8 Months In

Big plans came to rest on the porch, more like a perch, that overlooks a barren garden. When the reality of the cost came to mind, the setting seemed apropos. That is as far as anything went that year. It is hard to say if it would ever be any different from here to the end. A side-effect of a strong imagination is over-shooting the moon and drifting out into space. Gotta have a tether, somehow, lest you be homeless.

It smelled like snow when the geese flew overhead, just then, slicing across that last thought, silhouettes against time. They instinctively know when something is coming and adjust to it. Normally, it is my favorite season, which isn’t to say that it is anything but, even in this moment. Truly, it is just another thought strung up from yet another that gets left hanging out on the line, for a bit, while others hit unexpectedly – thoughts, that is. Eventually, I find my way back but that does seem to come slower these days with a heavy mind.

I hear the world is devolving though, I knew there was potential for it given the severity of how our politics have interacted with the disease that undermined the economy and brought race out onto the table to be examined while being blindsided by severe food shortages and homelessness as a result of joblessness. I hear things have not improved from when we first shut down, about eight months ago; that the toxic affair with cult-minded politicians is intensified on a wave of death through denial. The alternate dimension, having unfolded right before our eyes, is a place where reality is challenged through profound apophenia and dots are connected that are not meant to be connected. Is this an unintended consequence of the super highway?

I reel with slight vertigo and move away from the edge of the concrete stair. My balance is one thing I’ve noticed as being off-kilter. Maybe it’s the time of the season? Admittedly, I love this song.

The routine I’ve adapted to is ever evolving the definition of normal. 2020 catapulted our society. flailing in so many directions, yet landing, ultimately, back to a couple of basic camps or divisions of ideology. Seeing this play out hits on so many levels it takes a long period of quiet to get a proper grip on it.

Words occupy confined spaces attempting reason with the mind.

It is has been about eight months and I am still alive. I know I referenced that timeline already, but the context is important. This pandemic, they say, kills. My interactions have become agoraphobic – limited to social media where connectivity is like water that keeps us alive. I think most of any ailments I have feared to have had during this time are derived more from my own psychosis and nervous uncertainty.

Standing there, I take stock and know I am lucky to have transitioned to working from home full time for a company that is supportive, so far. Our entire professional work flow took a giant leap forward with technology. We can almost think it and it happens. At the same time, millions are without income now and food scarcity in the heartland is real. People are dying, yet, remain skeptical.

Since the general recommendation is to limit social interactions, I found it the perfect premise to give myself permission to write. After many years, a manuscript has come to fruition that might be worthy of publishing. We shall see, perhaps. There are so many options now with digital technology. Time will tell, unless I run out of patience. But somehow, as I close on the last couple of chapters, I am relieved and if I’ve learned nothing else during this change, patience is a virtue for our survival.

Sunrays break through snow clouds that gathered together over the course of the morning like purple wigs – the finest a lady might wear to tea or Sunday brunch. The geese are gone now to some low lying lake where they will break for the storm. But the sun does find its way and warms one side of the face that smiles at it. It doesn’t stay long in the breeze that picks up with frozen fog that fills the air but I felt it. I can still see the snowline across the way, for now, and spot several perfect lines that are so good it is hard to imagine that some old farmer hasn’t already taken it for a run or two. Like maybe after a late fall hunt into the highlands only to pull out the sticks and grab some wild stash. It would be an annual tradition riding knee-deep powder down to the waterline before heading back to the homestead for holiday.

The world bends with fear, I am reminded, as I snap back from my moment of nostalgia. A large truck rumbles by waving every flag but the American flag and yelling that civil war is imminent. I know a lot of people are scared. I can’t help but reject that this is a reality that can actually unfold – though in the deeper reaches of my psyche, I know we are not above this outcome and that things can change quickly and suddenly. I believe we have been witnessing the attempt to undo our society based on far-fetched conspiracies and ill-founded fears. But then, how would it be if I were one of those unfortunates whose life turned away from the ability to see the good any longer? What if I needed to kill in order to protect my family and the enemy became my neighbor? What if nothing happens and I am simply left with whatever revelations I have come to during this period of unrest? What should any of us do as a result of this? What has it shown us personally about our needs and living to our fullest where we can see the good again?

