Sunday, July 15, 2012

British 10K: London Run 2012

Waiting, waiting, waiting. It was impossible for me to fathom the sheer size of a 17000+ person crowd until I was in the. Idst of all of them. Waiting for my turn to begin the race. Listening to the over-zealous commentator on the microphone high above us make comments that kept us laughing. "Reach over to your neighbour. Give them a hug. Touch their bum. It's alright that's allowed today.". I looked around. Many laughed but no one dared. God save the Queen. the extended LP version, which seemed like all the verses. I could appreciate it any other time than in the freezing rain waiting for a race to start so I could move myself into warmth again. Being surrounded by people was not so bad after all. Reduced the wind. Elites lined up, separated from the other runners by a line of yellow-shirted officials holding hands. The bell sounded and they were never seen again. I wondered how many 10K's they ran before this one, how many years spent perfecting their craft so that they could make a great feat of endurance seem like an everyday occurrence. Why were the fastest runners given a head start? This baffled me. I guess they needed their space to exert their elite pace on each other in a vie for the best finishing time.

I cursed my tardiness for the umpteenth time. Setting the alarm for 6 and waking up at 7:20 was no help at all to the morale building that usually takes place before races. I listened to my "Psych Up!" playlist on the tube, and momentarily glanced at the other runners who got on at various stops. Checks, pluses and race numbers were emblazoned over everyone's racing t-shirt. Community building or advertising mastery? I wasn't sure.

There was a couple holding hands in front of me. They had been the entirety of the wait up until the starting line and even beyond that. They were some ways ahead of me, and I could just barely see that they had stickers on their back. As I got closer and closer, jostling for a better starting position than the one I currently had, I saw the whole sticker. One of the runners was blind, courage beyond courage. There he stood, with full working capacity in every facet but eyesight, yet he was not without vision. He did not let his drawback hold him back, but knew that to complete his goal he would need help. I marveled at this man from a distance. I wondered if he was always blind, or developed it as he came on in years.

I found two pounds in the street. They weren't face-up pennies, so I left them there. As far as I could see no one would pick them up either. I guess the connotation of putting on two pounds just before a race wasn't a favourable one at all. I had no pockets.

Weaving, stopping, starting. I learned a new way of passing people without touching them or breaking stride. I wonder if it will work for smaller crowds. I will test it. I must have stopped maybe four or five times during the race, as the traffic was simply to thick to weave through - the tunnels. It appeared that people wanted to spend more time in the tunnels, as it was out of the rain. Little do they know! Rain runs are the best because it means that you rarely have to stop for water. Catch some rain drops and off you go. The harder it falls, the better your chances.

Running alongside the Thames and I glanced up at Big Ben and couldn't help but smile. I was running through the streets of London. An iconic town in an iconic year, as I looked down in the road before me at the numerous Olympic Lane markers. This race wasn't the real event. It was a fast-paced, sightseeing festival in which you just happened to be running. But then - for the man who could not see, what was his reason? Did he just want to be a part of an event like everyone else, something to which he was absolutely entitled? Maybe it was an acceptance of himself, an affirmation of what he could do if he just put one foot in front in a regularly repeating pattern.

Maybe it was meant for me to have been at that place and at that time and with that pace to the finish line, and I might have been blind to it. There was a give and take to arriving at the it e I did; any earlier and I probably would have gotten cold, particularly characteristic of the perpetually overcast summer in London at the present time. Any later and I would have been in the absolute back and would have been bottlenecked by the Ambulance that joined the course for a quarter of a mile before tending to the injured. I did resolve to be closer to the start for future races, just to quell my anxiety at giving thousands of people an 11 minute head start.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dance Catch Fire

"Yerma" Trailer

There is a brief period, a pause if you will, between being soaked by rain and being drenched in one's own sweat as you dance in a storm.  It is there that you realise that the heat of one's own body, and the bodies of others in the vicinity, begins to be an insulator for the body without and within the skin.  The integument.  Waterproof by nature, only to be greatly aided by an increase in the temperature of the self relative to the environment.  We do not thirst.  We have all the moisture we need for many moments to come.  We are unafraid of the outcome of the night, because it will end at an apex for everyone.  It is the dawn of the new day that will bring about a gradient in a sense, but we do not think of the future.  There is the present and the moments now are the only moments that we live by.  These moments are what matter.

