Our One Stories

 The world is a plurality,
 The stories many, varied;
 But we are busy people, anxious,
 Put upon and harried --

 And so we simplify our lives
 By screening our own show;
 We do not see the pictures, we
 Replace with what we know,

 As though our lives are every life,
 And we, the peak, the summit --
 That story we apply to life,
 Instead of learning

 From it

Strange Markers (4)

Eight years old, looking around a brand new restaurant. All around the high walls are watercolor paintings. Sailboats in summer. Horses running in winter.

Nobody has to teach us to love drawings and paintings, we just do. Showing what we see, using only our hands, is kind of an amazing thing.

Loving color, loving the light. Because colors are every form of it.

The delight we take in drawings, in paintings, in greeting cards, in comics, in animations goes back to the fundamental us. For as children, our natural response to seeing the world is to want to reproduce it.

Strange Markers (3)

Humans play thoughtlessly upon the edge of great waters, even the one called “death”.

Twenty-three years old, though, and while everything was done thoughtlessly, those waters had, frankly, come to look pretty inviting.

January morning, bitter cold, a storm due in. Walking, walking, mile after mile. Another year ahead, another seemingly pointless year. Thinking, at least, things couldn’t get worse.

Things can almost always get worse.

But for a day, a few hours, an agreement was reached with that large ocean: that while there is a season we have to go in, that season had not yet arrived.

Strange Markers (2)

At age thirteen, not much makes sense, so the young heart clings to traditions, where meaning is felt, and does not therefore need to be explained.

Often, all the adults see is the confusion, which manifests itself in discontent and anger, and not the clinging, or the searching, or the questions, most of which are unexpressed, and indeed, are inexpressible. But around traditions, people can unite, even if none of them are aware that is what is going on. Because family is very often what happens when nobody is paying attention.

Singing around a piano. Old songs and new. Parents & siblings, melody & harmony, lights & wrapped gifts, hopes & worries, all unknown to each other. At age thirteen, not much makes sense, but traditions help, because emotions are labyrinths, and secrets are like canyons. But music, like other shared things, can say everything you need, often without trying to say any particular thing.

Strange Markers (1)

Grew up in Florida, rarely even seen snow. Twenty-two years old, fresh out of college, working in Florida, sent for a two week class in Ohio. In December.

Started snowing the day after arrival. Walking around on the weekend, cutting across fields through snow, headed towards town. Ice on the roads, ice in eyebrows and on eyelashes, ice all over three layers of jackets.

Finally get to town, walking up to a shopping square. Nineteen eighty-four was the year; the only similarity to Orwell was that everything looked like nineteen forty-eight. 1940’s Christmas music being played through the parking lot speakers; lights across the icy window displays in all the brightly lit stores. Looking like Christmas always looked in magazine illustrations, breath steaming the air.

Wandering, exploring, wondering, marveling. Seeing as through the eyes of a child: all things new, most things beautiful. Alone.

Milestones. Rites of passage. Things that mean everything, but to only one. Finding new meaning in the season without the benefit of company.

commentary

 a thing can be said
 thousands of times a day
 by thousands of people
 and still not be true

 or a thing can be said
 one time by one person
 and be true

 truth runs away from noise
 and hides in the ruins
 of everything we forgotten
 or chose to misremember

 but can we really escape the noise
 when we walk around
 voluntarily
 chained to it?

he can only dream

 there are no opportunities,
 for the ultimate inequality
 is of attractiveness

 so images are all he has;
 that, and his anger:
 boiling, simmering, spurting --

 he can only dream of what he wants,
 he can only make up stories
 and scenarios

 where the image becomes reality,
 for his actual reality bares no resemblance,
 except for the drinking