Saturday, February 18, 2012

Just sing, little darlin'

Oh, I don't know... I just love this song right now... Isn't that enough?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Changing Stations

It was 2:53 when I stepped off the train, and it was the end of the line, for me and one other guy...Only one direction to go. I checked my purse, found nothing missing from its as-yet unfamiliar pockets, and began walking eastward down the platform. It was, perhaps, one or two hundred feet long, a gentle slope of brickwork covered with a light dusting of snow. I set a pace and passed the other fellow, who was moving slow and slightly fat under his black and red plaid coat, without regard. It's quiet, and empty, in that part of downtown at that time of night.

I'd had all of a couple minutes to consider, upon waking, how I had arrived at this station. Some hours earlier, I had bid my friends good night and made my way to a stop several blocks from where I now found myself. At the time, I was intoxicated enough that, as I leaned on the half-wall smoking what I hope was my last cigarette of the night, I could not hold back the hiccups that punctuated the minutes of the wait, which had already been long enough for at least one woman who approached me in a friendly way to complain about the train's whereabouts and suggest that a cab might be a better idea, just before crossing the street and rolling off with her friend. I, however, was not inclined to follow her lead, and continued waiting for an undetermined length of time, during which it might have occurred to me to check the schedule, or the time, but it did not. Some time went by; minutes, or an hour. I do not remember stepping onto the train. I do not recall sitting down, nor do I recall falling asleep. I am an experienced--and even gifted--drunk; also, I do not fall asleep in public. Ever. I do not sleep on the bus, on airplanes, in a car with my family, etc., etc. I do not even sleep in my own bed, for christ's sake. So I surmise that I must have been, as they say, wasted. Granted, I've been running on empty for the past two weeks, I'd slept hardly at all the night prior and had eaten only a meager grilled-cheese sandwich at the show, so I was pretty damn spent. I must have lost consciousness within moments, given that my stop was only a ten-minute ride away.

Here, now. I reached into a pocket and pulled out my as-yet unfamiliar phone, only to find that my battery was running low. Glancing up, I noticed the time, and wondered briefly about my options for getting home; if I could not call a cab, I could most likely hail one close by. I had taken maybe forty strides down the platform when I felt the soles of both my shoes--newly shined earlier that night by an older black man who also offered to, on his twenty-five dollar-a-night salary, take me home and "treat me right"--at once slip against the thin snow, as they so often do... I knew in less than a second I would fall, and fall I did--fully (though not ungracefully) flat onto my back, my skull meeting the brick with a dull thud. I lay there for a moment, seeing bright stars in the black sky beyond the sick glow of the streetlamps, all strangely beautiful.

Righting myself, I spotted a North Star taxi in the intersection below and, in what felt like a single motion, walked down and crossed the street, passing in front of the car with a minimal gesture, pulled open the back passenger door, sat down and said "Can you please take me to...?", a little surprised for some reason that the reply was simply yes, no questions. I don't know how long he had been sitting there, or if he'd seen my fall.

It might have been the lights of the dashboard, or of the empty streets, and not the scattered stars that I remember... All sped by quickly, on the short trip home. I rested in the darkness of the back seat and, anticipating the fare, assembled a small stack of leftover bills which seemed enough to include an appropriate tip...The cabbie asked about the way and I gave him a few reminders, glad that he understood and apparently knew the neighborhood. He pulled up a few houses down from mine, but I did not notice. The fare was more than I'd guessed. No longer certain that what I was already holding would be enough, I handed him a twenty; he looked back at me and requested, in a kind African accent, that I give him what was in my other hand instead, probably seventeen bucks. I graciously obliged and bid him goodnight.

I have arrived at my own door any number of times, under any variety of circumstances, in want of a pair of loving arms to welcome me home. I suppose this time stands out only in that, from a certain point of view, I was lucky to have made it home--safely--at all. There is something slightly chilling, as well as oddly liberating, in knowing that no one in this world has any idea where you are. I do have tremendously good luck, though, and always have. That, or a top-notch guardian angel. Inherent trust in goodness pays great dividends, sometimes.

I was late for work the following morning, naturally, but not a great deal more noticeably so than usual. The day was surprisingly pleasant and peaceful. Nothing lingered, and I was hardly tired--in fact, quite the contrary; I felt oddly lucid, grounded, and at ease. I even had the energy to enjoy an outing with family, deliver a few killer serves and chat my brother up for a couple hours after we got back to my place. Maybe, somehow, I needed those three dark hours, or it could be that new formula of mine taking effect. Or perhaps it was being poked in the third eye on Valentine's Day that did it, but for whatever reason I couldn't help feeling like it was the first day of Spring, or of my new life. In fact--and this was perhaps the only entirely strange aspect of the day--I found myself wondering more than once if it were possible that I had actually died that night. It seems to stand to reason that I am still very much alive.

