Monday, January 30, 2012

Working in the Yards

JOURNAL JAR:  Describe your yard as a child-- did you help with the yardwork?

Since we moved around quite a bit when I was a kid, I didn't have just one yard.  But I do remember doing yardwork.

When we lived on Bel Ayre Drive in what was then San Jose but is now Santa Clara, I learned how to mow the lawn.  I was about eight or so, and our neighbor, Johnny Pope, helped teach me how to take care of the yard, along with my dad.

There were two trees in the front yard-- one was a fruitless mulberry tree, with big leaves.  The other one was something different, with lots of small leaves.  I remember raking leaves one time, and being bored with the process of raking into a pile, then putting the piles into bags.  So I raked everything behind one of the bushes along the side of the house-- kind of hid the leaves there.  Got in trouble for that.

Our back yard at Bel Ayre was big-- there were fruit trees and a oval shaped lawn area, along with a space behind the detached garage that my grandpa planted a garden in.  We had peach trees, a lemon tree, and an orange tree that gave the best oranges I've ever had.  So juicy and sweet.

Befor Bel Ayre we lived on Blossom Hill Road.  Our front yard had lawn with a slope towards the sidewalk, so I could get started on my bike easily.  The back yard didn't have much but pea gravel when we first moved in.  But my dad put in a large concrete patio complete with a built-in bbq pit.  And we planted a garden between the houses with our neighbors.

We moved to Lucchesi from Bel Ayre.  Lucchesi was interesting because there was no dirt.  It was all sand.  Even when we dug down and installed our Doughboy pool, it was sand all the way down.  So no lawns and stuff there.  Just some iceplant.  We only lived there a year before we moved to Escalon.

Escalon is where I did my best yard work.  For a while, I had the front yard down to a science.  The back yard is so big that it's still being worked on, as in "installed."  I put in the lawn and sprinklers years ago, but they had to be redone because the renters and lanscapers caused a lot of wear and tear.  I did a nice job of installing the yard, but I never did get a picture of the finished project.  Oh well.

Friday, January 27, 2012

More Random Thoughts About Greece

Not sure if I’ve written about this already—Back in Greece, when we were in the port of Pithagoria or whatever—the place where we stayed at the hotel that was built into the hill, and there were levels, and the pool was near the beach level—where I went manic, or at least started to, for the first time such that I needed to be treated/hospitalized...  Anyway, we would go into “town” to shop and go to bars/restaurants there.  We walked along the pier and there were numerous restaurants and shops along the water’s edge.  Up the street a bit there was a shop that we went into and looked around at various goods that were being offered.  I don’t recall what we bought there, but I talked with someone who I believe was the business owner, and he wrote on my shopping bag in Greek.  I would like to get it translated.  Seems to me that his name was John, and that he had been a winemaker but his occupation had changed as the tourism of the town had become the better business opportunity.  He gave me the impression that he was a sort of artist.  I remember thinking that American Commercialism had influenced his life, and led him down the path that he did.  I sensed that he had been like a farmer or artisan, or some such “undeveloped” craftsman until capitalism had found its way to his town, his island.  I got the feeling that he wasn’t complaining, but that it had been a difficult transition.  At least, I was left with a yearning feeling for a time and place that had been lost.
Would really appreciate if somebody could translate all of this for me.  I think it's Greek, but then it's all Greek to me. (Har har.)

My State of the Union

The state of my union shall be addressed in this entry.

There is the issue of the Journal Jar.  It is openly admitted that the goal of completion was not met by the end of last year.  So a new goal has been set of completion by the end of next month.  You can follow along right here on this blog as I complete the Journal Jar entries.  So stay tuned.

Moving forward, I will actually plan on looking backward into my archives.  I have several journals that I've written in and completely filled all pages, mostly with my scribbled penmanship, but some drawings/sketches/doodles are included as well.  I will be venturing into these journals to elicit nuggets of wisdom from my past.  Some of these journals haven't been opened in almost 20 years.  Should be interesting, so stay tuned, again.