And the dance will catch fire... 

It is in our nature to burn like the sun, yet we ourselves are not burned, though are faces do become flush with the tinge of fire's hue.  We are our own suns, brightly illuminating each self world that we create, and creating the heat that kindles our souls.  And through our self-generation, there is regeneration and through regeneration there are future generations.  Generation of generations.  It is the fire with which we radiate that touches our neighbours first.  Convection, travelling through the currents of air that serves as a transport for the heat that we wish to give but we are not within reach.  How our neighbour responds will determine the nature of the action and reaction of bodies in space.  We all form the constellation of generous welcome.  Where five or more are gathered in one locale in the name of merry meeting, it is this circle that serves best to see the faces of the friendly.  Spinning, swirling, like madness but with all senses intact - heightened even in a state of hypersensitivity.

And the dance will catch fire...

Now we are in a state of greatest heat.  Estrus.  No longer human.  A letting go of the mind.  We are as base as the animals in our needs for the bodies to come together, clasped, enmeshed.  Rain will tumble from the gaping mouths of clouds but will have no effect on the bodies lying below because they are covered and surrounded by heat.  Where we are the heat is greater than the rain that is pitiful in its attempt to cool us.  It is not hell but a Paradise.  Hell is a loneliness that is cold, so it must be that the heat is the life of the everlasting.  Heat is forever.  The Devil is here, but only because he prowls about the world seeking the heat that he so misses.  During the day the sun may even show its face while the rain rears a diluvial fate upon us- the Devil and his Wife are having an argument, some say.  At night we shall dance and prance entranced.  We shall not tire.  Sweat shields the deluge by creating its own, and bodies cover bodies in its own form of protection.  Companionship, fleeting or sustained.   Like supercharged electromagnets whose white hot opposite poles upon collision do explode in a flash of passion.  Each person's flames engulfes the other yet they are not burned.  They are not cleansed either, definitely not in the spiritual sense.  But we are healed, this is what everyone believes.  The needs of each other are met. 

And the dance will catch fire...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Journal Entry: May 1st

At the stroke of midnight, my chariot awaited me outside. I took my lab coat as a cover, because I thought it would be of use to me both in and out of doors and I thought it would keep my company warm. Wheels of ivory, seats plush and blanched. The outer casing resembled a skinned apple, but unlike the apple it was resistant to discolouration due to oxidation. Even the horses were snowy. The ride was smooth for a chariot; I did not bounce upon any stones or ruts within the dusty road. If I were to describe the sensation to you Margarethe, I will say we were floating. The lightning storm outside persisted for the duration of the journey. Was it following me? The flashes came quite close to our transport and for many brief snippets of time I could see myself and the rest of the company within. The images of those present with me are a well of happiness. Was your God angry with me, and trying to stop my progress? He cannot give His gifts to man and then take them away without sufficient reason. My soul is enriched and if it is a part of Him, I have sown and multipled a thousand fold the gift that he has given me. My field is not barren. It certainly seemed like He was trying to hinder us, but it is also possible that the trajectory of the wind and the pattern of movement of the storm was similar to mine. It starting snowing heavily, but within the chariot, there was warmth, such that I was quite comfortable...

My thoughts vary, but expressions are perfect...

The compartment in which we sat was steadily increasing in temperature. I took off my button-up shirt, as the company within the carraige was close. As the temperature did not desist on our arrival, I left my shirt within the carriage, but I am the better for it now. The ground upon which the steeds cantered became blistering and after a while the horses could take us no further. Out of the corner of my eye and upon their speedy departure, I thought that I noticed a flash of red flame emanate from the horses' bodies and the chariot was transformed into a carnelian hue. It may just be the altitude or the light dispersed in the atmosphere around me.

