it’s like this —

Let me put it this way. You are under a thousand blankets. It is not just dark but heavy. Every sound is muffled and distant but not without its own weight. Each and everything in your universe now has weight. Especially the thoughts you can’t subdue. They come at you like the negative spinning dark spots of fireflies without warning and without swarming yet they swarm nonetheless. They are Magical in a way but Heavy.  They are something that requires attention regardless of your inclinations. But it’s the weight that affects you more than anything else. It holds you captive. It creates the fabric of your captivity. “To each his own”, they say. What a sorrowful burden that can be.

I open my eyes. They feel dry. I guess it is a little before 6am. I turn to see the clock. 5:49. Through the years I have become deadly accurate at knowing the time during the night and into the early morning. I am usually no more than 15 minutes off in my guesses but more often within a few minutes, or dead on. My sleep pattern is consistently erratic, grasping a few hours at a time but usually no more. So sleep is a flaky visitor who I have completely externalized; nothing more than a visitor and a stranger.

I can’t concentrate. Concentration has left me seemingly long, long ago. My thoughts have no patience for themselves. They arrive like intruders on what otherwise would be a passive island of nothing or at least less than intrusive. I have no patience for planning or even a hopeful glimpse of something more than the empty landscape I have somehow whittled myself into. Art has almost no meaning. Nature is a force to be reckoned with much more than enjoyed. Like life itself. The reckoning is beckoning. What a joke, For who, For what? What organization have I ever wanted to sign up for? Yet I feel committed and obligated. I am being measured and graded. Still being evaluated and monitored. Freedom…

It feels like this. You have to go in to get out. But I have no patience for contemplation. I can be idle but not relaxed. I go nowhere in my mediocre meditations which are not meditations at all. They are excuses to myself for missing some ghost boat, for not being present and accountable, for paying too much attention to other guidelines, for wasting time, for following orders, for giving myself excuses, for not following my heart and being happy for myself.

I once breathed calmly underwater. It felt like a nicely encapsulated eternity at the time. It was summer…July…Hot humidity but sunny. Before ozone was a word anyone knew. The sun was our friend. It treated us to different types of celebration depending on the season. In the summer it was native. Life did revolve around it. There were few contingencies. The fine print in the global contract with Nature had not been written. We were healthy.

I was lying submerged in the water of a public swimming pool. I knew a lot about water then. It was part of many things that I was part of. Swimming was one of them. Creeks and reservoirs were another, sometimes lakes and oceans. Garden hoses with lazy mechanical sprinklers attached. The same hose could be used to soak holes dug in the yard for newly planted trees and bushes. It could wash cars on asphalt driveways. It played the upper hand in water wars where balloons and sandwich baggies were filled. It was just a hose. It was just water.

Now water has become the newest global currency, replacing oil. We The People are now scratching more and more of the surface of the planet than before. Fossils are disappearing. We scramble and compete for the living fabrics of Water and Air. The basics are all essential. Redundancy is required.

That humid hot summer day I lay flat on my back at the bottom of a swimming pool in no more than 6 feet of water with my eyes open to the blue sky above. It reflected in many directions all at the same time, a puzzle needing no further organization. The sun itself appeared in many of the pieces all at the same time as through an asymmetrical kaleidoscope. I have that feeling now looking at the pieces of experience I can conjure. It’s not balanced nor does it look complete yet there it appears to be as a complete and indifferent object. It is neither for me nor against me. It is similar to how we all carry our plastic shopping bags of assorted nutrients and elixirs around with us at all times. There’s almost nothing personal about it.