My Mind

My Mind
This is my mind

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Black becomes you..

  "Where am I?"
  "You're here."
  "But where is here?"
  "Can't you see?"
  "Well, yeah, I see, but where is it."
  "It's one point in this vast area upon which you stand."
  "Am I near a town?"
  "Town?  What is town?"
  "You know a place where a bunch of people live all together."
  "We all live apart.  There is no way we could live together.  Only one person can occupy a space at one time.  The closest we come to occupying the same space is if we consent to coupling and eve then it is only a small portion of the two of us occupying the same space at the same time."
  "That's not what I'm talking about.  Who the hell are you?"
  "Just a member of the vast spaces you see."
  "I can see we're getting nowhere here.  How did I come to this place?"
  "You were spit out of a great grey wall of wind.  We saw you vaguely through the whipping winds rising rapidly  until you were tossed upward and out.  You happened to land here on this hard surface."
  "How long?"
  "Coupla glics I think."
  "Don't you have glics?  From the start of what I was saying to the ned of it was a clad.  So many clads equal a glic."
  "Oh, we call them minutes and hours."
  "Ah, well, I suppose you were there asleep for 24....hours?  Glics."
  "This happen much? Your finding people thrown from a great wind tunnel?"
  "Never in my lifetime, but our grandparents told us of a little girl who arrived in her ship.  It crash landed on one of our most feared witches.  Her feet shrank and the girl was given her ruby slippers by Glenda."
  "Dorothy?  Are you talking about Dorothy?"
  "Yes, I do believe that's what gramps called her.  Dorothy.  Yes, it was Dorothy."
  "So this is the Munchkin town she started her journey along the yellow brick road?"
  "Yes, you have heard of us?"
  "Uh, yes."
  "Do you wish us to sing to you and offer you lollipops from the lollypop guild and such?"
   "No, that’s not necessary."
  "Well, how about my sister.  She very good and cheap."
  "What?  What are you talking about?"
  For the first time I looked around.  My eyes focused on a rundown village of thatched cottages with broken windows.  The colors had all turned into shades of grey.  The brilliant yellow brick road of the movie had turned to an ash covered yellow tinged deep grey.  There were no flowers nor trees filled with fruit.  It looked as if the life had been sucked out of the entire area.  It reminded me of the pictures of the old Soviet Union or East Germany
  "I'm talking about money.  I need money as does every soul here.  It just so happens I have a saleable commodity, my sister.  She's the best in the area and will give you a wonderful time for any cash you might have with you as long as it is gold.  You do have gold on you don't you?"
  "Gold?   Of course not.  We carry paper or plastic."
  "Paper?  Worthless except to an artist.  Plastic?  What is this plastic?"
  "Plastic is the gold of the future which is now where I come from."
  "If you don't have gold then we will have to take you into custody.  You can work off your debt to us."
  "What debt?"
  "We allowed you to sleep here for 24 glics.  You think this is something you can have for free?"
  Hundreds of little folk were venturing out from behind bushes and dead trees.  The doors on the shacks were sliding sideways bringing into view hundreds more from the shadows of the wrecked shelters.  I was reminded of all the movies written about the "Living Dead."  These mini people shuffled along with fixed stares and fixed smiles filled with teeth filed to points.  Everywhere I turned they were slowly inching towards me.  The little man who had held me in conversation grabbed me.  He held my arm in a tiny vise-like grip.  I tried pulling away and making a break for it but his grip was solid.
  I came out of my jacket turning to run when the first of the advancing zombie-like munchkins reached for me.  They latched on wherever they could grip. Tiny hands found my arms and legs.  I saw the dusky yellow teeth bared and the maws behind widen as they moved in for the flesh and blood on my skeleton.
  "NO!" I screamed.  I kicked and squirmed as the foul smelling little munchkins moved in for the kill    With all my might I began to throw the hideous little creatures in all directions.  I kicked and squirmed as the foul smelling little munchkins moved in for the kill.  I knew I couldn't hold out much longer and then...
  They began to move away with their forearms covering their eyes.  I looked in the direction from which they hid their eyes.  It was a bright light which seemed to grow larger.  No, it wasn't just growing larger it was approaching me from the sky.  It was a bubble of rich golden color.  The entire area was bathed in the golden warmth beaming from the ever nearing bubble.  There was something inside.  It was a woman with a stick in her right hand and a crown on her head.  She smiled behind the round enclosing wall.  Her eyes twinkled as she held my gaze.
  The golden globe touched the ground and disappeared as she stepped lightly to the yellow-tinged grey brick road.  Her foot step blanched the brick upon which she tread.  It turned a rich warm beautiful yellow.  Each advancing step widened the technicolor effect.  She continued to smile as she approached and the sea of golden bricks advanced along her path.  Color seemed to spring out of every brick, rock, bush and tree.  The ramshackle shacks lifted themselves into red and blue and green cottages roofed with fresh yellow thatched thickness.  Each foot step brought richer and deeper color to this drab grey little village.
  I smiled at this beautiful creature as she brought warmth and life to every square inch of the surrounding area.  She never spoke.  I stood transfixed in her smile and clear blue eyes.  I was the only one who stood in the center of this land of beauty and promise unfolding with each step she took.  The little monster munchkins were at a distance and bowing before the golden haired beauty who continued to come closer to me.  From the corner of my eyes I saw the little people's clothes flash into color and their skin turn rosy pink.  The pain and suffering in their eyes was gone and now filled with...fear?
  I looked at the advancing woman who would be face to face any second.  I was overwhelmed by her beauty and rooted to the spot.  My senses were near exhaustion from the transformation of this little piece of real estate from a dead and buried parish into a splendiferous orgy of color and new surged life.
  She smiled at me and I knew I was the reason for it all.  She took my hand and pulled me to her.  I surrendered to her. All I wanted was to be swallowed by her warmth.  She plastered her ravishing body to mine. 
And in a flash the illusion disappeared.  Not the beauty that had come to rest upon the countryside.  No.  It was the illusion that she was Glenda the good witch of the east.  I knew at once that this was the cold calculating evil sister of the witch killed eons ago by a house falling from the sky.  The warmth of the illusion left as her teeth sunk into my neck and the warmth of life was sucked from me.  She never spoke a word but I could hear chatter in the background growing ever fainter.
  "We held him long enough for you, didn't we?  We can have another ten earth turns of color and warmth and plenty can't we?  I know we almost feasted upon him but you took so long getting here.  I couldn't control them."
  "Another 10 earth turns, Munchkins.  Go!  Go, start your businesses again.  The time of plenty has returned.   And may the one who overlooks our lives be blessed and thanked for the wind-walls that bring such as this to our land for sacrifice."
  My world dimmed into black.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A summer Saturday...