A secret passageway has opened within this gargantuan mount. Wait. This mountain is quaint. In fact, it is not a mountain at all, but a volcano! My shoes have burned through upon the ground, but my feet are unharmed. I am in a large room at the base of it and although from outside there is a summit, I can see through it to the sky above. My vision can pass through the eye of this needle. That which I bore was heavy, but not unwieldy, and as I approached the entranceway and began to descend, I felt my physical strength increase as well. I asked Mephastophilis about the cause, to which he replied that the difficulty of the trial ahead will be matched by the strength I was now receiving...

My colleagues are as I expected and very knowledgeable. They have gathered from all over the world to converge here, in what seems to be some form of conference. They find me strange, but acceptable, though I am not one of them. It is possible that the presence of Mephastophilis has aided my case of urgency for being here. They have pinned upon me some charm acknowledging my worthiness at being upon this ground. They call me the Lion and Mephastophilis, the Sun. You will like them I think. I have learned the second part of the answer has been proven. My new acquaintances call them different things in their respective languages, but now that I am well versed in them all, the pattern of their expression is identical...

I have to rename benzene now. Heptene. I didn't think such a shape was even possible, or sustainable even. But the proof is before me and I accept it. It makes so much sense now that our calculations are solved with any combination of digits. It is a perfect variable. Mephastophilis knows what he is doing, and I have given placed my trust in him as he has done with his trust in me. I will never look at the 50 pence piece in any other way than a symbol of perfection...

The three is the Trinity. The one is their unity. The seven is completion. Mephastophilis has kept his promise. My strength multiplies further and my gratitude is tantamount to an eternity of praise. His surprise is more than satisfactory, altruistic of him even. I marvel at the amount of trust he has put into our work, Margarethe. He says of all human beings since the beginning of our pitiful existence, none have come so close to the answer as I have tonight. It was why he spared no expense of his power to get me here tonight to harness the immense power that was present. It courses through me. It contrasts the lightning because it is the darkness.

The ritual has been set for me. All materials are ready and the spirit of the earth, the great Mother of the beings present upon and within her, is here with us. I think often of the seven sins that I have chosen to commit, for you too. There is a constant reminder of them quite near to me now, much like the reminder that you are not here anymore. Your sins were never so great and yet God did not listen to your entreaties. I am certain He is not present here. He is not welcome in this place.

I write now speaking to you Margarethe, so in your erudition you will be filled in on all these things that led up to the awakening of your soul and the opening of your eyes. Quad Erat Demonstrandum!