Next issue: health.  I am in need of exercise and better eating habits.  To that extent, I am making some changes, led by my energetic and positively influential wife, to include daily exercise and monitor what goes in when I eat.  Slowly but surely, change will manifest.  I had a dream about attending my high school reunion, and I was much healthier feeling and looking in it.  I plan on making the dream a reality.  I look forward to reaquainting with my Weight Watcher ways, and with my WW buddies.

I suppose I must also talk about employment.  I spoke this morning with Momentum, an organization that will help me find work.  They help folks like me with diagnoses like bipolar and schizophrenia to find jobs that work for all parties involved.  I have an appointment where I will be on stand-by, ready in case somebody cancels, on February 7th.  Otherwise I have an appointment on March 20th.  I hope to be employed doing something sooner than March.  But we'll just have to see what the market does for me.

On other fronts... I am fully anticipating correspondence from PERS very soon, though I don't have an indication of really when I should hear from them.  I am nonetheless hopeful to hear, today even, about the retirement possibilities we've investigated.  My mom thinks that they will be accommodating me, since they have gone so long without saying no already.  I hope she is correct.

Relay season is kicking off, and we should have a great (and busy) year again this year.  New wrinkles in that we have a new location.  We'll be at Cupertino High School, as DeAnza is renovating their track and field.  So things will be different, such that we won't be allowed to camp on the track/football field.  So the track and encampment areas will be separate.  This provides challenges, but we're working on being creative about how to make the party happen.  Team sponsored activity laps are one way to get everybody out there in the same place, doing things together.

And I am soon to start attending a new group that focuses on writing through mental illness, or writing for therapy.  Haven't attended yet, but it meets on Mondays and I am excited to see where it will take me and I have hopes that it will guide me in writing my book about my Greece manic episode experiences.  So I can develop even further than I have here already, with blog entries like Greased Mania and Greece: Theatre of the Mind, not to mention Greece: Blessing Ceremony and Greece: BBQ Bliss.

So if I can just keep finding ways to keep the debtors from suffocating us, I think things are going to be just fine.  But I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hire Me, Please

When I say that I want to be a writer... what does that really mean?  I want to write books and sell them and live that book-signing, interviewing, analyzing kind of life?  No thanks.  I just want to write.  Not to make money, but to make art.  To find things that I'm searching for.  To uncover the hidden truths and discover "The Way."  Writing is my practice that leads me to all other things.

When I write, I am searching for meaning, for connections.  For things that a part of me feels and knows that they exist, but can't quite fit the words together for explaining them.  I write and I pull up images and feelings and thoughts and I put sticky notes on them, one by one, trying to identify and bring forth the creation.  What color is that feeling?  How deep does it go?

I do enjoy writing.  But it is work.  Just like digging a trench.  You gotta get to it and stick at it for a while before you see any progress.  It's a process that you have to develop, so you don't dig crookedly or throw out your back.  You have to be kinda systematic about it.  You have to do it, and keep doing it, even though you don't want to or you feel like you're not doing it "right."  So go left, go center.  Just keep going.  The meaning is something that happens in hindsight anyway.  The creation is in the moment.

Every swing of the hammer brings it down, slamming into the purpose.  Your focus has to be in the moment, on the nail.  You must hit the nail on the head.

I have conflicting objectives right now.  I need to do the work and find the way to find work again.  I need to pay my bills.  But I also need to stay true to myslef, to not undervalue myself.  To make use of my time and manage my money.  I need a job that will pay me more than minumum wage.  I need something that will allow me some flexibility because of my illness.  I need to find my way in this world.  I need to find what it means to be a writer and still be able to live my life, feed myself, keep my house.  I need to find my routine that maximizes my strengths.  I need a job to find me.  I need income to find me.

My efforts so far haven't uncovered any opportunities.  There are jobs out there, I just know it.  But finding my way into them hasn't proved easy.  I wish I could just put a "For Hire" sign in my yard and have a bevy of offers.  I hate having to market myself.  I hate marketing, period.

And that may be part of my problem.

I have skills, I'm capable.  I think I could make a good employee.  But I don't have the keys to that vehicle, just yet.  I'm having trouble finding my way in the door.

