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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

The circle

The last few weeks something has been gnawing at me, and I've not told anyone. Sometimes a thing like this bugs you and you think it silly or petty, or believe no one will understand, or they'll take it the wrong way, or that puttting it to words will give it a reality it doesn't already have. But I'm going to go ahead and try to explain it now. Understand, this is not something that is depressing me, or making it impossible to function or unable to deal or what have you. It is more on the lines of a feeling of resignation.

When we're born (in my theory), we are at the bottom of a huge circle- a circle of life. Immediately, we begin crawling uphill. At first, we do not take note that the horizon we are moving toward is constantly moving away. But in our teen years, as we approach the far right side of the circle, we become acutely aware that a) our life is upside down, b) we can't see where we are going to be, and c) we are constantly going uphill. It is the hardest part of the circle, and the easiest to jump off of through suicide, drugs, etc.

Eventually, though, we round that corner at young adulthood and while we're still going uphill, at least our feet are underneath us; and while we can still only see to our horizon, we now have a grasp of the concept and move forward accordingly, realizing that we have (some) control over what we build and accomplish along the way. Also, as things slip below the horizon behind us, older memories and events take on less and less importance for us.

In the meantime, when we are born, we have this long arc of potential, running the other direction along the circle. Like a gas tank from God, it starts out full. But as we move one way through life, it burns up the other way like a fuse in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Our choices, our circumstances, our mistakes, and the time we take to reach each place on our side of the circle effects how fast the fuse burns. But it always burns, and it burns towards us.

Then you approach the top of the circle. And no matter how full your life has been or how many years it takes to get there, you'll come to a day when you start to see the smoke from that smouldering fuse, smell it a ways off like the burning of autumn leaves. And at that point, you know that the goals and the things you hoped were still over the horizon- another marriage, a house on the lake, the great American novel you've tried to write- that they just aren't there. That what you have is what you'll get and who you are is who you'll be. This is where I am- seeing the things that I consider the "good old days" slipping out of reach, and seeing that smouldering fuse before me. Always before in life, you never had to accept that, and now you have no other choice.

One of the great comic book arcs of all time was Don MacGregor and P. Craig Russel's run on Amazing Adventures- the "Killraven, war of the worlds" series. And the most beautiful comic ever written was the last issue of that series, #39, in 1976. I bring this up because within this story- titled "Mourning Prey"- is woven a poem by MacGregor that fits my feeling perfectly.

Look at it there in the night-dark marsh;
you see it,
you've seen it before.
Seen it and denied it,
denied its existance a thousand times.
All the while knowing
knowing it is there
Caterpillers in the mind,
devouring reason.
Deny it, deny it again,
and it will still be there come morning light.
One of these days, you'll just have to face it.

Look at it, out there in the sun-splashed trees;
you see it,
you've seen it before.
Though you have never Really seen it,
you acknowledge its existance
and reluctantly grant it its beauty,
and pretend to care that you know its there.
Rather butterflies than caterpillars,
banish the caterpillars.
Replace them with delicate butterflies
and delude yourself into believing you'll never face it.

Ask the question, Killraven.
Are you afraid to ask the question?
What do you fear?
The pain that comes when the question is asked; also, the answer.
But you will ask it, despite all that?
Then ask.
Where do they go? And why?
They do not know, save that
it is meant for them.
They do not need a reason.
They are individual fliers hearing
the same call.
And you let them go?
There is no other choice.

Look at it out there in the sunsets and the dawns;
you see it,
you've seen it before.
The truth unaltered,
and one day you will have to face it.


By the way, Scrappy got one back from Mr. Bunny Rabbit last night. When I openned the gate to take the trash out, our little friend was about 10 feet outside, and Scrappy took off after him before he could say, "Holy crap!" Needless to say, Scrappy was leashed and didn't catch him, but just maybe Mr. Bunny Rabbit will have a little more respect for him henceforth. This puts us at 5 bunny sightings.

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