H. J. Faust

Monday, April 30, 2012

Journal Entry: April 30th

It is the end of Day 6 of my insomniac mania.  In language there is a pattern that allows one to grasp the nature and the nuance quickly.  It was what enabled me to uncover and overcome the barrier of language that began with the Tower of Babel.  I am the tower and have rebuilt myself.  Learning one language, for example of the Asian canon, with each symbol representing a different thought seemed to me very much like the thought process itself.  Each thought is interconnected yet in itself quite distinct.  Some characters, as they are called, contain elements of others, so that some expressions are made of what seem to be a conglomerate of thoughts.  The language is very much like the memory association games we would play, Margarethe. I'm ecstatic to have found this secret to the gateways of knowledge.  Having learned one of these languages and recognising this pattern, I learned the rest in a mater of minutes.  It was even easier for the romance languages, many of which I already knew.  There are few things more beautiful than our native German, the way it utilises methods of articulating elements of the mouth in a way much unlike what I, until now, have experienced.  Studying the other languages has given me so much appreciation for my own now, because I can notice the differences.  Mandarin - it is as if I was singing when speaking! I'm completely fascinated.  The light burns brightly in the darkness.  I have found that which we have searched for, Margarethe and I, in theory and am working on putting it into practise.  I only then have the first part of the answer solved, to which I can respond in the affirmative that our hypothesis was true and our concerns for the fallacies within were addressed.
The clouds opened up and released a source of pure energy - lightning.  It is more than just light - the word itself suggests that the light is performing an action.  Light as a verb and not a noun.  Fancy that!  It is the essence of immense power in a very short time, yet one bolt could power a lifetime if captured I suppose.  I will make note of its potency and of its potential for both harm and greatness.
Some of the thoughts I express are not my own.  They definitely do not feel that way sometimes and often I take pause or am startled by both the nature and the speed at which the thoughts now attach to mobilise the neurons in my brain and generate responses in my body.  My speech is more fluid.  My movements are sharper and more in focus than I have ever experienced.  It is as if my mind has achieved a clarity of purpose, such that I pursue my actions with vigour.  I will not say these thoughts or actions borrowed, but I will say that I am now ambidextrous in a way.  I have access to both hemispheres now so that I have ample space for the storage.
My hair has grown quite long.  I sometimes pull small clumps out like I used to, Margarethe.  I know that this troubled you greatly, but there have been some frustrations that I have placed upon myself these last 6 days and it is the closest outlet.  Sometimes I come close to achieving the goal, but I fall somewhat short.  I am at a loss as to what to do now.  I have made the calculations of the angles and the proportions of the materials that I would need, but I feel that i am missing something.  I cannot yet activate what should be the strongest of patterns and am continuing the search for the why and the how.  Why am I unable to activate?  How will it become activated to complete the calculations?  Theorems must be solved.  It will be of great pleasance to my person to finally write "quad erat demonstratum" under this proof.
Mephastophilis has seen me greatly troubled and is offering his assistance.  How clever is he!  How generous in my time of need that he has come to [both] my rescue and my service.  He calls it a surprise now, but he claims that it will unlock my mind even further.  I am not very keen on surprises or being surprised myself, but I will be patient with this one and see what happens.  It was complacent of me to think that I had been using 100% of my brain capacity, but I wasn't very far off - 77% is still most than any functioning human being could ever achieve.  I wonder how the other 23% will feel.
The rapidity of thought.  I am thinking at the speed of lightning.  What is coursing through me are not neurons - they are lightning rods that accentuate and accelerate the travel of life's signals from my mind to my body.  The pursuit of knowledge has taught me this.  This will aid me greatly in the goal.  The mistakes that I make now in my writing are only because the thoughts are flowing out of me faster than my quill can race across the pages. 
I was so upset with myself that I let you... and guilty that I was unable to... well that feeling has now been completely taken over by absolute elation.  I will not spend the seventh day resting but the eighth.  The seventh day is for working, completing the final touches to benzene.  It is the pet name I've come up with for my inscriptions.  Of course it is code, Margarethe, I feel like I must challenge you somehow; it would be an insult to just give you the answer.  There must be some form of struggle to achieve what one seeks in knowledge - I only ask of Mephastophilis feats that I would be unable to humanly achieve on my own.  In fact he encourages me to seek most of the other avenues on my own so I can expand my association base.  I have worked my way up in increments of seventeen so that what I associate with a specific alternate entity has now become a web instead of the series of lines, what I initially thought was ideal.  This web in intricate if I do say so myself, the intricacies of which I alone know.  It is the reason why I needed the capacities of both hemispheres, because the right hemisphere is almost ethereal.  I needed it for artistic interpretations and as an extra layer in the web that my mind chooses to continually spin.  I will instruct you how to untangle them, Margarethe.  I am not in the least bit worried.  You will never be ensnared, and I am sure your intuition alone will plough the field of my growing gnosis and reap bountiful harvest.
I may not believe that God is the magnate of his pawns, having given us free will and let us loose upon each other like savages, but I do believe in destiny.  This is my destiny.  I was called to perform acts that mortals would not even dream of performing in our time.  I will carry out the deed tomorrow, the day upon which all men who have followed this path have been allowed power beyond their wildest intimations.  I will use it for you, Margarethe.  I will use it to perform the impossible.  Impossible is a word that doesn't exist for me anymore, in any language.  It will entail one last journey from the confines of our home to a location further North.  I'm heading for the mountains.  I know it will be cold, but I do not need a cloak.  I made soup, but food does not taste the same without you.  It is possible, too, that the many days I have spent awake has taken away this element of my sentiency.  The mind is intangible but the body is ephemeral, made of finite elements after all.  I will have to make most of the journey in my solid phase as I cannot lift the finer of the materials in spirit form, but I will be aided by Mephastophilis in the mode of transportation and the speed in which I will complete this sojourn.  I am slated to meet some people there, potential colleagues, whose usance it is to celebrate and practice this juxtaposition of science and art.  This experiment and this masterpiece is almost complete.  Much like the artist, you can say it will be brought to a life-like existence, possibly even capturing that essence of being alive.  I noticed I've spoken both of you and to you tonight Margarethe, such is my thought process as of now.  My love for you is only one snowflake, different from the others in every way, and in that way is special.  Wish me fortune on my journey, in the hope that it will bring me closer to you.