The morning opened up with the sun creeping over the horizon.  Cafe curtains filtered the sunbeams streaming into the window.  I kicked the covers high and wide tumbling over the side of the bed.  A new day.  Another summer offering new adventures without the weight of school work dragging me down was dawning.
 A quick brush of the teeth, a splash of water on the eyes---my mother always said, "Hold a cold washcloth on the back of your neck for an eye opener." which I never did---and a long standing bladder tension eased off.  And, thus, began the day.
  "What do you want for breakfast?"  My mother had been up for hours.  She was always a morning person and greeted dad and me with a smile.  Dad answered with a grunt and, as the apple falling near the tree, my response was likewise..
"Ung.  Cereal I guess."  It was too early to think about food.
"Do you have plans for your first day of summer?"  My mother always liked to talk in the morning.  My dad sat at the table slowly burying himself in the paper while lifting his cup of tea to his lips.  
The old metal teapot had come from England with us when we came over in 1950.  It was one of the few things from England's shores to make the trip.  It sat in the middle of the table close at hand.  The capacity was approximately 6 cups which were poured out over a time frame of about forty-five minutes.  A splash of milk in the cup and the tea poured into it was the ritual.  Dad always made sure the ritual included pot to the kettle and kettle to the pot.  Boiling water was poured into the pot to rinse and to heat it.  The next act was to add the teabags and carry the kettle from the heat to the pot and pour it directly over the waiting bags of tea.  Since the pot had been heated prior to the adding of tea bags all that precious boiling heat was directed at the tiny little tea leaves in the bags Tetley provided.  The flavor of the tea was instantly siphoned off the leaves.  The whistle of the kettle on the burner was the opening sound of that daily ritual.  Dad would smile ever so slightly when he had sipped this proper cuppa.
"I thought maybe you would cut the grass this morning," said dad.  It was an unusual statement by my dad because he never let me cut grass.   His specifications were stringent and I was too young to meet them.  The house we lived in prior to this one had a yard that was less than level.  He always mowed because it was too hilly and I wouldn't be able to properly achieve the level he desired or some such excuse.  The reason was that he wanted to do the work so that it was his accomplishment.  So I was surprised at his statement.
"OK.  Yes sir."  I wanted to cut the grass but I knew that the day was shot now.  I held back my disappointment about my plans which were nothing much other than walk around the Terrace with my friends.
My dad had the oldest lawn mower on the block.  When the day came to mow it always began like this.  The decision was made.  After tea and toast he would rise from the table and head for the door.  Outside he'd point me to the small covering he had built for the power mower.  I'd unlatch the gate and tug on the mower, which was wedged into the covering, until I finally had it dragged from its place.  Huffing and puffing I would roll it up to dad under the carport.  His smile always told me he enjoyed the spectacle of my efforts to bring the machine to him.
First, he would place the knotted rope in the crevice of the fly wheel.  Then he would wind it around it then take the wooden piece in his hand and yank the cord which turned the flywheel to crank it.  It would sputter without spark and he would commence checking everything.  The gas tank was first on the list. It was always empty.
"Get the gas, son."
I would get the gas can.  He would pour gas into the tank.  The oil check was next.  If it was fine he would recheck the fuel line, adjust the lever to release gas to the spark plug and rewrap the cord.  His foot on the mower would hold it to the ground as he yanked on the cord sending the blade flying beneath the outer covering.  The sputter would sound again.  This would set him off on the double check of everything.  He would wind the rope around the topknot again, steady the mower with his foot and yank on the rope with the same sputter.
"Not getting a spark.  Go get my tool box, son."
"Yes sir," I'd say and head to the shed for the tools.  Lifting that box full of metal tools was a job in itself.  I'd be leaning at a forty-five degree angle on my way back just to keep it from scraping the ground.  Reaching him was a relief punctuated by a slam of the box and a rattle of metal tools that would be heard inside.
"Are you two alright?"  My mother would say, standing at the screen door wiping her hands on the dish towel.
"Yeah, we're fine," would be my dad's answer.
He stooped over the box and released the two locks throwing the top over on its hinges.  He'd reach with knowing hands for the right tool and fit it to the spark plug.  The plug in his hands he would say, "Hand me that emery board, son."  After doing this so many times I would search the box for the one he had used last.
"It's not here."
"Go ask your mother for one."  I'd get up and run inside.
"Dad needs an emery board, mom."
"Alright dear."  She'd toss the dish towel on the stove and go through all the drawers until she found one.
"Here you go.  Ask you dad if he wants a cuppa tea."
"Yes ma'am."  The screen door would slam behind me every time.
"Don't slam the door, son.  Did your mother have that emery board?"  He was filing away at the carbon deposit on the plug with the one he had found in the tool box.
"Yes sir.  Here it is."
"Thanks, this one has lost all its grit.  Hand me that metal brush."
I handed it to him.
He scraped the brush back and forth across the firing portion of the plug until it shone as bright and clean as new.
"There we are," he'd say.  He threaded the plug into its position by hand.  "Hand me the spanner."
By habit I reached for his tool and handed it over.
"Mom wants to know if you'd like a cup of tea."  I finally asked.
"That would be nice," he said.  I ran back inside to tell my mother.  She put the kettle on.
After reattaching the wire to the plug he went through all the preparation to start it again.  The sputter came and he repeated the action several more times.
"Hmmmm," he'd say.  "Spanner?"
I grabbed it and handed it over.
He began losing nuts and removing parts.  "Go look in the outhouse and find that pot."
I ran around to the shed and dug through the pile of stuff to find the pot at the bottom.  Triumphantly, I would return smiling.
"Pour some of that gas into it."
I struggled with the gas can and slopped gas all over pouring it into the pot.  Dad tossed the piston and assorted bits into the pot.
"Let's go have our tea.  Those bits can soak while we are inside."
The kettle was whistling as we stepped inside.  Mom made the tea.  We sat at table.  She brought the pot over then pulled the milk from the refrigerator and set it next to the pot.  We waited while it sat on the draw.  Dad bit into his toast which had been sitting there while we were outside.
"How come we don't get a new mower, dad?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, you have to work on this one every time you want to cut the grass."
"As long as this one can be fixed son it is still good.  I can't see buying another one when this one is as good as new."
"It always seems to take two days to cut the grass.  The first day you spend fixing the thing so it will cut the next day. "
"I'm just thankful I have a lawn mower that works.  It might take some time to get it working but there's no need to buy new as long as it does."
The rest of the day was spent cleaning, sanding, wiping and reassembling.  When he finally got it to run it was near dark.  He would look up surprised that the day was nearly gone.
"First thing in the morning we'll crank her up and you can cut the grass."  He said this as he put it beneath its covering.
As always the morning would come and he would crank it on the first try.  The pride of workmanship shown in his face and he would wave me off pushing the mower into the grass.  I'd sit and watch as he completed the job with a smile on his face.  With sweat trickling into his eyes he would push the mower into the home made shed and lock it.
“Thanks for your help, son.  How about a cup of tea?”
“Yes sir,” I said holding the door for him.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Goin' south

