This little bit of here and this present moment called now.


This little bit of here and this present moment called now.

 I found myself in a place and time I was not wanting.  This place called “change”.  Thrust upon me in a fashion undesired, in a manner unexpected.  A force that was unrelenting and I was incapable to withstand.  To pretend was not an option.  To wish it was not so… futile.  Seminal.  As in the place that on this day things turned.  This force of nature that was above and beyond the reach of my arm and the grasp of my fingers.  The feeble and impotent attempts to alter, had their result.  Nothing but failure, and exhaustion.  Change was here.  Not soon to come.  Now.

Like a small boat on a turbulent sea.  Tossed about and at the same time, beneath the peak of waves looking to the sky and then up again, into the blasting winds.  The churning violence and the impending doom.  The noise and the spray and the rawness, all with the power to overwhelm… The news was upon me.  Brought by a friend and then a stranger, and then the noise, seeing the lips moving and words being broken by the waves of emotion and blown back into my now unseeing eyes.  My ability to take it all in and to make the adjustments and corrections, and the lurking danger which reminded me with every wisp of spray, was being degraded and drained with the awareness of it.  Overwhelmed and then consumed.  Silence comes, but only by the not hearing the words.  Internal silence.  Numb.

News this large is not mine alone.  There are other little boats, and other tellers of tales.  Of friends that come.  Of strangers with noisy news unexpected.  Unwanted. Transformative.  This place of the recipient is as common as mankind.  Only the nature of the tale, and the magnitude, is different.  The expectation or surprise of it, will alter the ferocity of the storm.  The number of friends that arrive and the silence of the knowing ones.  This tumult is called change, and now you will be different.  It is a time called molting.  Helpless, exhausted, not safe, unproductive. Vulnerable.  Shedding that which is familiar and protective.  Transitioning to something new.  But not yet complete.  Turning, not turned.  Starting the process, not done.  Raw and incomplete.

This is a place many come to.  This place of the news that transforms.  The rawness of it is bounded by the degree of unexpectedness mixed with the completeness.  To be a teenager and the parent passes, or the house burns.  The stories of the trauma and the unresolved hopes.  The expected help from the friends that abandoned you.  The anger that drove others away.  News.   Delivered and received.  Like a “registered letter” at the post office, you know it is there, just un-read, for now at least.  Piercing, when it comes.  The son that took the dog with him, in the garage with the car, for one last run into the dwelling of permanent sleep.  The hinge that is the place on which all things turned.  The cardinal hinge, that holds up and turns as well.

Each respond in their own manner, but it is always about the bad news.  Life altering and ever pervasive, this type of tale is told.  In firm and solid ways, as tenderly as can be mustered, and the molting begins.  Demanded upon for answers unprepared for.  Soon to be exhausted by the enormity and inescapable power of the tsunami of them.  Subsumed by the relentless number, and each of a magnitude that effects not simply you but others as well.  Until you find the refuge.  The place of rest, after the storm has passed.  And you are alone.  With your thoughts, and perhaps a single friend.  But that is a time not yet, and a place not here.  This is the now and the time of distress.  It is not done.

We all have had the tale told of that aunt or that moment in the past that the family changed.  The quiet story of a passing relative, but you were young, and they didn’t mention the manner of the passing.  The uncle and the embezzlement, or the reason for the sudden change of cities of your cousins… Unprepared you didn’t know it could be your fate as well.  All the more the power of the surprise.  All the more the deepness of the trough of the sea’s waves. And now it is real.

That the fire was set on purpose is new news.  That the intentionality of the thing is also a surprise.  It causes more but different pain, this bit of knowledge.  A sudden death in a wreck, a loss in a war over seas, an “accident” that took a life are all of a single type of pain.  That you left on your own accord, that is a different type of loss… rejection is its companion.  Undeserved, and undesired, but still it is real.  Did you really not see the foreshadows in the horizon?  Were you simply not aware of the clouds forming?

In a sailing context the term for having a tail wind is called “running with the seas”.  It simply means a strong wind blowing you in the direction of its path and your actions simply let it run.  You make great speed and time, but it may not be in the direction you need to be going.  To change that you need to do what is called “coming about”.  What that entails is to turn into the wind, change the sails, have the waves smash onto your decks and the wind blow into your face.  If you are ready and have enough help you can keep all of your stuff and move the sails without tearing them.  If you are shorthanded and or not prepared, then things get washed overboard and sails are ripped, and ropes are pulled till they break.  Waves and wind come aboard unrequested and smash and soak and spray.  You are tempted to return to your former path that was easy, just not correct.  You are wishing for the pain to stop.  This is where you are. Now. Here.  Wishing you could return to the easy path and the pleasant winds at your back.  You know that you cannot, but it is what you would wish, if you only had time.

Survival.  What a word.  It carries so much power in its short three syllables. A cry against injustice.  A cry for relief, A yearning for the mere moments of only mere moments before… all while knowing that it cannot be.  A time not now and a place not here.  Death comes.  The death of dreams or the death of a friend or worse, a mentor.  A person revered, gone.  Not simply the loss of a companion but of hope bestowed on you.  Now you are to be the giver of hope and the truth is that you have none.  That is what has been swept from the decks of your ship that has come about, that you were not as ready as you had believed.  Only this has been revealed by the act of the turning.  Things lost and not to be recovered.  Youth, innocence, irresponsibility and freedom.  Gone.  Today you graduate into adulthood.  Regardless of age, it is now.  It is here.

What then is next?  Who am I to become?  Am I capable?  We will see, for there is no other option but to do.  A new day.  Not the doldrums of an absence of wind, but an unsure place of things to do, with a wind of uncertain power.  Wings, not yet dry, but called upon to carry me aloft.  I will do the work of the day before me.  I will move with the limp produced by burden of the knowledge I carry.  I may tell of this burden, or not, as the companion is capable of knowing.  Enough knowledge, but not debilitating amounts.  Knowing I can be a flawed judge, but with a wisdom of experience and not age. I will know by the look in your eyes, and the call on your heart.

This is the task of one that has recovered.  I may not be there yet, but I will be one day.  The giver of the wisdom I have gained.  The one that has recovered from the test of the wind and the wave.  The one that has chosen to sail on into the mighty seas with the remaining cargo that was not lost, my identity.  I am that which I have not lost.  I am that which is of value to the one that I speak, as a warning of things yet to befall you.  Storms not known and tempests which toss you as if you are nothing.  The magnitude that is more than you can know if you have not encountered it.  Smile as only the uninitiated can.  It will come to you as well.  Then we can tell of the days that men go silent.  Then we can tell of the tears that do not come.  Then… a time not now and a place not here.  The place of which only the ones that survived can speak of.  The coming about in a sea that cannot be named.  The place and the time that men’s lives were changed.  A place not here, a time not now.

You will know the look in the eye of the one that is of such as this.  They have weathered the storms of life.  The squall that came in the dark at a time they were not prepared.  You will know, for it is that which you have known.  Do not withhold the story of these days.  The story needs spoken into existence.  The tale needs told.  Do it justice, do it with grace.  Yield to the fears and the power of death faced bravely, with the knowledge of your fears.  Do not pretend bravery that was not there.  Tell of the power of that fear that was present, but not yielded to.  Tell of the friend that came to mind that compelled you to be more and do better.  In this you can become that of which you speak, to one that will need it later on.  A companion of merit, in a time of turmoil.  A friend that is here, in a time that is now.

This is who you are.  That which is transcendent of time and place.  A beacon of hope to the tempest tossed.  To the weary and the hungry and the lost.  That which you were only some moments before.  In a time not now and a place not here.

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