So if you know of anything...  advice welcomed.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What If Quantum Mechanics Went On Strike? « NOVA's Physics Blog: The Nature of Reality#?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=fanpage&utm_campaign=pbs

What If Quantum Mechanics Went On Strike? « NOVA's Physics Blog: The Nature of Reality#?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=fanpage&utm_campaign=pbs

Thistle Penn is in here. He's been down there, so small that you can't see him with the naked eye. He's traveled through that portal. He's had the power to "move, ghostlike, through slim walls." He remembers that. But it takes much too long to explain.

I'll keep trying.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

There Was a Little Spark That Gave Birth to Hope

I feel kind of like the Grinch, after he had stolen Christmas and was at the top of the hill, with the sleigh precariously tipping towards ruin.  There was an instant where hope was realized, a single spark that ignited in his heart. 

Something like that happened to me over the weekend.

I am a fan of sports.  I've been a football fan as long as I can remember.  I was brought up in a family that loved the Oakland Raiders.  We didn't like it when they moved to LA, but we welcomed them back, even though the deal they struck with the county sucked.  But that's not what I set out here to talk about.

All my rooting life, I've rooted for the Raiders.  And in turn, I've rooted against the San Francisco 49ers.  They were imposters for me, coming up and being successful at a time when the Raiders had well established themselves as one of the elite few teams in the league.  The Raiders had won two superbowls before the 9ers and Joe Montana started their prestigious run of championships.  I grew up with my dad watching the Raider games, yelling and screaming and rooting our hearts out.  The Raiders were exciting, they did things that were amazing, that just dropped jaws and spun out the drama in leaps and bounds. 

I remember having a bet that the Raiders would win their 4th Super Bowl before the 9ers did.  That didn't go well for me.  In fact, my adult life of rooting for the Raiders and hating the 49ers has been quite the albatross around my neck.  The 49ers have seen a lot more success than the Raiders have in that time (the last thirty years or so).  In fact, the Raiders have lost most, if not all, of their mystique.  They've been the butt of many a joke around the league.  They've been a joke most of the time.

But I still am a Raider fan.  So I know I always will be.  Of that I can be proud.  And I am.

I have seriously curtailed my involvement with NFL Football in the last few years.  We were Raiders season ticket holders for about twelve years (somebody check my math on that).  It's not the game that it once was, for sure, with all of the trash talking and lack of sportsmanship.  But it doesn't mean as much to me anymore anyway.  I guess I've kinda grown away from it.  There are other things that I would rather do with my time nowadays.  Like crochet.  Okay, maybe not.

Anyway.  The Raiders flubbed up their season and missed the playoffs again this year.  So what comes next?  Root against the 9ers.  It's patterned behavior that is like the groove in the record album, and I'm the needle, down in there, going around and around. 

So I did some rational thinking as well, and thought about the matchup, and I really thought that the Saints would do well, maybe even light up the 9ers.  I thought they would win, but I expected to be wrong.

We tuned in to the game as we were working on chores.  Okay, you know the truth.  My wife did all the work.  I supervised and pitched in when able.

As the game started off, and the 9ers started to get the breaks (i.e. turnovers, scores), I found myself getting all worked up and angry.  I began to hate God and his team, that has banished me to this hell of watching them succeed and rub my face in it.

And then the Saints came back.  They fought and fought.  The 9ers held them off, fighting valiantly themselves.  But the Saints would not give up.  They pushed and pushed until finally the 9ers broke.

But not all was lost.  The 9ers found a way to regain the lead and push back.  The tide turned again.

Back and forth it went.  It looked as though the 9ers would win.  Then the Saints took the lead again, and time was running out.  I began to really enjoy football as a game-- this was how it should be, I thought.  And as the 9ers pulled out the win with seconds left on the clock, I had my Grinch moment.  I felt happy for them, for their fans.  Well, some of them. 

I felt that their victory had been earned.  They won it not by a technicality or a blown call-- they did it the right way.  They went out and they scored the winning touchdown because that is what had to be done. 

So although it was much like the "torture" that the San Francisco Giants put their fans through a season or two ago, there was no argument to be made.  They were the winners of the game-- they had gone out and done what they needed to do to win the game.  They executed when it mattered.  Give the Saints a lot of credit for some incredible fight and grit.  But the 9ers won that game.  They willed it.