H. J. Faust

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Journal Entry: April 29th

I've seen the sun rise and set 5 times in succession without rest.  This toll upon me I feel only even when I return to my human form, as I have asked Mephastophilis to grant me the power to travel through the world as a spirit, not unlike his mode of transportation to seek the ruination of souls.  To think, that others ruin their souls for material things!  I have sold my soul, this is true, but before I depart this place, I would have enriched it too.  I am certain that I will become the master of all knowledge, because I have found the key with which it can all be unlocked.  Language!  Why hadn't I thought of it before?  I had already been proficient in the romance languages before this contract and had found it to be most useful in my research.  I suppose I did not think it possible to learn all languages in the world, as there were many that we in the progressive world have yet to discover.  Now that I have a more open form of accessibility, as I can travel anywhere I wish, I can in turn increase my capacity multiple fold.  This is just marvelous.  My pursuit of all knowledge will soon be at an end then, but it will be all right with me, as the Dark One and I have already discussed my wishes to not live any longer.  I would see no reason, no point of continuing life in this tired form.  And it did seem fair to me that he was my servant here on Earth, so I should be his servant in exchange.
The exchange may not seem equivalent, but it is in fact because I have been given power beyond mere mortal capacity.  This increase in knowledge will make me no longer a part of the human race, as I will become learned in all languages. It was only the last two days in which I traveled, but the sun travels almost as much as we did so I spent multiple days in many places. Time is a relative construct based on the measurement of the distance from the earth from the Sun and the allotment of invisible time zones from the geographical "centre" of the Earth. Who is to know for sure where the exact middle is? Oh, besides me in a few moments I suppose.  Why return to the human form you may ask?  Well I couldn't pick up earth or other solid things as a spirit, so I must transfer my particles have a phase transference between the two.
It was generous of him to make me young again, to fill my veins with the vigour that it once knew and appreciated.  I did not drink it all lest I become much like a babe.  It was quite practical to make myself youthful as well, because I may have been cheated if my senescence has hindered my progress.  If only I could do the same for her.  Margarethe.  Your name upon my lips and at the tip of my quill still fills me with both a profound melancholy and a childish euphoria.  Just seeing your name in print before me moves my mouth's corners upward - a positive gradient.  It is the youthful smile that I reserved only that it may be graced by your twinkling orbs that gazed upon them.  I've not smiled since you know.  There was nothing which gave me reason to.  You were such a strong believer in the way, the truth and the light, but I feel we were both being lied to.  Our God, no your God was not so awesome in his reign.  I have done better than the scriptures, because instead of turning my cheek to be slapped again by fickle Fate, I turned my whole body and walked away.
The more I see of the world, the more I become embittered with the images.  I do not pursue this knowledge for the world.  I do this for you alone, Margarethe, because I need to find the answer.  I refuse to believe that your judgement was handed down since your birth and that your lot would be so short.  There must be some other force in the universe, Margarethe, that can have power over our destinies.  It was imperative that I continue the research that we had started, although it has taken on a slightly different tack right now.  I won't say too much lest I jinx it - yes I know, a remnant of my superstitions.  It is said that superstitions are born of ignorance, but my time spent around the world makes me disagree.  Even Mephastophilis has his own isms.
