Treading lightly the path to enlightenment.

Posts tagged ‘time’

Roads – #116

So much has been stolen from us by this evolution into our techno-monetary society.

I have but moments to view this beautiful morning through glass, passing at sixty-five miles per hour.

How I envy the rat and raven, free to consume the entire day, one sacred Now at a time.




Out of the corner of my eye I caught the reflection of my manic self, stretched and distorted by the curve of the glass in the china closet door like those mirrors in the Fun House at the carnival.
The repetitions made me notice. The rhythmic and repeated patterns of a bird flying in circles.
A mourning dove tracing the patterns of predecessors round and round the round silo top.

“It’s okay.” I told myself aloud. As if there were some calamity or crisis, some disruption or disturbance requiring response and reassessment.
The listing begins immediately of the ordinary, if sometimes overboard execution of the everyday.
Dishes, dusting, vacuum, break. Water plants, water dog, water man, break. Mow, trim, landscape, feed the cat, break.

Swiss cheese memory and post-traumatic stress and innocent instabilities conspire with an aging mind twenty-four hours high and most of them awake.
“What am I forgetting?”
The listing begins anew. Pay the insurance bill, pay the light bill, break.
Like Morse code the messages dot and dash faster and faster across my mind.
It won’t stop.
Flames a constant distraction I am compelled to stop and stare, pass my fingers through the ruby plumes, marvel at the vapors curling the air in once-in-a-lifetime moments, and other deep dives into the cosmos within my home and my head.

I am spinning but I am not dizzy.
Perhaps I’m riding the carousel, or maybe I am gracefully stepping through a Viennese waltz in three-four time. The signature doesn’t fit with the four-four pace at which I am moving. Perhaps the Tilt-A-Whirl would be a more apt description. Turning always, circles within circles, sometimes calm and slow and sometimes fast and impelled by inertia and centrifugally slammed against the wall, all the time grinning with glee and laughing out loud.

A grownup calls from the fairway with one of those typical grownup outlooks. Nagging negative things about needing to go and there are only so many tickets and where is your sister and the fair is closing soon. I must shut down the calliope and the search lights. It must be time for something. Time to go home. To go to supper. To go to bed. To go. To do. The fair is closing. There’s only so much time.
Sun has set and fog prevails and from within the mist I see myself up on the Ferris wheel and climbing down the structure like Spiderman. “To Go! To Do!”
I race myself to the gate as it is closing to see what’s the rush.
Go where?
Do what?
The crowd presses close and shoves its rude self against the spindly legs of clowns on stilts holding their curious tiny wives “Just tuhwenty-nine inches tall-uh. Step right up!” and the barker is just now pulling the shade at the ticket office.

I lost Me in the crowd, and now I am home and dry in the parlor of my own beloved and vast Victorian Ark, my footfalls leading me to the kitchen.
That is where I last saw Old Me.
I can’t fully remember him now, like a childhood friend or old Army buddy, I know there were things I liked about him but time has eroded my memories and I’m having some difficulty recalling just what those things were.
I gather up the essential elements that would inspire and infuse life into Old Me again, like Dr. Frankenstein only unto myself like some kind of antonym of suicide.
The paper. The pen. The coffee.
A chair to sit. A light to see. Glasses.
I hear him rustling the hostas outside the north window. I hear him stalking through the back room between the freezer and the recyclables and the thousand-year-old relics of former lifetimes.
I didn’t see him sneak in.
Without warning or will my pen is alive and drives itself across the blank page, rapidly replicating that which as thought races at the speed of neurons around the inside of my skull like a bullet tracing circles in a barrel.
There he is! I saw him!
Just for a momentary manifestation, a vaporous and veiled visitor vexes my vision.

The spell is broken by the dog and the cat and the cottonwoods and the wind and the unwanted and unwarranted waking from this suspended reality.
I return to the chair only to find him sitting in it! He has possessed me like a demon!
No. Wait. Seemingly, he has been right here all along.
Waiting for Me.
We had a good laugh at this for a few beautiful minutes out of this waning day. We wondered very briefly if we were schizophrenic, but quickly reasoned we wouldn’t know the difference so how could we tell?
Rendering the question moot, we poured more coffee. As sunset approached, we retired to the parlor, to sit still and admire the gleaming china closet.

—————————————————-message truncated—————————————————-


My vessel slows to creep along this smooth
and littered stretch, amid the gathering
flotsam and jetsam.

Things here and now
are standing still.
Long undulations belie the
kinetic energy beneath.

Deep down in the channel
the river flows as ever.

A hushed babbling ahead,
a mist,
the approaching falls.

Circling, swirling,
we languish in
the slackwater.



No Time for Time


Geese at Bowmaker’s

I will no longer be fooled by


Lulled into mistaking

Linearity for longevity,

Feigning limitlessness.

I move in circles.

Seek peace,



Wilderness Road

Wilderness Road



Several lives ago,

drenched in myself,

wrapped in myself like an onion,

I followed the dark clouds,

And built a life on lies.


Lies are not sustainable,

and the construct collapsed

in on me

and those I love.


When the clouds cleared,

I was naked before the universe,

dowsed in sin.



This would be my drive

for thirty years

to sponge away this mark,

These stains,

the scar.


Time passes and

three lives later

I am not

The Same Man.


Those born since

and those walking alongside

and those that “know me”

do not know

or may not remember.


But from behind these eyes

there is hardly ever a day

I don’t look out through

stains and scars,

shading my vision.


You look and see me.

As I look in the mirror

I may as well have

a red “L” tattooed

on my forehead.