So now I guess I'm some sort of bandwagon fan.  Well, you could say that.  But you'd be wrong.  I just enjoyed a great football game.  They're not always like that.  In fact, most of them aren't.  But when it happens-- magic.

Like a spark of hope that ignites in one's heart.

Like my vision of an all-Bay Area Super Bowl.  Not gonna happen this year, I know.  But next year...

In closing, I like the 9ers chances of going all the way.  But it won't be a cakewalk.  They've got a lot of battles yet to win.  The Giants (NY football) are playing well and riding a high, just like the 9ers are.  Should be one helluva game.  I might even have to watch this one. 

Or I could go shopping with my mother-in-law at Bed Bath & Beyond.  But I think she'll wanna watch the game.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Love and Death and the Constance of Life

I want more.  I want to feel right.  I want it to be better.  I want you to help. 
I keep thinking that another drunken bender is all that I need.  Once more around the bar, then home James.  Like I have a driver.  One more time, I will alter my perception, and it will make it right.

All will align.

I had a dream the other morning-- I think it was after I had fallen back asleep after my working wife had made her way dutifully to work that day...  it was so right.  So complete in detail; so confoundingly correct and righteous.  In it, it was all explained.  Everything.  There were no questions to be had.  It all just made sense.  And happily, that felt good.

There was no need for review or rehashing.  It Just Made Sense.  The powerful creator had identified the bugs in the system and was in the process of remedying the problems.  There was nothing to fear, nothing to worry about.  Evil was at bay, a non-factor.  It still existed, but only to move things around a bit.  The battle, the war, was won.  No longer would there be any doubt.

The problem, of course, with such perfection... it doesn't last.  I woke up.  And that was enough to send a mercy cry out to the authorities, making the comeback of evil justifiable and worthy.  I took what I could from the dream and applied it to the actions of my morning...  and some magic occurred.  I found a way through a virtual wall of resistance and made a progressive stride towards the betterment of existence.  But the evil persists.  And work continues to be pervasive.

I need to make some changes.  I can't continue to worry my wife as I do.  I can't continue to tax my body and my mind as I do, with all of these coersive chemicals and nasty processed foodstuffs.  I must eat my vegetables.  I must find a way to exercise my sedentary body.  I must resist the lures of alcohol.  I must repent my sins and love myself.  I must find a way to love myself as I am.

I feel love for myself.  But it is a fleeting, oscillating sort of love.  It is not constant and true.  It does not leap from the fire like the phoenix, yelling, "A-ha!  Still do I love thee!"  It eases itself onto the stage and yelps of an unsure, unconfident being.  "I think I love you," is the sentiment, unsure and unsteady.  But hopeful and true.

There is spirit there, untold amounts.  There is bountiful potential.  And surmounting love.  It does exist.  And it is strong when it really needs to be.

But as the yin, and also the yang, there is curvature.  There is a cresting wave and the reaching towards shore, only to drag back to the sea.  Movement.  We are dynamic, as we are alive.  For when we stop moving, we die.  And yet still, there is movement.  Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.  And from that dust and ash sprouts a seed that brings forth more life. Magically.  Infinitely.

As one is squelched, another is born.  And somehow it is balanced.  Energy is conserved.  It all translates.  There is a plan.  The perpetual motion machine.  Always bringing life forward out of death.  Always planting death in life's garden, to grow again.

Or something like that.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thistle's Chapter 6

Something new.  Not improved necessarily, but new in the sense that the page was blank, and there were no previous ideas which shaped or biased what was brought to the page at the moment. 

The page existed in his mind.  He had spent so much time sitting in front of pages, hoping for immaculate inspiration, that he eventually just created a page in his head, gave it a pen, and instructed it to write down any inspiring events as they occurred to him.  Then he got up and went out into the world in search of inspirations.  If they wouldn't come to him, he'd go find them.

As Thistle continued to walk away from the restaurant, he tried to think about the man whose life had ended.  He wondered just how much he had had to do with the end of the man's life.  He had seen the future, the bridge where the truck overturned, the strip of highway.  He just hadn't come up with the explicit time context.  Was that a morning sun or an evening sun?  And where was the bridge?

