Peace flows through the waterfalls of my land. Hawks with river red shoulders soar upon trampoline skies high above fertile ground where everything grows without asking. On these boulders at the mouth of this river I call forgiveness near redwood groves standing tall upon razor blade cliffs of desire, I keep a company of one. I am happy. Each morning I tend my crops. At midday, I give thanks to the sun. When dusk arrives, I drench myself under blue dot starlight & give thanks to the moon. When my prayers are done, I lend my gaze towards the creatures who are always about. We share a fond curiosity for each other. We are equals. Their love keeps my heart polished. I soothe theirs with songs from my soul. This is the way of the world for a simple man living a simple life upon holy land. It wasn’t always this way.
I am sweaty naked standing over a filthy floor in an emptied room beside a fireplace that has never seen a true fire. I survey the battlefield before me. I am shocked, but I do not flinch. I am wounded, but I do not bleed. I am an atrocity. I am the last hope of my kind. I must survive. I haven’t a choice. I feel shame yet I am proud. I marvel at the accumulated detritus of three years worth of grief. My smug admiration for this excremental no man’s waste land laying prone before me is tempered by a pervading sense of self-deception. Regret crawls under my skin. I cannot scratch this itch. There is no one here or anywhere who can scratch it for me. There are no drugs, illicit or otherwise, that have the power to reconstruct my faulty fractured DNA.
I have my viewfinder set to intricate detail, but something is not right. I cannot figure out exactly what that something is, but I know something is missing. There are no cannons. There are no tanks. There are no rotting corpses here. The trenches were far muddier in my war. The pools of blood were tar black & thicker than that of this battlefield before me. There are orange poppies painted in bold relief upon the fireplace mantle. There are no orange poppies in my war. This war is an impostor. I should know. I have a damned medal of dishonor knifed into my brawny chest. This scene may look dreary enough, but it lacks the heroic brutality I proudly claim I suffered. If I were to tell you it was me who caused this suffering with explosives I had planted upon the dark side of my heart, I would turn to shattered glass. I will not utter another word about it. Speechless or not I remain the same …
… a desolate landscape. Life doesn’t live here anymore. I’m meaningless. I have lost the only war I ever truly cared enough to fight. If I could I would turn back the hands of time, but I am unable to do such a thing. I’ve tried. I can travel without moving through a multitude of parallel universes with you in the room. You’d never notice. I’ve morphed into a butterfly more times than there are trees in the forest, but I cannot go back in time. That would take a miracle. It’s just as well. Why would I want to go back in time? These are the best years of my life, for I have the memories of the best years of my life living, loving & being with you. If this is true, where has the sun gone? Who am I? Who are you? Where are we?
Moments slide backwards then stop altogether. Deep spaces in between billions of misfiring synapses within my skull are illuminated by flashes of electric mind-blowing white. My eyes are mesmerized. My face is paralyzed. My body is now a paradise. I don’t know what this means. All I know is if I don’t allow whatever my mind wants to say flow freely out of my mouth, I shall explode. My body is now a paradise for strangers with no faces. What does this mean? I’m frightened. Time is still but not so my mind as it forges its escape … and …
… I am a blue translucent dragonfly careening through thickets of moss over the rushing creek of this canyon. I am frantic frenetic to find the source of my lovers cries within a crystallized powder blue shroud of mist. The faster I go the further away I am. My consciousness shifts instantaneously. I cannot breathe. I see through my contorted version of reality in a flash of warped time & space. I don’t like this. I hate it! I’m claustrophobic but I never realized this until now. As I spin upward seeking my one last gasp of air, enough room explodes within the implosion of my soul. I remember. This is the place I fought my war. I am its lone survivor. I cannot bear it a moment longer. I can barely hold my head up. Before I am able to screw my courage to the whipping post, this moment is gone forever.
Below me is the exalted grave of a spiritual warrior I could not live up to then, & I cannot live up to now. As worthy as I may seem in the eyes of the unknowing, I am a dwarf star next to a supernova. I know this. I wonder why it’s always me who survives? I have been gifted throughout my life with profound love from great men & women only to sever my spirit’s spine every time.
I wonder at the emotions & the crack hearted questions splattered all over these wounded walls. There is blood on the floor leading into a darkened hallway. I thought I knew where that hallway leads to, but I don’t remember now. As hard as I try to recall, all I see is a blank screen. I am a television turned to thunderous static on mute. If I were not deaf, I would go completely insane. The channel I am looking for has been moved to another world where I no longer get the signal.
I vaguely recall a man’s heart dripping a trail of tears; tears of blood from a shattered heart. That is what these stains in my eyes are. I see that much. I remember this much; a man squatting in the corner of this room. His eyes shut blind between ears without sound to hear. He resembles me. I turn away as fast as I can. I am afraid. I’m almost too frightened to breathe, but not too afraid to cry. It passes. This moment passes into eternity along with all the others.
War is over. I survive. I may be crippled, but I’m not lame. I have scars deeply etched into my soul’s flesh, but I shall sing again. I hear music even when it isn’t playing. I know I shall sing once again.
I see snapshots of your mind everywhere. Wow! It feels like the fourth of July. Hmm… I wonder how the debris on these walls & this floor ever came to be. I don’t remember. It doesn’t matter now. Thank you for taking my mind to a different sort of landscape. The soul creatures you create are quite beautiful, but they always were. The ones you have sent to cover my heart in winter are the loveliest ones of all. That kind of living artwork cannot be taught. It cannot be given to anyone as if it were a mere commodity. One must earn it & learn it through lifetimes of service in joy. I know that now. Here comes the sun.