I was standing in my grass in my bare feet, breathing the morning air, looking around and remembering my dream. A shaft of sunshine found me, or I found it. I called the cat, Meep, aka the Ginger Prince, ‘real name’ Papi, and he came up and over the fence, flying at me with heroic music. I was thinking about change still, so some of the lyrics to “Change” by Blind Melon (1992) chugged into the stream.
And when you feel life ain’t worth living
You’ve got to stand up, and take a look around
And you look up, way to the sky
And when your deepest thoughts are broken
Keep on dreamin’, boy
‘Cause when you stop dreamin’, it’s time to die
I remembered the words well enough but like copying and pasting lyrics sites like Genius.com to get them correct. I continue dreaming in the nocturnal sense and the hopeful sense of pursuing goals. I’m always looking at the sky.
I don’t have any broken dreams, just dreams refined and postponed. I feel that I should note that Shannon Hoon, who wrote and sang “Change” passed away from a drug overdose when he was 28, just as they found greater success. The song was released well before his death, but I listen to it differently after he died.
I was thinking about how different people think, how approaches vary, from the balls out risk-everything, take no prisoners approach to the more cautious haste makes waste angle. Each of us develop preferences. We evolve and refine these from watching and listening to us, and then addressing our approaches based on our results.
I remember a philosophy class I took decades ago. The professor was a good friend. We regularly socialized outside of class before I ever took any of us classes. He and I were of very like minds, and I expected the class to be similarly aligned.
Most were. These were University of Maryland classes on Okinawa. Most attendees were military members or dependents. In this class, one woman, a security police airman who was a few years younger than me, was fearless about stating her positions.
I found her positions pretty shocking. For fun, she and her friends liked to drive around at night and deliberately run over animals. She yearned for days like the ‘wild west’, where if you thought someone was guilty, you called them out and shoot it out.
Those were two of the more extreme examples of how her thinking diverged from mine. The final part, however, was how she declared herself to be a good Christian. While I could appreciate and understand someone having views different from mine, and accept (with much disgust) that they thought so lightly of life that they killed for fun (and regaled us about how she and her friends thought it was so funny), I couldn’t grasp how she reconciled her views as a Christian with these attitudes toward killing and justice.
I still don’t.
And as I think of Donald Trump, and all that he’s been shown to have done, from his marriages and affairs, bankruptcies, attacks on others’ service to the United States, repeated lies and empty boasts, I think of his supporters. Like that woman in my philosophy class, I do not understand how they reconcile what they see, hear, know, and believe. I try to understand, partly from intellectual curiosity as well as trying to satisfy for myself that I’m not missing something, that I’m not living in a silo. I also try to understand it from a motivational point as a writer, feeding my characters.
Reality can be stranger than fiction, but I imagine that many of them don’t understand me and wonder how I’ve come to be a progressive liberal, because they think I’m destroying the nation, if not the world. Possibly somewhere, there’s a novelist trying to understand how I think, so they can feed their character, too.
Stressed and blessed
encouraged and discouraged
he’s riding the waves of the day
Angry and numb
frustrated and feeling dumb
she’s riding the waves of the day
cascading and rising
falling and sliding
the waves lift you up and
take you under
man and woman
no matter skin or order
all of us ride the waves of the day
You’d think the start was when the body was found. That’s the beginning of the crime investigation. It isn’t, of course, the crime’s beginnings. For that, you need to slip into a wayback machine and ride time to when the killer was young and beginning their career, back to before the victim and killer had ever met, back to a nascent moment when everyone was happy and oblivious to the future.
After all, the killer just wanted revenge. Their victim had killed first, but the body hadn’t been found. At least, that’s what the killer believed.
They were always one to act on their beliefs.
The page came up.
and came to be.
I did a great deal of solitary walking on the beach last week, a wonderful incubator for re-balancing references and energies, and re-calibrating my compass. Many walking songs streamed along in the background of my thinking. I’d heard this song, “Walking in Memphis” (Marc Cohn and the Blind Boys of Alabama, 1991) earlier in the week. The song melded effortlessly into my stream. One specific verse remained with me.
Walking in Memphis
I was walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale
Walking in Memphis
But do I really feel the way I feel?
The lines’ duality strike me, especially the last, “But do I really feel the way I feel?” Not infrequently, I root through what I’m feeling to discover that what I thought I was feeling wasn’t it at all, and the source for my feelings isn’t always as apparent as the first thing – or the latest matter – or the dominant issue – stalking me. Sometimes, digging and reflection is required to discover what I really feel, and why.
Good times, bad times
pastimes, last times
the next time, a new time
beyond time, besides time
just in time, the nick of time
a niche in time, high times
time beyond measure
time after time.