The bridge.  The bridge, as a metaphor, was an icon in his past.  He could remember riding across one in the Chevy pick-up, his father's belly bouncing beneath a striped t-shirt syncopated with the rhythm of the bridge's undulations.  That same bridge had become more of a symbol of conflict in his life as a teen; it seemed that every time he came to the start of one side, the struggle began between forces wanting to get to the other side and forces wanting to try another side.  Should he, once again, follow the path of so many others, crossing safely over the river, passing on to the next thought and action of routine?  Or could he find a different path, one hidden underneath the bridge somewhere?  He would imagine his vehicle prying through the guard rail, gracefully arching over the side and down, into the shallow river.  He imagined himself still behind the wheel as the car patiently filled with water.  He imagined the questions he would be asking then.

This was not that bridge.  This bridge had arrived uninvited, unannounced; had breached the gap between existence and non-existence.  Between Life and Death.  He would cross that bridge when he came upon it, too.

Why were these scenarios so dominant, so prominent in his thoughts while he was an adolescent?  When he was five, it didn't matter what clothes he was wearing, how much he weighed, if he'd ever fall in love, if he'd get married.  He didn't think of what it would be like to die.  He didn't think of how to die.

For some reason, he was still alive, whether he thought about it or not, whether he thought about death or not; He continued on, along with the questions.  Which ones were the most important?  Which ones could he realistically hope to answer?

There were answers to some of the questions.  Some of them just took a long time to explain.  Especially if you start off in the wrong direction.

And there was no way to really know if you were going the right way.  Or if you were getting anywhere.  That perception could only prove itself with time. 

So he tried not to think about it.  He looked at what he had done with his life and saw an outline to a vast, ornate work of art.  He saw that it would take many hours of organization and scrambling and unscrambling to get it right.  Could he bring forth the discipline to get the job done?

Could he tell a story with his life?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Thistle's Chapter 5

It wasn't anything new-- people not listening.  He had become hardened to it, as the med student does to the routine of cutting the skulls of cadavers with a hacksaw.  It was inevitable that Thistle would run into people that looked to him as though they could use a story, but that didn't mean that they would agree with him.  That didn't mean that they'd want to listen.

He didn't always tell a good story, either.  Sometimes he was distracted by the events of the day, or by a meandering attention span.  Sometimes he'd drift off in the middle of a sentence and forget what he was talking about.  That tends to undermine your credibility. And since he moved around so much, there wasn't much time for credibility checks anyway.  Not enough time to undermine something that hasn't been built yet in the first place.

But today...  He had seen that man sitting there, reading the newspaper, looking like he was just living out of sheer habit.  The same news, the same old breakfast.  The same old company.  Thistle knew this guy could use some enlightenment, a little anecdote, something...  And he had tried to tell him a story, tried to get it across in a small, easy to swallow capsule.  And he felt like he was connecting with him, like there was a genuine fiery curiosity in the man. But something had made him pause.  Something had held his tongue.

He had thought about telling the man how he had felt that he was insane for quite sometime, but that he felt differently about it now.  He wanted to tell him about how he could see many things at once, that he could imagine in several dimensions. But he couldn't speak.

Thistle sat and watched as this man, a static pattern, a person who had existed in this manner with little variance for probably the last ten years or so, walk out of the restaurant as he had probably done so many times before, with the same, bland, "back to the grind" attitude he had held for years.  And he had watched as the man drove away, and watched as the man's life came to an end.

Thistle had foreseen the event that ended the man's life.

But the real weirdness that had stood out to Thistle that day, what had really turned his mind over, was how strong an impulse he had had to get up and stop the man from leaving.  He had nearly broken out in a sweat, deliberating over it.  Many years had passed since he last had a similar impulse.

Ultimately, of course, he didn't act.  He had thought about the potential to be hospitalized (even institutionalized) if he was too ambitious, and how hard it would be to convince the man.  No credibility. 

So he had drank his water, imagined the flow of time and events, envisioned the interstate.  Soon, out of fear of truth, Thistle had to leave, to just be moving.  "I need a transition," he told himself as he pushed through the door in the wall and walked through the space, the door swinging closed behind him.

