runs twice a week, lining up with my mask (a n-95 type, how sheikh), making meals for my elderly folks so they do not venture out, social life discarded aside from phones and such, sitting out on the porch my only out, and this, some words, patience will win out.