I am on the top step which gives me a vantage of overseeing the whole garden – all the boxes, and beds, and piles of mulch laid out in a reasonable pattern cut with a small pathway, but still big enough for a wheel barrel to get around. Maybe, at the end of it all, that’s all we need, is a little room to clean things up and put them into some sort of order again. Not likely the same, but order, nevertheless.

Eight months in and I am not so sure. Hoping for calm as the electorates cast their final ballots.

Slow Change

Slowly, there is change, morphing from the crusted earth that had grown into the body, fusing with every nerve like roots seeking water. The agony of this transformation lasts for one thousand seasons with images of another life haunting, dashing hopes with faint desire. I have been swallowed whole and left only with regret for a forgotten oath. I can feel the mourning of gnarled hands on foreign soil, stretched out across the landscape, as voices scream for justice. The screams, full of terror, have left something foul to rot and it is now seeping into my space. An ancient blood surges through my veins, forming flesh, forcing me into something I had not known before.

RISEN

Truth is sometimes meant to be forgotten. A whisper of it can raise an ancient memory where man’s reason is tainted by the unknown. That unseen presence waits, pulling strings to create the perfect moment when our attention is distracted by monotonous routine. Chaos crawled into the veins of society, like a parasite, feeding first on the most vulnerable. I remember when she first touched the surface and sent her dark seed to burrow into my thoughts and the ground shifted. Like startled from a dream, my reality jumped from one dimension to another, in a flash, and I fell from the comfort of the womb that held me. I was suddenly aware of her nagging presence in the back of my mind. But then, the audacity of humanity brought fear. Many blindly rejoiced in the promises of salvation that she offered. The nature of her was something they did not understand, and she preyed on them.

Slowly, the change came, morphing from the crusted earth that had grown into the body, fusing with every nerve like roots seeking water. The agony of this transformation spent a thousand seasons with haunted images from another life, dashing hope with faint desire. I was swallowed whole left only with regret for a forgotten oath. Gnarled hands that mourn from foreign soil are stretched out across the landscape as voices scream for justice. The screams, full of terror, have left something foul to rot that now seeps into my space. Ancient blood surges through the veins, forming flesh, forcing me into something I have not known before.  

Then, ageless elders speak to me in a manner of reverence, with a tongue I do not understand. The timeless state of our being is to bring harmony to the world. Stories come in slices. I recall a council from a race not of my kind that told of a great war where a peaceful race of giants became savage and broke with madness. But, alas, these are only visions that have come with my passing.

I am not myself, and look, the inner world begins to fade. No longer do I belong. In a convulsive spasm, I am pressed into the walls of my prison, suffocating to the edge of my last breath. Whatever I am changing into cannot survive here. I am undone as pain saturates the limbs taking shape, forcing me to move for the first time. Pressure comes from deep down, crawling up the sides of me. A presence from above is pushing, taunting.

“I have awoken a troubled soul…, no longer one with the Garden…, our worlds fractured, splitting…, rejoining.” My words are lost on her, but it is too late. I can’t turn back. I know this darkness and must see what lay above and confront it. Black eyes are searching for me, probing into the depths to take me. This planet is no longer friendly for my company but wants to expel me.

 “I am sorry, my love! Our duty brought honor and purpose to our kind. But now, something has happened. I am changing and cannot stop. Protect Gaya and look for my return. For you I am the love we share.”

This planet is my cocoon. But now, I am burning as the brightest star, breaking apart, forcing it away from me. My blood surges with the intensity of the sun and no longer am I suffocating. Tearing myself from the celestial body I had become part of, I break from my obligation to remain in this place, to the Universe, and the council that holds the gates to the worlds he created. I have lived in the Inner Garden for centuries, until now. I am thrust upward and squeezed through hot blades of rock and born like an infant into a new world.