Contrary to world expectations, I’ve been, um, feeling good? How else can it be put, but I’ve been experiencing a rising sense of hope and optimism. It permeates everything I’m doing and thinking.
Rationally, I can’t account for it. I can say that I’m less stressed because I’m not out there socializing and fighting traffic. I can attribute it to kind weather gods; May, June, and July have been pleasantly mild for the most part, keeping anxieties about wildfires and smoke tamped.
But then there’s COVID-19 and what it’s doing to the world. And there was the death of a sweet, shy cousin, too young, just fifty-one, dead from cancer, leaving two sons behind, succumbing to the disease after a four year struggle. In my mind, she remains bright-eyed and smiling with an impish impulse.
And there was Dad, being rushed to the hospital mid-week, Dad who is rarely sick but has a full metal jacket of stents (installed a few years ago) and moderate CPOD. He is almost eighty-eight, though, so there’s always expectations and worries. We are talking about the life train. It always pulls in at the same final stop.
Writing, though, has been a wonderful escape, of course, taking me on an unexpected ride as the characters evolve and the story goes in directions that I didn’t expect. That’s always a pleasure, innit? A good writing day can propel you over many obstacles.
Feeling good. Optimistic, hopeful, even joyous.
Against this backdrop, I’m hearing “Bell Bottom Blues” by Eric Clapton (1971). Two aspects of the song stay on a loop in my head: “I don’t want to fade away,” and “I don’t want to lose this feeling.”
No, I don’t want to lose this feeling. It’s too good. I wish I could package it and share for free with everyone in the world. Others should know these sensations. They’re powerful stimulants.
Enough of my babbling. Here’s the music, a later live acoustic version that I think does more justice to the song.
Standing outside, don’t know where it was. Bit dark, like false dawn was just coming on. The light was weak and faded, and color was seeping into the world. A cool wind toyed with my face, and I thought, “This is nice.”
Motion in the air took my attention up and to one side. I thought it was a bird but then gathered it was a leaf. Carried by the light wind, the leaf followed an erratic, tumbling flight. With my first gaze, I mistook it for brown but then realized, no, it’s green. I thought it was a maple leaf.
Pale blue was creeping into the sky by then. After a moment, my orientation changed. Temporarily baffled, I puzzled over what I was seeing and then realized that I was looking down. A split second later, an epiphany went through me that I was the leaf. It so surprised me that I started awake.
Awake in the dark, I stared upward, still seeing the leaf as it faded, amused by the thought, I’m a floating leaf.