I spent a little time trying to figure it out, when I got in, and by my best reckoning I must have traveled the entire length of the line, all the way down and back, at least once, quite possibly and more probably twice.  Out, like a light.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Nonsense vs. whatnot

My pupils are too wide today, my chest too heavy.  The high vibration of a late-rising full moon, now on the wane, along with several days of not nearly enough sleep, have been running me down all week and finally caught me by the tail this afternoon--and just in time, too. Two long, full days of rest, recuperation and non-business-related activities shall, I hope, dispel this cold spell of restlessness.

On the way home this evening, due to causes unknown, I found myself musing on the relationship between Faith and Reason, while crossing the Skyway.  I wonder (if you'll forgive this trite analogy) if, to one who thirsts in the desert, the miles traveled in the quest for a mirage--that is to say, in ungrounded hope--are or are not "worth" the crushing disillusionment that almost inevitably follows such a pursuit... In this imagined desert, or any real one for that matter, to chase such a foolishly optimistic vision would risk one's very life. There is of course the possibility that, in the effort to reach an oasis which exists only in the mind's eye, one might chance upon a refuge in reality, or rather suddenly find oneself in different circumstances altogether; so, one could reason that it's not so foolish, after all, to dream an impossible dream.  Yet it's not reason that draws a man, step by grueling step, toward an imagined destination, so much as it is an arguably irrational act of blind faith.  Or is it?  Yin, yang, I guess.  I do find it interesting that many religions tend to be built rather heavily upon a foundation of "good" vs. "bad" (heaven vs. hell, up vs. down, man vs. woman, etc. and dichotomy in general, which is, in my mind, essentially an intellectual equivalent of "you pee-pee; me boobies", but I digress.) and these aptly described "faith-based" value systems must, by their very nature, preach the gospel that Faith is Good.  I don't quite mean to suggest that such value systems also regard Reason as Bad, because that simply does not follow, and I don't think it has been dictated or proven anywhere that Faith is incompatible with Reason or vice versa; however, I believe the (generally undisputed) definition of faith is belief without proof, which itself is a concept founded on reason, and if Faith would allow Reason to get a word in edgewise once in a while, he would probably have a thing or two to say about that.  You see what I just did?  I made you think of Faith as feminine, for no reason whatsoever...maybe. So, what am I getting at, exactly?  I'm not sure.  But I think it had something to do with watching a movie.

Before I do that, though, I'm going to change subjects again.

I had cause yesterday, or the impulse anyway, to take a few drops of Solomon's Seal tincture, which I recently acquired with the intent of concocting from it and a few other herbs a formula to heal and strengthen my impaired spine, wrists and various other joints.  I daresay that, even under the influence of mild-to-moderate sleep deprivation, I could detect a different level of activity today in some of my trouble spots.  It's possible that my perceptions were influenced by my desire or something resembling the placebo effect, but experience--for whatever it's worth--tells me otherwise, and if we cannot rely on our own experience as a measure of anything, what can we possibly do or learn in this life?  Thus, I begin my next round of experimentation... I believe, as many do, that, beyond the scientifically measurable chemical reactions or experiential evidence supporting the existence of such, plants heal through the pure expression of their essential nature.  Obviously this isn't something I can actually prove, not only because I lack the requisite skills to do so but because it is (nearly?) impossible to actually prove something as complex and perhaps changeable as the essential nature of anything, which is perfectly all right with me.  I seek to understand not why, but how--meaning, in what manner--a plant can express its healing power.  Reason and experience tell me that I need not exercise faith in order to do this, yet... When reason has failed, and experience deceived, it is not always easy, prudent or wise to place confidence in one's own judgement, and so at the outset of this initiative I find myself pondering this paradox: that I must now engage my Faith in Reason, and Reason in Faith.  And I still don't really know what I'm talking about, but I don't think either one of them can really argue with that.  It's not too late for popcorn, is it?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Special Delivery

A package on the doorstep today, not unexpected but having arrived, happily, sooner than anticipated, full of good herbs from which to craft a potion for to heal broken connections, of my own and of those I love... Solomon's Seal, Teasel, Horsetail, Blue Vervain, Goldenseal, St. John's Wort, waiting to join forces with Black Cohosh, my home-gathered and tinctured Mullein, perhaps others...Formulas to treat the misaligned spine, strained muscles and damaged joints, worn cartilage and injured nerves, to ease the tension and set things right.  I'll keep you all posted on my this, my next experiment in Good Medicine, as I am informed.  Be well--remedies abound!