When a moment comes, much like Al Pacino's character Ricky Roma says in Glengarry Glen Ross, "We are either looking forward - or looking back. There is no in between."
Sometimes, when the music plays, it is too beautiful for the ears. There is something going on that stays upon an ethereal plane and never touches our mortal mud.
We see fields and grasses of our youth, whizzing by in a whiff of pollen, hayseed and longing.
The far-awayness of a lap steel, twanging somewhere among the meadowlarks and lost loves irks something within me that is so poetic that it's ultrasonic.
The piano strokes of Joni Mitchell in 'River' make me think of an old art house, in the Ottawa countyside, that my mom took me too and taught myself and other friends about making wax prints. We did stencils of leaves. It was near harvest. The floors were white linoleum and the chairs were those wood composite/veneer jobs that had a thin strip of ply across the two, erect gray steel pipes that wrapped around the back and were snipped on an angle, near the top of the back support.
I don't know what happened to my childhood. It was here and it is gone.
How are we supposed to know the answers? Why is there no crystal ball that lays everything out, in a metaphysical script, and lets us see our lives in a scroll of blips, buzzes and whirling colour. Why?
'I made my baby cry'.
To see someone you love in pain is never an easy process. It is twisting and burning, like a cylindrical fire poker that has been sitting in flame and ash for eons. It cuts through skin and bone and sears our conscious spirit.
We take unbelievable risks and let others hang out to dry in the rain of our selfishness.
But on twangs the lost-summer-love steel - and we heed its distant cry.
We cry adventure but whisper comfort.
We long for home - the home that is gone.
When the backward path is all that we see behind us, I find it hard to know which way to go.
Adventurous Angels: Why do they come?
Recently, and more than ever in my life, I've been having visitations.
Angelic figures have been coming down from the heavens and pouring light into my life.
I don't know why and I don't know how, but lately, they've been pouring out of the woodwork to speak truth and light into my life - almost calmly whispering into my sleeping ear to say that everything will be alright.
But in the same motion, ripple effects are being felt elsewhere. The presence of these angels has attracted attention. It hasn't just been a dockside lake wave - It has been a noticeable ocean current.
I know that the effects of these creatures will be substantial to everything I know and have known. I know, more than I've ever known, that they are real people. They are touchable. Tangible. Visceral.
They do exist.
And so, I ride the tide in the wake of joy and pain and anguish that they are creating. I look back and wonder if some of the casualties will ever be healed - or if they'll ever be in my line of sight.
There are a few that I would miss. One that would be extremely painful. One that would fuck up a lot of foundational merit of this life.
For so long, while being restrained, I dreamed of being free. I dreamed of running where I could not run. I longed to swim to the deepest depths where I was free from the shore-dwelling onlookers.
I wished to be free.
I wished to be me.
I think I'm finally becoming that - thanks to some long overdue adventurous angels who are ready to ride rough-shod with me through the rugged foothills of this life.
Maybe I am a fool. Maybe I've made mistakes. And maybe I still will.
But maybe I can inspire - and I can be inspired. By the Paradox. By the dawn. By the manifold witness and genesis of nature in all of its glory.
Rekindling the flames of past fires
We wander on through this life like a a vagabond - a nomad. We hop from town to town and from purpose to purpose, searching for some sort of unifying bond that glues it all together.
Most of the time, though, we don't see that theme. We see chaos. We see atoms and particles spinning out of control in a ball of exhausted, endless circular movement.
Lately, though, I've had a system re-boot. I have a spring in my step. I have a focus.
Years ago, in the tall grasses of lore and yesteryear, I had a friend who was like a sister. I always worried about her and when we met, we had a pretty deep connection that went below the surface in a frightening way. It wasn't cheesy. It wasn't teenage or hormonal. It was scary.
We understood each other in a very instant way.
Back then, she was a small town girl with a huge heart. She had pie-eyed dreams and the bluest eyes ever known to man. She emanated light, life and energy to everyone she met. She inspired.
The years faded and I lost touch with her as the sands of passing time blew by, creating storms of mystery and uncertainty about her mythical self. I'd hear rumblings of her or a faint apparition from a third party who said 'Oh yeah - I saw her' but I never really believed them.
I thought she was gone. Either gone from this life completely or gone from mine.
As luck, fate and all serendipitous holiness would have it, this past winter, and nearly 20 years since we spoke or saw each other, I found her again. I was combing the online databases of my many networks...and I found a blip on the radar.
There she was...looking like she was still 16.
We quickly connected and the words started to drip out of us like honey that had been preserving and sweetening for ages. We were both as excited as innocent and overalled children in a field of wildflowers and sunshine, dancing in the glow of August.
That was 6 months ago and though we both made a few attempts, we didn't make it work.
This past weekend, I made my way to her city and she called. I went over.
There she was. For real.
She walked out the front door. We choked back tears. We hugged for what seemed like a century.
We talked for hours about the fucked up ways of this world, love, life and all in between. We talked about lost love and the pain within that framework. Tears welled. Even though we sat on a wooden deck. Our spirits danced.
I found my sister, again.
A writer has found his muse.
Sometimes, through all the shit and mire and deep, dark winters, you get a real glimpse of summer - a real glimpse of a soul that lights up the evening pathway like fireflies blinking in the ether. We find our way through the thickets to the cabin. We get in our beds and we close our eyes.
The stars flicker like distant satellites - planets of a foreign world that brightens the backdrop of our bleak existence. We look to the lake and the long, yawning shoreline during a sunrise, and in the calm, we see our own reflection.
Sometimes, when you least expect it, this life is so beautiful that it makes you sick. Fuck all of the wars and the hurt and the hunger. At the end of this long, hard wagon ride of endurance, we find our destination. We let the airplane take off. We get over our shit and call our mothers. We hold hands with our enemies.
And we know...that we will find each other again.