The Pig...Piggly Wiggly Grocery store...Was down the road a piece. It was early but the parking lot was full. Clyde pulled into a spot close to the front door. Inside were displays for water and flashlight batteries but the shelves were empty of those items. Seems the scare that Betsy was heading for Charleston was taken quite seriously. I suppose those who piled in to buy those items were relieved and annoyed at the same time.
We sallied over to the deli. The selections were skimpy. I reckon those people who loaded up on batteries and water also raided the deli department.
Clyde smiled at the lady behind the glass windows. She smiled back her eyes captivated by his natural charm. "Not much to choose from, eh?"
"Nope. We were hit hard by a lot of nervous folks."
"Well what do you suggest honey? We have a long road to travel."
"How 'bout i make you up a 4 foot sub? I'll wrap it up good and you can cut off portions as you go along."
"Sounds perfect darlin'.
While they continuing talking and she began making the sub, I walked over to the drink counter and picked up some chasers and mixers. I saw powdered donuts and bread and peanut butter and grabbed them.
I glanced over toward Clyde and Lula...Clyde had listened to her life story while she made the sandwich... She was lifting the 4 footer over the glass boundary. Clyde took it, smiled and thanked her then joined me in line at the register.
"She's still watching you, you know."
"She's a sweet kid. Just started this job Monday. I knew I hadn't seen her before."
"Hey Clyde. Whatcha stockin' up for? That sandwich ought to last a long time."
"Hey Billie Jean. Yeah, the nephew and I are heading to Florida to hunt hurricanes. Betsy is supposed to hit there tomorrow." The register rang and Clyde peeled of the money.
"You two are crazy. You wouldn't catch me headin' to a hurricane. I'd be headin' away from it."
Clyde chuckled, thanked her and picked up the sub. I struggled with the bags. I nearly dropped one of them as I maneuvered to open the door.
We were rolling once again, south on 17 heading for Savannah and from there straight to Miami.

