Friday, September 30, 2011

Free Fall

I’m in my season.

The season of release. The season of settling, of coming down from the high of summer.
The season of hitting ground, then digging down, to the root of things.
It’s the time when time turns backward, peeking around at distant beginnings, while age reinvents itself, and youth comes into maturity.
It’s slow death generating new life.
Autumn brings the introspection that clears the sightlines to the stretched out world, drawing me into meandering walks, coagulating thoughts, dreams imploding to some core clarity that
I track down with deliberate, echoing footfalls,
Pick up from the dust at the side of the road,
Brush with tentative and questioning fingers
Then slip into my pocket, to carry me along.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Close Calls & Miracles

So many close calls lately. So many that it seems as though Life is whispering a message I’m just not getting.  There was falling a couple of weeks ago, and landing on the back corner of my skull, with almost my entire weight behind the impact. A miracle that I didn’t break my neck, and that aside from the knot that sprouted on the back of my noggin, there were no after effects, not even any pain. Then, just yesterday, I dropped my entire ring on keys into the lake while parking the sailboat. Miraculously, there was an old roofer’s magnet lying around the boathouse, and on the third try it hauled up what felt like the keys to my entire life. The remote to the car even worked. There’ve been a couple of close calls on the bike lately, and an instance or two of leaving something where it should have grown feet and walked off, but didn’t.

I often think of my life in terms of flow. When I’m effortlessly gliding through my days and weeks, I can’t help but feel that I’m doing just what I ought to be doing, that my own personal “universe is unfolding as it should”. So, if there’s anything to this notion, what might it mean to have so many things almost go disastrously wrong, only to suddenly right themselves? Should I be rushing to the convenience store to buy a lottery ticket every time some gruesome possibility eludes me? Or should I simply be more alert, attentive to my steps and choices?

It’s more observation than question, really.  I decided years ago that, when it comes to the question of miracles – that is: Do they never happen? Or do they happen all the time? – my full endorsement goes to the latter. One might argue that, by definition, the miraculous can’t be commonplace. But there’s wonderful evidence that it is, and it lies in the simple fact of being, as in: me being here, and you being here. Biology tells us that in the human sexual act millions of sperm cells are released, each of which contains a different variant of the genetic material, and hence, a different potential person. Which means that every single one of us human inhabitants of Earth is the one sperm cell that made it, against odds of many millions to one. Miraculous!

Not that it matters what we believe about such things. Like they say, gravity works whether we believe in it or not. Personally, I enjoy reflecting on it...the wonder of it all. No ticket necessary. The lottery is won.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I have more than I can do with - so much extra. And this is sometimes daunting. There are so many actualities, and so many more possibilities. And I keep reaching.

Imagine a scenario: You and your favorite food...and an appetite! Nothing better than that, right? Well, whatever your favorite food is - let's say steak, just for the hell of it - no matter how perfect, it could use something to go along with it, right? So, let's add a baked potato, with butter, sour cream, salt and pepper. That improves on perfection, doesn't it? How about we add some asparagus? Maybe sauteed mushrooms. A really good steak sauce couldn't hurt. A nice salad to go with. Maybe an appetizer to get things started. Oh yeah, mustn't forget the wine. What better way to top off perfection than with dessert?

Then coffee, then brandy. Then a cigar. How about the music. And the setting ought to be just right: comfortable furniture, a nice room, with a view, overlooking something impressive, and close, but not too close. And the weather should be just so. And it should be early evening, dark but with a touch of blue lingering on the horizon, and a crescent moon rising. And...for company...!

Seems a little like my life, that. Something in that notion of constantly improving on perfection. Maybe a little neurotic? (is neurotic even a concept anymore?) My life is good, very good, even - yes - perfect! that single bite of steak can be. But nowhere in this perfection does there seem to be space for the concept: enough. There's only the space for the baked potato.

Is there something wrong with a something that always needs to be growing, that needs always to be expanding, improving? All my life I've heard something to the effect of "grow or die!" I don't know that I believe it anymore. My body isn't really growing any longer. But I'm healthy and continue to exist. Businesses talk about the need to grow, to generate profit, to diversify product and capture new markets. But there are not-for-profit's that work. Everybody gets paid, there just isn't any extra.

It seems to me that so much wealth - so much extra - has become tiring. And beside the point. Slow and same maybe, for awhile.