Dream: Unready

March 16, 2010

The dreaded moment was coming. I had planned for this. All I had to do was get to the underground bunker that would keep me safe. Even though I’d never entered it I knew how to get there, knew the door that opened to the descent toward its safety. I just had to get together the emergency supplies for the uncertain duration of my hideout.

Equipped, I descended that first flight of stairs to arrive at the small, heavy, wooden door that felt as secure as a submarine door and as old as a forgotten secret. The small landing was cast in the dim yellow light of a single, bare bulb. I had never been past this point before. But I knew it led to another flight of crude stairs, to long, narrow tunnels, and eventually to a dark, damp, tomb far from the exposure of any risk.

Facing that heavy door. Hesitation. Heart racing. I suddenly remembered the hand crank powered lantern I’d bought just for such an emergency. I couldn’t do without it; couldn’t bear the suffocating darkness of the bunker. Alone.

The fear of of this prospect sent me racing back up those stairs, into the big house in frantic search of it. In my panic I could not remember clearly where I had stored it. The thread of an incomplete memory of where it was would string me along through the house from place to place looking, futilely. It was here, somewhere, but run and look as hard as I could, I could not find it. It was as if the corridors of the house were twisting with my running to spill me out in the place I’d begun, always the kitchen, and sending me in crazy loops so that I could not find that one door behind which I knew my essential hand crank powered lantern lay.

Then, as if to give me a reprieve, I’d find myself back at that landing, facing that old door. And the memory of my essential lantern would prevent me from going through that door into the dark safety. Instead I’d race back up again, propelled by my panic. And on it would go, the rotation between opportunity and the panic that freezes the mind as it frenzies the body, the one constant being a feeling of being caught off-guard, of being ill-prepared at the crucial moment.

As I was standing, panting, in the kitchen a sudden an ominous quiet descended. The kind that makes hair follicles stand in alarm. The light of day, clearly visible through the large windows wrapping two of the kitchen walls, shifted to an eerie brightness. The collective fear in the air was as palpable as a cold steel rod.  In the hollow pit of my turned stomach I knew this was it. Fuck.

From the sky and the whole span of sky, shots of hot, white-yellow light fired down hard at a storm angle. Indiscriminately, mercilessly, relentlessly, with machine fire precision and coverage, sparing no one not already deep undercover.

Screams of terror began. The screams of those being struck down, pierced all over and through with these white hot burning shafts. The screams of those being engulfed in the flames of burning houses. The screams of terror of fleeing people caught in the open having lost their chance to hide. Buildings, homes, people incinerating in screaming flames. Total destruction of everything, everywhere.

The basement would have protected me – I could have hidden from all this in its dark, silent safety. But I could not find that hand crank powered lantern that would have made my hideout bearable. I had not been ready. It was not enough to have stocked the emergency supply list. I had failed to make it emergency accessible, to make it blind-panic proof. And so here I was, exposed, a witness to the painful, terrifying destruction about to befall me.

This was the long second, my feet bolted to the floor in my own terror, knowing I too could no longer hide or run. It was too late. The time had come.


Fishing at McElligot’s Pool

December 6, 2009

Each time I throw the fishing line in McElligot’s Pool I have no idea what I’ll pull up. Maybe an old, worthless boot, the kind of trash Dr. Seuss’ farmer insists is all there is to be caught in McElligot’s Pool. But if what’s in the pool to be fished out is heavily influenced by what I think I’ll find, I’d rather err on the side of the fantastic imagination of Dr. Seuss’ Marco. In my middle ages I’ve decided the risk of being an unhappy realist bears a much higher price then the risk of being a happy fool.

So this blog is my fishing hole, my sandbox. I want to explore, dream, take life less seriously.  If I have to get my line past the trash to do so then that’s how it’s going to be. I hope the catches and the reflections help me to a place  where I can greet the poop with kindness and without dread and fear.  Where the painful and the joyful are no more then different shades in the spectrum of life.  Outcomes aren’t guaranteed by a long shot. The only bet with odds I can influence is the process. So I’ll fish, experimenting with different bait and different tensioned lines, on cloudy days and when the sky is a beautiful, expansive blue. Fish with excited anticipation and with patience and with impatience. If true to character, there may be some tantrums and snapped poles.

You are welcome to come visit but I make no promises of what you’ll find since I have no idea what I’ll find.  I thank you for your virtual company because the potential of my posts being read bring a greater sense of reality to this journey. It is anonymous to free me of accountability; of the need to justify, explain, validate, excuse, reason. If I do so it is for myself only. I admit this is aiming for the best of both worlds, my very own half-way house. But for my own good reason. Here, I want to be free to become whatever I want without being obliged to maintain anyone’s expectations of me regardless of my own culpability. To be free to change, hopefully for the better. To be free to strengthen my threshold for honesty with myself.

So the catch of the day might prove inedible, the sandbox smelly with kitty litter. But I’m working against the habit of casting that net that can only trap trash. If I succeed it’ll be the voice of  my Marco that I live by. And by golly, who knows what fantastic Thing-A-Ma-Jiggas I’ll find!

Thank you Dr. Seuss.

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December 1, 2009

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