He cleared his mind and walked steadily down the road.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Thistle's Chapter Four

Like an old television warming up, Thistle's mind eased its way back into the present, his eyes focusing on what looked like a very agitated person.

"Well," said the restaurant patron, finishing his coffee in a hurry.  "I believe that's not too good of a thing.  I gotta get to work."  He was talking to cover his discomfort. He put on his coat as he was walking out; his eyes caught the eyes of the waitress that had served him and communicated macros.  Keywords. "Wacko." "My Tab." "Later."

Thistle's eyes settled into the impression in the vacated restaurant nook.  What had he said?  It was questionable what had come from his mouth.  He remembered what he was thinking about, but not what he said.

He must have mentioned insanity.  That would make sense.  Another person, frightened by the mention of insanity.  It was funny to think that the same man who's heartbeat raced at the thought of sitting across the table from a "nut case" with no publicly displayed physical dominance would probably go out into his car and drive along on an interstate highway and have no second thoughts about fear for his life.  “Phew!” he’d exclaim.  “That was close,” and then he would drive along at sixty-five miles an hour, and even if he saw an accident, as he passed, he might think for a second or two about the horror, and shudder with imagined pictures of gore, but soon he would be barrelling down the interstate again, inches from a concrete surface which would tear his soft skin and mince the bones in his body if he were to suddenly come in contact with it.

And actually, the odds of being killed in a car accident were greater than being killed, maimed, or even attacked by a lunatic.  So what should have been of greater concern for the patron wasn't.  That part was somewhat humorous to Thistle.  But he didn't laugh.

Because it was also ironic.  For not even ten minutes later, that same restaurant patron, the one who had arranged to pay his tab later with a glance at his waitress friend, the one who hadn't stayed long enough for Thistle to catch his name, the one who seemed so interested in his safety that he couldn't endure the tumult of an elder's recounting of a story, was thrown from his vehicle because he hadn't been wearing his seatbelt, and rolled almost a hundred feet before coming to his ultimate resting point, in the fast lane of the highway.

And Thistle had seen it coming, and had watched it pass.

Can’t a man pause long enough, ponder long enough to save his life?  thought Thistle.

Thistle finished his glass of water, slowly rose from the orange bench seat, and with a small wave to his waitress, left the restaurant.

Thistle's Chapter Three

Once Thistle had his water, he sipped and swallowed, and then began breathing slowly.  In through his nose...out through his mouth.  Repeatedly.  He found that if he tried to talk without relaxing, the words tended to fight with each other over who should come out of the mouth first. 

Synthetic creaking rose from the nook as the restaurant patron adjusted himself in it.  His right eyebrow arched high into his brow while the left one was stabbing at the bridge of his nose.  But he was focused, interested.  Listening.

"There was a house," said Thistle.  " It was a simple house; two story, late 19th century construction, painted all-purpose white, perched on the hint of a slope in the middle of a pocked and gopher-infested one acre lot.  It had come under general misuse in the past twenty years.  Downstairs held as its tenant a Vietnam war veteran who had to drive out of town in order to go drinking, because all the local bars had thrown him out one too many times and, as he put it, "can eat shit."  The upstairs was rented out to college students, and sustained the life of at least two and as many as six people over the course of a semester, depending on the quality of the drugs.  It was a very metaphysical, psychologically transcendent location, and so it had a grand effect on the minds that played there."

The restaurant patron watched Thistle pause and sip his water. The glass was half-full.  (Or half-empty, depending on your perspective.)  The patron was fixed in his condition; same perplexed expression, arms propping up his head, elbows matted in with his placemat.  He thought about stopping the old man to clarify things, make sure they were understanding each other.  Who could know where he might go with all this?  Maybe the answers to the questions would come without them having to be solicited.  His breathing was slow and continuous; circular.

The more than empty and quite less than full glass of water settled down into the meniscus of condensation waiting like a primered gasket on the waxy finish of the restaurant nook's table.  Thistle wiped the dampness transferred from the glass to his fingertips onto the tips of his mustache and spread it down along the sides of his face; thumb, finger, and excess moisture converging at his chin.

