Messages On A Mountain: A Dream

This was a wild one. Beginning with me dressed in faded raspberry-colored running shorts and a tee shirt, I ran up and down this mountain, receiving, carrying, and delivering messages. The weather was fine, the mountain, high, rocky, and steep, but dotted with bushes and trees. The more I did it, the more effortless it became. I was having fun and getting in great shape, becoming trimmer and more muscular.

All walks of people from my life lined the mountains as I went about my business, including sisters, wife, and friends from different life eras. I stopped to chat with some on some runs. Many commented on my improved physical form, which, yes, made me happy.

A break was taken for a meal. My mother- and father-in-law, both deceased, were present, along with my wife, cousins, and others. Overall, it was a small gathering. My father-in-law and I were preparing the meal, with him more or less guiding me as I worked out what needed to be done. People were seated, waiting to be served. They were along one wall, backs to it, with a table in front of him. I noted that the table was too high and said so to my father-in-law. A cousin pointed out that folded tables along the wall would probably work. I unfolded one and confirmed its height was the ideal height for an eating surface.

I drifted off to another location. We discovered time was going backward. Was it time going backward or our perception that was askew? Perhaps reality was twisted, or was it just our perception of reality. Or was it just the clocks going backwards? Tests were made and the conclusion was reached, yes, time seemed to be going in reverse. Sunrises became sunsets. People, cars, and animals traveled backward. What was causing this and what did it mean?

I discovered that I could drink water and return the clocks to their normal running. Something would happen to cause the reverse order. We learned what but I can’t recall it now. Whenever that happened, though, I drank water and all returned to normal. After testing this for myself and verifying it, I started showing it to the others and explaining it. I discovered that I lost my running shorts, so I was naked from the waist down. That didn’t bother me, or anyone else. I demonstrated again and again that my drinking water restored proper reality. As I showed it to the collective, each required personal observation that it worked. The question became, would drinking water restore reality for others?

That’s when the dream ended.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Sunshine came to Wednesday, 5/12/21 in Ashland, Oregon, 5:53 AM. The light quickly exposed the night for what it was, a dark place where many go to rest. Few can resist the night; it rolls in, and they start yawning. Their eyes begin closing as night’s magic sweeps over them. Their heads soon nod. Slumping, their breathing deepens. As people fall into heavy slumber, night’s minions quietly move in, resetting reality. Night’s efforts will begin again at 8:22 PM. Meanwhile, daylight will strain to keep the borders secure.

Channeling Mick Jagger and the Stones today. Began by thinking about time, hurry, and rushing around, leading directly to some “Tumbling Dice” lyrics.

Always in a hurry, I never stop to worry
Don’t see the time flashin’ by
Honey, got no money
I’m all sixes and sevens and nines
Say now, baby, I’m the rank outsider
You can be my partner in crime

Baby, I can’t stay
You got to roll me and call me the tumbling
Roll me and call me the tumbling dice
Baby, oh my

h/t to Genius.com

Although I like the studio (’72) version better for tempo, piano, and familiarity, watching performers play their music in concert fascinates me. The little side winks, grins, and double-takes are extra flavoring, bringing in a sharper human side. So I went with with both a studio version and a 1974 recorded live version so you can hear the difference and decide which you prefer. With either, it’s a good party moment when they come to that chorus, “Baby. I can’t stay.” People enjoy belting that out.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax. Cheers

Saturday’s Theme Music

The cats, my wife, and I agree, it’s pretty outside today. Take spring greenery and sunshine. Splash some gray and white clouds against the sky. Load up a brush with snowy white and slather across the land. Result: a snowy and sunny late winter day. That’s despite a temperature floating around 37 degrees F.

It happened abruptly. I let Boo the Bedroom Panther out at 10 PM. I let him back in at 10:15. There wasn’t any snow in evidence at that time, your honor. Thirty minutes later, my wife announces she’s going to bed to read, and why is it so bright outside? Ah, snow.

Today is March 6, 2021, a Saturday. Solrise was at 6:38 AM. Soldrop will be at 6:07 PM in southern Oregon. For those of you who collect days, you know that this is a unique one. There will never be a day like this again. For some reason, that prompted the Wayback Machine to spooled up some Talking Heads.

Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…
Look where my hand was
Time isn’t holding up
Time is an asterisk
Same as it ever was…

h/t to DavidByrne.com

Well, Jill D. contributed to this thinking with her post, The Rich Get Richer While The Poor … | Filosofa’s Word (jilldennison.com). “Once In A Lifetime”, circa 1981, will stick to yer ribs.

Remember, stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax. Cheers

March Monday Madness

  1. Thinking of the post’s title brings back memories and a smile. Pre-pandemic, I used to regularly visit a coffee shop. I usually ordered mochas there. So, it was Michael’s mocha. Going with the alliteration scheme, Michal’s Mocha sometimes became Michael’s March Madness Monday Mocha. It also took place in May. Just harmless fun, banter between me and the ‘ristas.
  2. The skunk under the house was active last night. Lots of squeaking under the master bath and then arose that smell. We admire this skunk for her persistence and tenacity. She’s like a writer, never giving up, you know?
  3. I shut down the skunk’s activity last nightwell, it was this morning, really, one twenty-five AM by all the standard references — with the iPad. Turning it on, I called up a video of David Frost interviews. Setting the iPad on the bathroom floor with the volume turned up, I plugged it in so it wouldn’t run out of juice, and closed the door. As soon as David Frost began speaking, the squeaking ceased.
  4. Just to make home life more interesting, we now have what seems to be a gopher hole in the back yard. Investigations are ongoing. More reports forthcoming. We’re a no-kill household, so I’ll probably be turning to sonic stakes to drive them away.
  5. I’m always fearful of calling down the muses’ wrath when I mention that writing is going well, that I’m enjoying the process and entertaining myself with what I write, so I won’t mention it.
  6. I really enjoyed the 60Minutes interview with Colson Whitehead that aired Sunday. First novel rejected twenty-five times and never published. He writes for himself but hopes that one person will identify with and like what he writes, and maybe one will become ten, etc. That’s me paraphrasing, based on what I heard, and perhaps what I wanted to take away from his outlook. He’s won two Pulitzer Prizes, which, great, congratulations to him. More importantly, those two books are in the house in my reading pile. My wife read both and recommend them to me. I seriously trust and respect her judgment in these matters. So, I’ll put those books higher on the pile.
  7. The reading pile is always growing, it seems. Books get recommended or passed on. Reviews are read and chords are struck. Friends publish new books and must be read. A new favorite author is discovered and other works are hunted down for reading. Then, there’s the non-fiction side. Reading is a constant requirement. I’m fortunate to have the time to indulge myself.
  8. I was reading in the living room yesterday afternoon. The book at hand was Countdown City by Ben Winters. It’s a quick, engaging noir adventure. Sunshine bubbled in over my shoulders through the blinds. Sitting, listening, in a pause from reading, I heard no electronics running. No lights were on. The furnace and refrigerator were silent. Radios and television were off, though clocks are running. The home weather station was running, and so was the net and laptops and the associated equipment. But none of these things made sounds. I enjoyed the sunny stillness.
  9. Thinking of clocks…four ‘clocks’ are in the house. Two are in the kitchen, in the microwave and range. Another is in the bedroom. The fourth is a battery operated clock in the snug. But then, we wear Fitbits, which offer us the time. So do the phones, the thermostat, and laptops, printer, and tablets. We track time everywhere.
  10. I’m fussy about synchronizing the clocks, too. I think, or at least, pretend, that it harkens back to my military career. Being synchronized to the second was important to us in that life.
  11. Also to keep life interesting — because these are such boring, tedious times — credit card fraud struck us. I was reviewing my credit card billing last week. It’s a weekly habit for me to go online and review all the finances, a time-killing activity to fill space when I’m putting off doing something else. It just takes a few minutes. Well, lo’, there was a small charge that I didn’t recognize. After verifying it didn’t belong to my wife, I challenged it with the company. They responded by cancelling that card and sending me a new one. However, they didn’t tell me that they were doing that. First I know of it was when the credit card was rejected. That spun me up fast. Suspecting it was related to the fraud that I reported, I checked into the account to look for notice that such is what happened. No notice. A chat with an agent was required to verify cause and effect. It would have been nice to be warned or notified that they’d done this, right? Irritating customer service policy, to say the least.
  12. We have only two credit card accounts. Each is used for certain activities, to help limit exposure. That meant, though, that we are down one credit card. Momentarily, yes, but it’s a domino effect. Emails arrive, hey, your card was rejected, what up? No idea when the new card will arrive so some activities are on stuck in a queue. Whereas I had reduced checking the mail to once a week in general, sometimes twice in one week, I’ll now be going to the mailbox daily.
  13. Also, I knew that credit card information. I could rattle off the number, expiration date, and security code without hesitation. Now I’m forced to learn a new number and particulars. Yeah, I like whining, don’t I?
  14. Got my coffee. Ready to write like crazy at least one more time.