"OK neff, crack one of those seals. Gimme just a touch in this cup."
"Have a preference?" I said as I surveyed the upright bottles surrounding my feet. 2 fifths, 1 gallon with a dripless pour spout and 3 pints. They were all Calverts Extra a light bourbon whiskey and really hard going down but quite inexpensive and the first rule of Clyde's economic principles was that when it's cheap one can buy more. I cracked the seal on the gallon, since I didn't want to slosh any on the seat or floor. It would have warranted a harsh look from my uncle it would be sort of the waste not want not variety of stare. Ever try to pour from a gallon bottle while driving 55 along a poorly maintained road? It isn't easy when attempting to pour a little into a half filled paper cup. Dripless or not I managed to splash some on the seat, the floor, and Clyde's leg. Not only did I get the disapproving look but a sharp negative expletive to boot.
"If you wouldn't drive through all the patches and holes in the road maybe I could do better."
"Get some ice out of the cooler and try to do better next time."
I decided to pour mine from one of the pint bottles. It was much easier to handle.
We road along for some time listening to the Four Seasons, Gene Pitney and Roy Orbison wailing away at at 8000 decibels. We shouted above the den.
"How long til we get there," I screamed.
"6, 7 maybe 12 hours," he yelled back.
"Well I'm going to brake out the sub."
I reached into the back and picked it up. Bringing it to the front I smacked Clyde in the back of the head causing him to flinch and swerve the car off the road for a heart rending moment.
"Watch what you're doing! I almost ended us up in a ditch."
"Sorry." I unwrapped the tin foil and cut off a section. I held it out for him and he took it. then I cut my slab and rewrapped the remainder being mindful not to slap him in the head. I wasn't quite successful and we took another sharp detour accompanied by more negative expletives. I was kind of glad the radio was so loud at that particular time.
Finally, there it was the Savannah River and the bridge to cross it. Coming down the far side of the bridge we saw it. Cops waving all traffic off the road and into a field. What the....

