Thursday, September 22, 2016

Alone

  To be alone away from the frantic hassle of the day gives peace to the soul and opens the way for our thoughts to wander where they may. There is a major difference between being alone and loneliness, but both are a major aspect of living.
  To be alone and comfortable within ones own person is a goal that is achieved by few. It is the crowning mark of maturity of a life well lived. You take joy in the present because you know this time will never come again and the future is yet to be. 

   When you reach a certain age and look back with pleasure at the choices you have made the past becomes brief moments to be treasured. Then you move on to a new existence without those that have enriched your life. We hope we'll meet them again in another life yet maybe our pragmatic soul knows this will never happen. But as long as we're alive they will not be forgotten.
   Loneliness is a different aspect and few escape the desolation of seeking without finding a place to be oneself without creating a shield for protection against the buffets of the unknown. You walk the friendless streets and are lost in the crowd where you are not recognized by the passing parade.  You climb the hill into the night with sturdy steps knowing that when you reach the top you have a choice to either look back from wench you can or down into the valley of the future. The choice is always yours to decide where you want to live when you're alone in the night.

The photo for this piece is from a collection by Charlene Perkins and used with her permission. She achieved an honorable mention in the Nash Black photography awards for her shot a Great Blue Herons taking flight.        

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Silence of a City

   
Night sounds of the city beat and hammer not from sirens, but the gentle splatter of spray from a sprinkler soaking a tiny patch of lawn that graces a hotel parking lot to remind one of a minute parterre set on open plains that are now covered with concrete and asphalt.
   A place where roses bloom, but cast no scent on the vagrant breeze that meanders along canyons of marble, brick, stone, and steel.
   It's three o'clock in the morning. Sleep alludes me. I'm sipping a cup of tea waiting for my eyelids to grow heavy listening for the sounds of the night.
   The distant rumble of a train breaks the quiet of my mind as the sound draws near. A lone whistle blows when the passenger train picks up speed to plunge past the station. Where are all the people going that is so important they will spend their sleeping hours sitting upright in stiff seats lulled into slumber by the rocking of the wheels along the track? It passes in the night as it moves along the rails and fades into the future sucking sound into its vortex.
   A soft thump catches my ear as a black cat lands on the high wall that encloses the patio from the street beyond. Silently it strolls along the rough surface on soft pads. It ignores me as if I'm a piece of statuary which has taken up residence in his domain though we both know his acute olfactory sense has detected my human presence. His inky blackness melds against the midnight sky. He stalks his prey with the noiselessness precision of his race - hunter of the dark.
   A single leap - a sudden high squeal. A field mouse who reached a greedy nose for one last budding rose hip has met his demise. The cat was hungry and does not pause to play with his prey as cats are prone to do. The mouse becomes a meal for the night stalker who carefully grooms his paws to rid them of the creature's blood. Then the cat is gone, back behind the wall, into the darkness of the night.
   Not long after the cat has slunk away outside the wall a baby rabbit emerges from under the thorny canes of the rose bushes. His nose twitches as he tests the night air catching the faint aroma of the recent meal. He is a brave little soul who joins me in the open under the glow of the street lights. There is no morsel of food for him on this paved expanse and he soon scampers away into the shadows.
   The rose red of a grime encrusted neon sign dims and flashes on a distant street as a bar closes for the night. Its few patrons make their way down the vacant street. Can they escape the silent vastness of the canyons or are they like me - alone - comfortable with the night?
   I ponder the silence of a capitol city

- there are no cars on the streets. Void of traffic where the hum of mighty air-conditioners is the most constant noise of the night. There are no birds or insects flying round the tall lights. The breeze does not ruffled the stiff leaves of foreign ornamental trees. It is as if the great edifice of government has collapsed in upon itself awaiting the light of day to live.
   Sounds of the night ring in your soul. They cry out to be heard, but there is no one to listen while the city sleeps.


   Images used for this piece are from Google of Springfield, IL at night.
   

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Shades of Memory



   The past is gone, it will not returned though fragments haunt the shadows of my mind as I gaze into the unknowable starkness of the future. The shades of memory cling to the present like webs of a spider, strong and resilient though I struggle to brush them into oblivion.
   My steps falter in the sand dragging my feet into its blackness that absorbs the light of the waning moon like the flotsam scattered in the shallows. Casting me adrift in a slue of misery I can not change.
   The screech of a lone gull drifting on the wind, torn from its roost by a savage lust for prey, floods the silent shadows of the night. A ray of light casts its shadow on the rolling foam. Fleeting transported into the depths of the sea to meld with vanished dreams.
   Tingly salt laden air seeps into the pores of my being with the delicacy of a mixed bouquet of death and life. Remnants of scent mixed by the sea that trigger the deepest shoals of memory.
   Rumbling roar of the surging sea casts fragments of memory back to me as I walk on the sinking sands. The sea empties its castoffs at my feet begging me to join its surging current. To walk into the sea and never be is no temptation for I must know the depths of being before fleeting fate faces away from me.
   Is it destiny or chance that casted me up by the sea to be swallowed in the darkness of the pounding surf like the sand prints I left behind?