Thursday, January 17, 2013

Walden Rewind

Blink. Bring into focus the childhood of a grandfather. There is nothing. The void deepens and expands, there is not even the outline of a lost memory. There is no shape of parents, of siblings, of house, of habits. The depth of the silence is complete, impermeable emptiness. This is all that we leave behind, the detritus of all our anguish and all of our glories, a vacuum filled with the unknown.

I went into the woods because I wished to live deliberately. Perhaps. Again, with conviction. I went into the woods because I wished to watch my footsteps disappear each morning as the sun burned away the dew. Again, more forcefully. I went into the woods and I cut down trees and I wished to claim this land is my land, and as the summer sun rose high above, the trees grew ever thicker around me, pushing me out, away from the forest, towards the town. Again. I went into the woods because I wished to be known, to be seen, even if only by the rabbits, and the summer was dry and I lit my pipe and the match started a flame that burned and burned and now I am known and will never be forgotten.

Blink. I wished to live deliberately. I wished to be eternal. I wished to exist in your grandfather's mind and your mind and your granddaughter's mind, where deliberate words are all that remain when the landscape has been washed away and nothing else exists. Nothing. Nothing.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

three coins in the fountain

Watch out for what you wish for, the molehill will become a mountain and you'll be on a sled falling falling at the speed of sound so fast the ice melts and refreezes from the velocity of your passage.

Watch out for what you wish for, lest dragonflies grow large as dinosaurs, dart hither and thither, stomping upon us, we who are too small to be seen in their manic flight patterns.

Watch out for what you wish for, or you will be left here, alone, on an island peopled only by the memories of ghosts you never met, without even the past for company.

Watch out for what you wish for, lest the great deserts shrink until they are contained in an hourglass, and the hourglass is infinity, and you are caught on the outside, locked out of time and space.

Be careful what you wish for, for if wishes were horses and numerous as the stars in the heavens, we would ride the crest of the stampede and fall off the cliffs of the universe.

Friday, January 11, 2013

doors of perception

Each dream begins just as the others, as a small child I am laying in my cot in the tiny room just off the kitchen, the window is open, the curtains are blowing. It is cold, it is autumn or maybe the earliest days of spring, but there are no buds on the ground, no snow on the ground, just an icing of frost along the tips of the grass. I stand in front of the open window, watching the clouds light up as they race across the face of the moon, then the clouds disappear again into the night sky.

The big dipper hangs just over the barn, and stars seem to be pouring from the ladle of the dipper in a steady stream and landing on the roof of the barn. When they land the roof lights up with a little flashbulb of light, then the stars tumble to the ground. They pile up all together on the ground by the barn, but they are not bright like stars or on fire like candles. They glow just a little bit, like a lightbulb in a flashlight with tired old batteries, and the pile of stars grows as big as a haystack and glows and glows.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


A soothsayer said to me, long ago, "Your future and your fate will be determined by the hills." I asked the old woman what she meant, how I was to interpret this pronouncement. She shook her head, she shook my teacup, overturned the leaves onto a saucer, held my hand. "I do not know, my dear, too much of who you are remains indistinct and uncertain. You will have to create your own fate. It lies entangled with the hills."

She would say no more, and I was young, and impatient, and left feeling frustrated and angry. If the soothsayer could not read the patterns across my palm, if my fate was truly unsettled, then perhaps I had neither fate nor future. Perhaps I was merely a ghost in the present, my feet treading too lightly across the world to leave impressions in even the softest soil.