The Energy Dream

Antsy and restless, my wife and I awaited an event. 

We were seated in chairs outdoors, on a corner, by a dark sea. She was across from me. A sharp, blustery wind and leaden sky frequently pierced by sunshine highlighted a roiling, uneven intensity.

The mood I felt permeated a growing crowd. Roving gangs and knots of teenagers prowled, seeking outlets and distractions. I frequently looked to the horizon, waiting for the change that we feared and expected. A young woman who I vaguely knew came and sat on my lap. First she tried cajoling me into buying her a car. My wife, opposite, made snarky comments about the girl to friends. The girl annoyed me. She then tried seducing me, pushing my annoyance to the point that I removed her, and got up to walk.

The girl followed me, making comments. I decided it would be important for us to have water for what was to come and went to find some. My search brought me to a welcome center. Made mostly of clean bright white plastic, a lone, awkward appearing manned the place.

He spoke to me but I mostly ignored him. Multiple water dispensers existed but there weren’t any containers. I found a tin thing which I repurposed, then filled it. I tasted the water; it was fine. Looking at it, I discovered fine black sediment suspended in it. Pouring that water out, I cleaned the vessel, refilled it, and hurried back to the corner.

The event seemed to be beginning. We all gathered, standing to watch the ocean. A tall dark storm lit by silvery white backlight sprawled across the horizon. As a general said, “Here it comes. It’s bigger than expected,” a stern wind struck.

Although the wind rocked me back, his comments soothed me. I was happy that it was finally beginning. The general said, “It’s going to take longer to come because it’s bigger than expected.”

I was nodding because I was okay with that. Now that it was beginning, everyone relaxed and watched. Drinking crystal clear water from my tin, I waited.

Sunday’s Theme Music

So…

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.

So…

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.

Friday’s Theme Music

Many songs that I remember have specific moments attached. They follow traditional, predictable patterns of love, success, pain, and failure.

Today’s song is hotly linked to success. It was 1999. Retired from the military, I was working in a medical device startup company. I began as the customer service manager. Then the company was bought out. And on this day, the new VP of marketing from the company who bought us had offered me a big promotion, to become a product manager, and I’d accepted.

The world looked great. This was in the summer in the Peninsula portion of the SF Bay Area known as Silicon Valley. I was in my car, a vehicle I enjoyed The sky was blue, the sun was bright and warm, and the future seemed amazing.

Traffic wasn’t bad either, as I left Highway 101 and I-280 behind me and headed west toward home on highway 92. For that day, I put in Bush, Sixteen Stone, and selected “Comedown” (1995).

Here are the lyrics that drew me that day:

‘Cause I don’t wanna come back down from this cloud
It’s taken me all this time to find out what I need
I don’t wanna come back down from this cloud
It’s taken me all this all this time

h/t AZlyrics.com

(BTW, I wanted to indent the lyrics to call them out, but can’t find the indent on this new, cumbersome, tedious, loaded WP editor. This is supposed to be a quick post; I don’t want to spend a lot of time searching through blocks and patterns, widgets and menus to find what used to be a simple matter. And where is the help? Oh, let me look for that.)

Don’t have a specific reason for this song in my head today. Just awoke to that beginning from the song. Maybe it was a dream thing, or a writing thing, or my generally foolish, optimistic nature.

But that’s today’s music.

Yellows

Wash me in yellow

the bright color of hopeful change

spritz me with marigolds

press me to get out of my lane

 

Soak me in yella

optimism and light

help me see past the madness and badness

and pursue what’s right

 

Drown me in yeller

make it an ocean of chance

a place where all are happy

and there’s singing and dance

 

Coat me in yellow

let it cover me all

like dazzling leaves on a tree

in the bright sunshine of fall

The Hoop-de-doop Dream

Last night’s third dream was different from the first two. (There was another dream, a fourth. I don’t know where it fit in the sequence but I don’t remember enough to even reconstruct a skeleton of thought about it, so you’re spared.)

It was a peculiar night for dreams. First, the brief, exciting, and inspiring eagle dream. It was just cool.

Second came the overlooked dream, which was depressing.

Next came the slum village dream, the hoop-de-doop.

The dream began with me in an American slum in a southern city. The city’s name wasn’t provided but I knew from the southern accents…you know?