How can I still be coherent after over 120 hours?  Yes I did read your mind, my love, as my third eye has also been opened.  I suppose that is why my dreams are so insightful now.  My eyes do close for brief moments, so I am "sleeping" in the conventional sense, but I do not rest.  As soon as my eyes close, I begin to dream.  In my dreams I am still active, and I remember the dream them just as if I had actually been there.  [I've been making a habit of writing them down and] You were in the most recent one, Margarethe.  You were asleep and I came through the door of the house laboratory to our room and upon entry I encountered the Seven Deadly Sins.  They were the greatest of contortion artists and they made my journey toward you on the bed quite difficult, if not impossible.  They prevented my progress at every which way I moved, and my frustration grew.  It was as if they could read my mind too, and see my fears and transform themselves into some of their manifestations, so that I wavered between anger and terror at being so far away from you yet so close.  You rose from the bed and kept saying over and over that it was my fault, it was all my fault, but I could only read your lips in the beginning because you were not making any sounds.  [Finally,] You asked me why I was not able to save you sooner.  You and I were both in sleeping clothes, and with all of my strength mustered I was able to be at your side.  You had lain back down and I laid beside you on the left, no ordinary feat, but I didn't question, as I had approached from the right.  As soon as my head hit that pillow, I opened my eyes, so I am not sure now if I was dreaming or about to dream or am dreaming now.  My aforementioned coherence may actually be slipping somewhat.  I meant to ask Mephastophilis about what my dreams mean now, but I've not yet.  Prioritising.
Oh dear, I'm so sorry.  I've begun to talk to you again.  Just another notch to add to the list of unfortunate incidents that I have facilitated.  Sometimes it does feel as if you are quite near, especially now that I am in touch with the spirit world.  Oh if only I could touch you again, speak to your soul and hear the response issue from your lips.  Our conversations were the best part of my life.  My work would never take precedence over your words, over your presence, unless we were working together of course.  I still wonder how you were so erudite.  It has taken me years to catch up to some of your theories and I used to smack my forehead into my palm in the middle of a lab session or, if it was a lecture, I would abruptly stop and dismiss class and run out of the room to write down its association.  I've not taught lecture in quite some time now.  Indeed, it would be difficult to do so as a spectre.  I used to have one last student, but I've recently sent him away.  I've not told him why, but will write a letter to the purpose before my time comes.  There are still some aspects of the theories I keep to myself in an association, lest some of my work is pilfered.  It would take an even stronger mind to penetrate my thoughts.  The only person I think that can do it is you.  We are soul mates after all, and I still use the established code.  I still believe in that in some ways.  I'm sure you remember.  The right side is still reserved for you (I speak in our code, again, which may be perhaps ruined by the dream if another were to read my entries).
These pages do not respond to me.  I have to generate impulse and response now and that makes me tired, but I do not rest and I will not rest tonight either.  Those upon whom the pain is inflicted eventually find their rest, but those who inflicted the pain will never be so fortunate.  You have found your rest.  I still trudge on, now without the support of the Royal Society of Chemistry as I left to pursue this research of which they held qualms.  I have failed us and I have failed you, and I don't want that to happen again.  I will have never forgiven myself for it.  I will close my eyes and hope to dream of you again, so that because as real as the dream feels so real, I will be spending the time that I missed with you.  I... My... I have confirmed my suspicions that if I started keeping a journal again, I would substitute it for you, and have been keenly working on keeping detailed records of my work instead.  I miss you dearly.  I do not mind it so much now, especially if... well I get ahead of myself in excitement, but I have not even found that book yet so I will keep schtum.  If you were also wondering why I have been so frank if I've the constant company of evil, Mephastophilis respects the boundaries of the master-servant relationship.  He does not pry into my thoughts and only accepts what I share with him.  I suppose it is because there is not a thought that he has probably not heard expressed already by some other person, but I quite appreciate the hospitality he has shown me.
Goodnight, Journal.  The knowledge awaits.  Night night Margarethe, one for each eye so that neither becomes cross(ed) out of jealousy.  If my love can transcend space and time, I hope that each day's iteration of it has reached you, wherever you are.