"Quick so something with all that booze."
"Like what? Jettison it all into the river? Not enough time."
"No, throw that map over it."
I grabbed the map opened it and spread it over the top of the bottles and began to study it as if we were lost. clyde slowed the car as we approached the policeman waving us all onto the dirt road heading into the field. I looked up at the officer and smiled. Clyde slowed to a stop and spoke
"Hello, Occifer."
OH geez I thought. Did he have to say that?
"What's going on?" Clyde continued.
"Well hello boys," the patrolman said. He must have missed Clyde's slur. "We've got the local news station, you know, for the TV, offerin' up range juice and coffee for the long distance drivers going through Savannah." He was leaning down into the window as he talked. "We thought it would be a good human interest story to see some of the travelers and offer 'em some refreshment on their long drive."
His arm came to rest on the window ledge of the car door while he spoke. His happy smile altered as the smell of Calverts Extra hit him. A stern look colored by dismay took hold.
"Well, boys, you are saved by the camera crew there. Don't give us any trouble when speaking to the nice lady there and smile for the camera. Speak distinctly and don't let on. I know what you boys have been doing and I'm going to let you go quietly but you've got to promise me you will be careful going down the road from here."
"Yessir," we both chimed in.
He smiled and shook his head as he removed himself from Clyde's face. "Another traveler comin' through fellas." He waved us on and we inched up to the girl with the mike and the boy with the camera.
"What brings you boys down this way?" The girl with the mike said. She put the mike in Clyde's face as the camera boy moved in to see him answer.
"Why we come down here a lot. Got an uncle lives here in Savannah. Hey Uncle Olin...will he see me on the news?"
"As long as he's watching, he'll see you 'cause we're putting you boys on the air at 5."
"In that case..hello Uncle Olin maybe we'll be watching ourselves with you on the TV," Clyde said very loudly.
"No need to shout."
"Oh, OK, sorry.'
"So you've come to visit relatives?"
"No, actually, we're heading for Miami to catch Betsy."
"OK then, NEXT!"
We were dismissed as the camera left us to focus on the car behind us. We inched away and turned back onto the road. The Patrolman we had talked to smiled, wagged his finger and motioned us back onto the road with a slow shaking of his head.
"Why didn't he arrest us? It's plain we're both drunk."
"It was a free pass neff. He couldn't do that in front of a news camera crew. How would it look for him? He waved us through. It wouldn't look right for him to arrest us before we got to the cameras nor after. So we get a real get out of jail card free for real. It was a once in a life time deal. So pour some more into this cup. We've got a long drive ahead of us.
We picked up speed heading south away from Savannah and into a sky filled with black billowing clouds. We were in for some rain up the road apiece

In that secret place.

I know how the South felt in 1860.  More than that I understand the heartfelt need to secede.  The ideals of the America I have known are directly opposed to those of the country that replaced the incumbent.  The decision to welcome another four years staggers me.
My heart and soul have sunk to the lowest depths of me.  I need time to accept this fork in the road and the direction taken.  No election in the past has ever sent me reeling as this one has.  It's an utter rejection of fundamental beliefs implanted from the time I was old enough to begin to understand anything.  It will take a while to adjust to this new reality.
I am reminded of David on the run looking to the heavens shouting, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"(Psalm 22:1).  A little dramatic you say?  Perhaps.  Has He forsaken me?  Has He forsaken our country?  I believe it is the reverse.  I believed with all my heart He wanted a different result for this election and I embraced this completely.  His plan, obviously, is not what I imagined.  It is my part in this plan to look to Him for guidance as to what that plan is which means I have to alter my thinking and surrender my heart and mind to His path.  It is a complete shock to my system and will take a bit of time to adjust to the jolt to  my being.  I truly believed the results of this election would be the opposite of the reality.  He didn't listen to me.  Now I need to listen for Him.
The time interval for this is unknown.  A full body collision with a speeding object causes a tremendous amount of damage.  The body requires its own set time to heal.  This mental and spiritual slam against reality will take time of which I have no clue as to how long.  It is a spiritual warfare wound that can only be healed under the shadow of His loving attention. " I shall take to heart Psalm 91, He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."
Some may think I am harping on God too much.  I disagree completely.  I don't invoke Him enough.  To understand what has happened I will have to look to Him completely.  And that is where I will be for a while, in that secret place, asking for forgiveness and understanding.