I was a writer. Why I’d come to that city, I don’t know. I feel from how I thought in the dream and what was said that I’d chosen to come to the city and that part to shed some skin and re-invigorate myself. I’d settled in and was getting to know a small nucleus of locals focused around a few bars, stores, restaurants, and coffee shops that I regularly frequented.

It was a colorful place, lively with frequent displays of dark humor. Mark it, though, this was an economically depressed area. Many people were drunk or on drugs. Homeless people proliferated, thriving in their own street culture. Small businesses hung on while people hustled, trying to get the cash for car repairs, meals, clothing, etc.

A billionaire philanthropist arrived. He looked like an average white guy, slightly balding but slender, maybe in his late fifties, dressed in faded jeans, a loose, short-sleeved shirt, and loafers. Walking around, he took his time to visit places and people. Strangers were infrequent so all of us flocked toward him, although the flocking was done with wariness. I approached him closer and more quickly. He and I started chatting. I learned who he was and that his mission was to inject money into the area with an broader plan to help people repair and improve their businesses and homes, or to pursue education and dreams.

It sounded magnanimous, and I was impressed, but dubious, waiting to hear what his angle was, and what he was going to gain from his efforts. He didn’t answer that directly, and then made the surprise announcement that I was going to run the project for him.

I’d just met him, so I was taken aback. He hadn’t even mentioned it until making that announcement like it was a done deal. That was one, and two, I was writing, and didn’t want to divert time and energy for his project. He told me that I could continue writing at night, that my work would only be needed during the day. He wanted me for the job because he was impressed by how quickly I’d fit in and developed rapport with people.

I was convinced and started immediately. I began by walking around, interviewing people. That’s where hoop-de-doop comes in. Whenever I approached people about what they wanted or needed, they frequently dismissed my questions by throwing an arm up and saying, “Hoop-de-doop,” followed by something else. For example, one man said, “Hoop-de-doop, I’m supposed to just drop everything and trust this rich white man who just arrived one day and said he’s going to help me?”

I gathered through my interviews that many were distrustful and suspicious. Most were angry, not at the white billionaire, per se, but at the impression that they needed or wanted help. I saw that few of them had hope for improvement. They’d been offered help before. Rising to try, they’d had the funding and structure collapse on them, leaving them bitter and hurt. They didn’t want to experience those emotions again.

Realizing this, I pursued paths to rekindle their hopes. I needed one example, one person among them to be an example, someone to create a plan to pursue their dream with the billionaire’s financing. To find that person, I began walking through the area, speaking with people and looking for the one.

The dream ended.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Began streaming this 1970 song yesterday afternoon during my après-writing walk-about. “For united we stand, divided we fall, and if our backs should ever be against the wall, we’ll be together, together, you and I.”

Although I often get down (trigger a background streaming of Kool & The Gang performing “Jungle Boogie” (1973)) by world events, especially with the rise of white supremacy and a growing impression that large segments of America’s population are concerned about only themselves, leading to a de facto policy of screw everyone else, and the Earth, too, singing “United We Stand” by Brotherhood of Man (1970) lifted my spirits.

Listen. Sing along. Hope.

 

The Day

the day sparkles

hidden meanings and forgotten truths

reveal themselves

flashes of light

 

the day hums

energy and hope

turning everything

leaves of brightness that speak

infinite possibilities

 

the day sings

high, crisp notes

vaulting the sky

joining the stars

lifting souls

new arenas of thought

 

***

I’m in the coffee shop. I turned and looked out the window. There’s an indoor pool below. Sunshine rebounds off the pool’s waves, catching my attention. Wind rifles through the spring’s full, majestic trees. Sunshine flashes off the leaves as they twirl and bounces off car windshields, stinging my eyes.

I think and I write. Then I look again. Sunshine still lights the day, but its left the pool and the leaves, rendering me amused about looking out the window at just the right moment and angle to see.

 

April Showers

picture April showers of stars at night, 

of singing people and loving sights.

Hopes of April showers of good luck,

keep me going when I feel stuck.

I remember April showers of another time,

when I was young and thought the world would be mine.

I want for April showers when people are less of a dick,

where we help each other

and stop being angry and sick.

On A Beach

embalmed with denigration

drowning in clichés

paralyzed with expectations

frustrated by delays

 

harpooned with envy

mesmerized by guilt

sucked into disappointment

sunken in the silt

 

riding all the waves

hoping in belief

searching for the way

getting stuck on a beach

 

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