H. J. Faust

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


In the beginning there was a tree. And the tree had been alive for so long that its roots penetrated the soil to great depths in search of the water there embedded. It's canopy scraped the sky, emblematic of its sheer size that could in fact be supported by the strong base with which it had established. This tree was surrounded by others like it, but none could really compare to the standard at which this tree had set for the rest of the forest. It was fitting that it was at the forest's centre, towering above the other large trees such that it could be noticeable from a great distance.
One day, a man came along having seen the tree for many days now. He thought that the tree was good for his own purposes, to perhaps get him something that would seem to be of equivalence that would be useful for him. There was no use for one tree amongst so many, he had reason. He saw this thing that he offered no hand in raising but since he considered himself master of the earth, he thought it his to do as he pleased. He measured the tree's width and found it more than satisfactory, and vowed that he would return the next day. At dawn he returned. In his hand was a saw with which he set about to taking the life of that which was older and greater than he could ever understand. The tree fell in the woods and the man heard it, so it did fall. So large and mighty did this tree grow that in falling took many large branches off of other trees in its descent but fell alone, singly amongst the other giants. Should it have been shorter then? Is this the price for being better equipped to weather the elements and produce the most sturdy self? A reverse effect, adverse even, of survival of the fittest, because the theory does not take into account the tastes of man.
The tree was too tall even for his long trailer to harness and transport, so he set about destroying the tree in parts. Three parts, almost evenly divided. Crown lopped. Leaves discarded, secondary, smaller branches done away with and flung to the side. Where there had been no green in that particular part of the clearing, there was now a loose sea of it. It would not last long. There would be no more verdancy there soon enough.
Redwood. Cut from the bottom, it would be the equivalent of severing a man from his ankles, leaving his feet rooted, and watching him fall to the ground and die. It would take the redwood several hours to die. The leaves would still be converting carbon dioxide and harnessed energy from the sun to oxygen and energy for the rest of the tree. These discarded leaves would starve to death of water and converted victuals from the roots, shrivel and become brown and fragile, to be broken under the weight of passersby. The tree would not realise until too late that these nutrients would be going nowhere, seeping out to the direction of the roots. The oxygen would be used by the animals in the vicinity, even the man who now looked at his handiwork with great contentment was gulping in breath after breath of the precious element.
The tree began to be shaped according to the demands of society, and society demanded that we lie, amongst other functions. What was once an erect being was now being being carted and shaved laterally to its former grandeur. Flat planks emerged from the mysterious spinning blades that honed what was once alive, what may still have been alive on that mobile death bed, into something usable by society. The extra parts were picked up of course and sent through another machine, one which ground its unsuspecting prey this time. Another shaved. Yet one more pressed. Each creating something different, and different from what once was whole. Separate destinies of the singular, once proudly looming mass of life.
A finishing artist made the wood, so supple and workable, yield into many shapes and patterns. Meticulous. Painted where desired. Sanded to remove its true texture. Smoothened to be accepted. Injected with special treatments so that it would never age. Made to look pretty by someone else's standard. This furniture will last forever in your home and can even be passed down to future generations. We have made it so and our word is our bond and our bond is now the agreement which we share. I sell, you buy and all are satisfied.
I am sitting on that tree. I sit at the table and feel along the slender leg that is now a fraction of circumference to which it formerly belonged. I ate a meal and afterward picked my teeth with a toothpick in private. I looked for clothing in my bureau and was careful not to let the doors skid shut with a slam, so smooth are the wheels upon which it rests. I lie in this bed and do not feel anymore the life that once was upright, pulsating with the vibrancy of an interconnected network of veins transporting water and nutrients to its necessary sources, miraculously against the eternal gravitational pull. It is as if it too lies in repose, an inanimate vestige of its former existence. I've never seen a bed grow branches, nor seen roots peeking out from the base of a bedpost. It is the bed that is unnatural, not the tree, but the tree is gone and the bed remains. I lie awake and these thoughts come to me and I grip the sides to see if I can feel anything at all. I see numerous lines that tell as many stories but I feel nothing.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Late Dream