"It was at this house that I learned just about everything I'd ever wanted to learn one day," he continued.  "I had arranged for the day off from work so that I could spend it with my friends.  They wanted to do some LSD."

The restaurant patron leaned back.  "LSD, huh?" he offered, intimating his discomfort, eyebrows spreading wide.  His breathing became tensed.

Thistle's mind began to reel with remembrance and formulation.

His breathing was slowed, somehow louder, like wind being funneled.  But the thoughts were racing, and his eyes closed.  Visions and consciousness began swimming, treading in a thick, dark sea.

Thistle's world was rocking now, between reality and the imagination.  He was still talking, he knew, but he wasn't sure to whom, or exactly where he was.  His vision faded to shadows, his voice became monotone and muffled.  He was remembering too much.  He was treading water in an ocean of thought.  But this ocean wasn't like any of the large salt-water arrangements found on earth.  This was more like a stew-- there were all kinds of things floating around with him.  It was full of things bobbing up and out of the surface, and he took note of them, distracting his attention.  There was a television, the old wooden console kind from the 1960's, it's screen spitting fuzzy lines jaggedly across itself horizontally as it swam in the liquid.  There were large vegetables, like uber-tubers from space-age future farms.  The water was eerily warm-- hot, even, like bathwater.  Or Broth.

He thought about the sensation of floating in a large stew.  About the sensation of being cooked.  His mind being fried to a crisp.  He thought about death.  About escaping the stew.  About what was containing the stew.  A large cauldron?  Yes.  A pot.  If  he could reach the edge and jump over--

The cauldron was particularly hot and rough that day.  It was inflamed.  It looked the same as on any other day.  But that was surface judgement.  Inside the cauldron, there was action like never before.

Something was stewing the stew.  Cooking.  Mixing ingredient with ingredient.  Chemical with chemical.  Chemical reactions between essential oils of garlic and apple skin and tumeric were bubbling nonsensically.  Who put that in the stew?  No matter.  It boiled on.

Thistle had decided that just this once it was okay to call in sick.  To get the day off.  He didn't want to be sloughing drinks for the aristocracy at the country club anyway.  This time was his, for him.  He wanted to live his unrestrained life.  Just this once.

"Well, you finally did it," went a voice in his head as he spun through cobwebs and vines of fear and unknowing.  "Just one more time, you had to push the limit, had to explore the unexplored, chance losing your grip.  Well, congratulations, man.  You're insane.  Not a damn thing you can do about it now."

Monday, January 2, 2012

It's the End of the World as We Know It

Welcome, friends, to the new year.  2012, the year that the world ends.  Again.  Yet another prediction for catasrophe.  Or maybe not-- maybe we'll just be swooped up and carted off to a new, totally new reality.  All things different-- thoughts, language, perception.  It could happen.

Perhaps that's what happened to the Mayans-- they were "raptured" into a different dimension, plucked from earth as we know it and transformed, somehow, so that they now exist on a different plane.  Maybe that's what happened.

And, maybe not.  We'll see what 2012 brings.  Eventually.

I think there's a lot going on right now that we aren't noticing, because we're so focused on things that are superficial and unimportant.  So many people spend hours watching television programs about things that matter so little.  It's a wonder to me.  I am intrigued by documentaries and biographical movies and books, but I don't watch "reality television" because I think it's an oxymoron.  And it doesn't entertain me a bit.

So much of our perspective here in the world of American influence and perception is caught up in how we are perceived, if we are "cool" or "stylish" or something like that.  Do we have the latest and greatest gadgets, do we act accordingly, do we "belong" to the "elite" group of the day...  I think there is a transformation coming, and higher thinking will be required to adjust perspectives and perceptions to the paradigm shift.  There are signs of another way, another possible truth.  And thinking will bring it forth and into fruition.

The imagination makes it possible, brings it forward, starts it rolling.  If you can visualize it, you can realize it.  Somebody once told me that.  And so that is how anything becomes reality-- it starts with a thought.

Here's another link a friend offered the other day: "real issue" that approaches the same subject...

Something is coming, I don't know what.  Could be the end of the world, could be the start of a new one.  Maybe both.  Time will tell.