Ignorant

Unheeding of what they thought or humans tried to do, the skunk removed the board with her powerful front legs and went back under the house. A robin changed positions, looking for a meal.

Indifferent to changing clocks, pending elections, economies, and pandemics, nature shifted gears, changing colors and striking down leaves and blooms in the northern climes, and refreshening and enlivening the landscape south of the equator.

Oblivious to watching eyes, hopes and despairs, and lies and promises, the sun rose, and the stars shone, and the moon reflected on it all.

All of nature and physics remained ignorant of the human worries and events, as though they were a drop in the bucket, a blink of an eye, or a mote floating through the firmaments, and not the end and beginning of everything.

The wind, as he thought about it, sighed, and went on.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

I’m a pop child, you know? Born in ’56 in the United States in a lower middle-class household and living mostly in suburbs, I grew up as television and radio matured. When Mom cleaned house, she turned on her records and sang with them. Throughout the years, I heard her with Patsy Cline, Pat Boone, Johnny Cash and Johnny Rivers, Tony Bennett, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Chubby Checkers, Louis Armstrong, Tammy Lynette, Ray Charles, Johnny Mathis, Barbra Steisand, the Ink Spots and Four Platters, to list the ones that jump casually to mind.

Then there was big sis. Two years older than moi, she started listening to the Beach Boys, the Beatles, Dave Clark Five, Herman’s Hermits, Simon and Garfunkel, and Grand Funk Railroad. Boys, interested in this attractive young woman and usually a year or two older than her, brought more music in, like the Spencer Davis Group, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, and David Bowie.

The radio was always on in the car, and I received small transistor radios from Japan as birthday gifts. AM radio gave me some bubble gum pop like the Osmonds, the Archies, and the Jackson Five, along with Elvis Presley, Glen Campbell, Don McLean, Steppenwolf, and the Temptations. We had the Bee Gees, the Rolling Stones, and The Who. Television brought along Ricky Nelson, the Monkees, and all manner of performers via variety shows like Ed Sullivan, Hullabaloo and American Bandstand. Movies got into it. Friends introduced me to Sly and the Family Stone and Three Dog Night.

I explored on my own as I aged, discovering Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Cream, ZZ Top, Mountain, Captain Beefheart, the Moody Blues, early Electric Light Orchestra before they became ELO. More performers came onto the scene, like Elton John.

That’s just a little taste. Music was everywhere then, as it is now, always on, part of the foreground and the background, part of the scene, a topic of conversation. All of this is just on the pop and rock side. Beyond it there was country and western, soul, rhythms and blues, and the blues, and all the offshoots and variations. Beyond the United States were vast seas of music to be found in other countries and continents. Concerts gave us destination. Dancing gave us dates.

Music enriched existence. Oddly, all this came from a 1977 Paul Simon song, “Slip Slidin’ Away”. Time has fled through the year. Whether it’s because the days are less structured or because the usual placeholders of American culture have been disrupted, it seems like time has accelerated. Here it is, already more than halfway through the tenth month of the year. Just two more months and ten days to 2020 remains before we’re kissing it’s ass good-bye and saying hello to 2021.

Yet, we have an open-ended agenda at this point. COVID-19 has disrupted normalcy. The U.S. elections are due. We’re into the thirty-first named storm of the ‘hurricane season’. Climatologists are predicting wilder, more violent, and less predictable weather. With all that’s happening, water and food security for many of the world’s creatures are being jeopardized.

So, you might see why I’m thinking of “Slip Slidin’ Away” might have slipped into my thinking. Opportunities, time, and hope seem to be slip slidin’ away. Some might claim that sanity and peace are, too.

Certainly, it feels to me, probably because where I am in life, the days seem like they’re slip slidin’ away.

Here’s the song. Yeah, it’s a repeat. Used it back in August, 2018. Wear a mask please. And as they once said to the point it became nauseating, have a nice day.

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