I've woken up for the day it seems.
I'll write in iambic and talk of dreams.
For I'd been asleep, then violently roused
By the various thoughts my mind had housed.
It was of course not the first time you see
This makes day three that I'll see the sun rise
Of this I'm certain, though I may be surprised
Please sandman, lay your magic dust o'er my eyes!
But to the purpose - the dream! This one dream.
Why was this dream unlike any other?
It runs through my mind as I lie under
Covers that're of no use to me, save warmth.
This dream felt premonitory in nature.
In it, I was a man of humble stature
Meeting with someone whom I'd not seen of late
I know what you're thinking, it wasn't a date!
The meal was delightful, our chat more so
Then I looked at my watch and said, Oh, I must go
I walked out the door and into the street
And remember looking down at both of my feet
As if I had somewhere to go next.
Then looked at my watch and became quite vexed
When it dawned on me within my dream
I was going to be late for rehearsal!
Why I'd booked my time so close is beyond me
Thus is the nature of dreams I suppose.
I rushed through the streets, my mind flashing back
To that morning when I had in fact
Had rehearsal with the same company
Then we broke for the day, so I left around 3
But I didn't see that a schedule was posted
For evening rehearsals for each of our scenes
And it was only out of a mere glimpse
Of remembrance, a tugging of mental
Seams, if you will, that drew me back to my
Origin. Fear led to many orisons.
I wondered how I had been so careless
That seemed very unlike me I would hope.
But in one's dreams all is possible - nope.
Well yes, but the possibilities are
Rarely ever yours to choose. The dream controls.
Is it your imagination that's in charge?
That brilliant aspect won't let me sleep now.
But I digress. The dream's not yet over.
I run through the streets at a full-on canter
And approached the door of the rehearsal room
At about 20:30, you'll read why
In a moment - and I looked at the schedule
And to my surprise I was called just then!
I was elated that by luck I had
Actually arrived on time for a rehearsal
Whose schedule I had no recollection
Of seeing! But was clearly there in front of me.
I reached for the door and my face then fell.
For on the schedule my name had been present
Earlier than the now listed time.
And an arrow had been drawn to the new
Location where I had just seen it first.
The previous time? 17:45.
A crushed mien. I was... unprofessional!
Should I go in and bite the bullet or,
As I stood with my hand on the door knob
And the clock ticked forward making me late
For this new time posted - oh indecision! -
Should I wait a bit longer... what for?
A miracle perhaps? I wasn't quite sure.
One of the cast members came outside, and
Seeing my visage all affrightened asked,
Why aren't you at the rehearsal in Brighton?
In Brighton?! 2 hours away by train.
I joke.
Look don't do that again.
Have rehearsals started for my scene?
Look really. You didn't have to be mean.
What is this? What is this? Your fault or mine
That I stand out of doors and out of my mind
It's your fault, but really you're not late
We're running behind; at this current rate
You won't be expected until around nine.
Oh joy! I could hug you you're so divine.
But what of the arrow preceding my name?
Oh it wasn't your fault, you aren't to blame.
Your other scene partner had a conflict
Don't worry, this director isn't that strict.
You've been rescheduled for tomorrow
Oh that's a relief! What time?
9 AM.
My celebration was brief. That's early.
Then the tone of the dream changed quite suddenly.
I was unsure if this was my conscious mind
But something within me stirred - I have class at 9!
What if I wake up and am late in real life?
I wouldn't be able to handle that strife.
I looked at the watch which said 8:45
If I was late I'd boil myself alive.
I woke up in a panic to a much darkened room
The clock said 12:40, but it wasn't past noon.
I had in fact slept for an hour and a half
And am now unable to sleep - what a laugh...
By the time of this posting, I will be
5 hours, 45 minutes early for class - lucky me.
Have you had dreams that seemed vivid and true?
And woken in panic or had tinged of blue
I hope that you knew just what to do
And not shared an insomniac's fate- goodnight to you.