Someday, when I die,

there may be those that do not know,

and there may be some who will cry.

Sweet ones, do not cry.

The world has not lost,

but has expunged

The Liar.


Seek peace,



Solstices & Red Sands

Mars Winter

Mars Winter



It begins back at the winter solstice. The time these humans have labeled December.

It’s an absolute leap of faith to look out upon the frozen tundra before me, waist-deep in drifting snow, to look up at the crystal clear starfield overhead, bright and brilliant seen through air that’s well below freezing, and to know our great green planet is making a shift, beginning her annual tilt, swinging the northern hemisphere toward the sun.


Each day lengthens, and from that point forward my mind is focused on the Longest Day, the summer solstice. Each day the sun’s arc swings northward, skating the ridgetop of Victory Mountain. Each morning gets brighter until the magical day when the sun arises at the same time as me.





Perhaps only a madman would “rage against the dying of the light”. Only a fool would watch and celebrate the imperceptibly slow revolution of our world, the gains of daylight, which our planet consistently delivers like cosmic clockwork.


These are things that are real, predictable, dependable, understandable. If these events were to change, if the year unfolded itself in a new and unprecedented way, it could only mean disaster at some level to the world we’ve come to know.


Alas, these days I question my logic, my approach, my eagerness to chase after the sun and the solstices.


Is this akin to rushing through the Fun House at the carnival because you want to get to the end? In doing so, we cut short the time we are enjoying the Fun House, we forfeit the extra time we’ve paid for. We rush through our only chance at this once-a-year offering.





“Time is not holding us. Time is not after us.”, or so say The Talking Heads.


These days it seems that time is a commodity. Carve out this chunk for work and this chunk for sleep. Write off those portions claimed by others for birthdays, weddings, funerals, dinner parties and club picnics.


I raise the giant sand hourglass that is my life. Like Dorothy in the castle of the Wicked Witch, I gaze at the red sand ceaselessly flowing, draining. Running out.


There’s no bucket list, no unfulfilled lifelong dream. I’m not that complicated, organized or energetic. There is, however, still a lot of work to do, and I’m not sure how much I can cram in before the red sand runs out.


I’ve heard folks say, interpreting Robert Frost’s “Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening”, that there’s symbolism in there for suicide. The line “The woods are lovely, dark and deep,” seems to evoke an impression among people that the author wishes to lay down and die here and now.


Of course, the next two lines are: “But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.” I think Frost was just watching the red sand flow. Wanting to take a break and rest, maybe wanting to lay his burden down.


Yet each day we awake and have a little more time before us. A few more miles, a few more promises fulfilled. And so it goes.


Forked Lake Sunset

Forked Lake Sunset


The Talking Heads are right, of course. Time is not holding us, time is not after us. There is potentially plenty of wisdom, symbolism and philosophy in that little ditty.


Of course, The Talking Heads also say “There is water at the bottom of the ocean.”


No denying the logic, I suppose.


Both statements are true and accurate.


And the red sands flow.



Be at peace,



What year is it?

Clocks and calendars. Measuring sticks.

Mechanical human creations. To “keep track” of time.

An attempt to force order on the universe’s chaos?



In the west, yesterday marked the first day of the new calendar year 2014.

Everyone that marches to this calendar perceives this as a new time period. A new beginning of a record of time.

Folks are filled with ideas for commitment to goals, they call them “New Year’s Resolutions”.

I find my resolutions to be no different than at any other time of the year.

Take time to wonder. Share blessings. See the beauty in all things.

Remember you are but a flash in the universe’s timeline. A tiny unseen spark on a tiny rock, one of trillions of rocks riding the invisible gravity train around a star.

You live in a galaxy hurtling through space at 600 kilometers per second, bound on a collision course with a neighboring galaxy. Every moment is good fortune!

In Armchair Zen world, the year has already started. It began with the solstice.

It began at the time the Earth stopped tilting her frozen North Pole away from the sun.

The subtle, imperceptible yet predictable pause in the rocking of the planet, as it begins the swing back toward summer solstice.

Prior to this, since the Julian June, days became shorter a couple minutes at a time.

Now the pendulum swings past center, and the arc rises.

The “new” year is the same as the “old” year as far as the universe is concerned.

If you had to put a number on it, it would really be something like 14,500,000,000.

No wait: for those super-ordered buffs, let’s say it’s 14,500,000,001.

I hear a giant mechanical gear in a giant mechanical clockpiece, creaking and grinding as it throws another lever and drops a number for another year.

Perhaps that’s someone’s order of the universe.

Mine is counted in heartbeats.



My heartbeat, slow & steady, as I rock my baby granddaughter. My wife’s, unsteady as a newborn foal, as she palpitates her way through another year.

Counted in breaths of air.

Cold air, warm air, dusty & dry, smelling like rain, smelling like snow, smelling the mud of spring, the fishes of summer, the crisp leaves of autumn.

October rain

October rain

Counted in silent moments of awe-inspiring beauty, in the unspoken communication of eyes meeting.

In the automatic and natural gesture of holding hands.

Counted in the rare moments that will never repeat.

A captivating sunset, prisms in the grass, rainbows, ice-off, the first freeze.


Bowmaker morning

Bowmaker morning

Each day brings a new start. Any given day could be numbered “ONE”, the first of 365.25 consecutive days that represent that measuring stick called a year.

Yes, every day is a new day. Every day is a new year’s day.

So whether you follow the sun, the moon, the stars or the Julian calendar, my wish for you is good fortune in great measure.

Oh yeah, and good luck with those resolutions.

Be at peace,


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