In July of 2008, attempting to find peace and thinking there was something that I need do to secure that peace, some action, some penance, some trick of the mind, I spent way too much time detached from the living of life. Rather, I spent the majority of my time questioning, wandering, and, when lost, yet once again, lamenting. The path of understanding, when approached from so great an inner distance, seems vastly remote indeed. Hence, the piece that appears below. I happened upon it this morning and, appreciating the metaphor and word-wrangling, thought I would share it despite it’s clouded nature. Please bear in mind, there has been much water having raced under my rickety bridge since this was penned. If you can do so, appreciate it only for it’s color, depth and, though buried, ideal. And maybe, just maybe, it might seem vaguely familiar.

Diamond Dream

It is the time of my half one-hundredth birthday. It is time that I pull in my shingle, pull up stakes, fold up my tent and leave behind all that I had thought I’d made. It is time that I pass on the ring and make my way to Rivendale.

It has come to me via various avenues that what I seek, that is, all that I seek that is not truth, is but a dream. I walk in Dreamtime, a willing zombie, seeking solace where none can be found. I spend endless hours and untold effort constructing a flimsy house of cards whose accoutrements and detail, ever added and revered, only serve to make a dark and dreary dream more real.

This is what I have heard. For, in so far as I can truly attest, it is hearsay. Legend. Rumor. Myth. And, perhaps, nothing more.

I am compelled, against my great depth of wishes, to this admittance because I can but find shards of evidence that this “false” is, indeed, untrue. Like ragged bits of threadbare cloth strewn on the broken stems of shrubs that line my rugged and circling path, they hint of a passing, of the well-worn road, but I cannot seem to match all of the pieces together to form a suitable cloak. I cannot wear this garment. I can only gather waving bits of insinuation and blind optimism and stare at them in wonder, in hope, and do little else beyond conjuring possibility.

But I must know. There must be commitment. There must be some port to which I would seek to navigate for, otherwise, I founder rudderless making all that flows into my life and the life that flows from me into the horrid waiting arms of death more and more and ever more real.

Is it real? Am I me? Are you you?

I realize that, perhaps, the asking of these very questions may have been the speck of ice that incited a cosmic avalanche of shadowing fears and hapless misunderstandings.

Yet, it is still but a guess, a hunch, little more, maybe less.

I must know the truth.

I lay in bed all morning of every day of this week attempting to work out some verification, trying to blend into the sheets and mattress and pillowcases. I tried to mix with the fan-stirred atmosphere, to shimmer with the light, to toss and tumble restlessly and nowhere with the dust bunnies under the bed. I tried to wander into the kitchen, the den and out onto the deck without virtue of cell, blood, bone and skin. I tried to shake the thickening crust of a phantom life from the ember I suspect burns within and beyond. But despite all my sculpting, when I drew back my chisel, I found only here.

I believe I am here. I believe it with all my heart and soul. Every fiber of my restless being knows without further assurance that I take up this space and build these castles and shuffle these papers. I cannot escape this solid-as-diamond dream which threatens to become fragmented truth. I hold the utmost faith. I am a believer – a zealot.

So, where, then, does this leave me? I must cling to peace and unearth joy despite the bleeding and tears, shit and decay. Or I pass on the ring, the power it wields, and make my way to Rivendale.

But this consideration, or action, should I commit, exacts a hefty price. There will be less and less of me.

“What has become of him?” they will ask. “He’s no longer himself. His home is dusty and his bed is not made. His hair is unkempt and his beard grows ever whiter. Sometimes-most times-he smells and his cupboards are as bare as his conversation.”

Is this right? Is this the path? God accepts me as I am? Careless? What about cleanliness and Godliness? How can this be right?

I don’t want to be right. I want to be happy. Or so says the legend. And it is so, but at what price? And from what effort? And to what end?

Where is my teacher? Am I to do this alone? Where is the guru? Am I devotee to my own imaginings?

There are rare times I can force myself to slip into the deepest of sleep when it seems as though I can glide above the trees. It seems as though I can sing from the heart with vast love and enveloping beauty. I drift in calm and loving seas, knowing I am the beloved and knowing, just knowing … just knowing. Yet, the dream is so deep, and, so it appears, so very fleeting, when I return, when I awaken, I question. I doubt.

I do not want mystery! I cannot forever invest faith in phantasm and, for all I am certain, foolhardiness. I do not wish to hear some imagined Beelzebub’s satisfied laughter when I stand before him drained, broken and befuddled.

Yes, I know, it’s all good. That’s the spirit. Don’t worry, be happy. Chin up, old boy. Keep the faith. Fight the good fight. Stay on course. Damn the torpedoes…all’s well that ends well. All that jolly rot.

But it simply is not that simple. For I do not do what it is that I do in seclusion. There are others I have enlisted to march before, beside and behind me. They have been willing to set their declarations aside to hear my musings about what may or may be not. They are willing to follow if I am willing to lead.

For sure, I did not carve out his hollow on my own. Or did I? The myth implies that even the myth itself is of my very making. And that all who partake of it are but musings in a desperate flight of fancy. So, then, I lead us but round and round an ever-shrinking set of chairs until the music stops and we fight for a seat on a ride to nowhere. This cannot be right.

So I lay in bed every morning this week attempting to shuffle off the coil. Attempting to touch the hem of God. Attempting to tip the scales in favor of fluidity over finality, in the hope for freedom over fastness, in determination that there is more to me than merely me.

I must have a truth so as not to continually relay a lie. Not unlike myself, my brothers seek safe harbor. Every gull, seeking ground. Not unlike myself, they are myself, or so the story goes.

Yet there seems but one way to know, one path, one road, one hope. I must pass on the ring and make my way to Rivendale.

~ by a.b.johnson on 05/13/2010.

One Response to “Doubting”

  1. You like me . I feel happy . You don’t like me . I feel bad. Happy to me is fluff. You like me . I am peaceful. You don’t like me . I am peaceful. The happy dream is still a dream. The little don that I think I am is still dream stuff.I was very attached to don . I now see him as don but his actions don’t establish my worth.

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