Sunday, January 9, 2011

Rhythm Here, There, Everywhere

I was feeling pretty lazy and really would rather have continued to lounge in my parent's apartment, but I really felt compelled to go for a walk. I'm glad I did.


I stepped out the front door of my parent's apartment building to see a pink and orange sunset. What was most remarkable, however, was a column of fuchsia-colored light shooting from the horizon straight upward, like a great pink sword about the cut through the gray, purple, and red clouds. It was like a beacon and reminded of the light coming out of the top of the head of the Ghost of Christmas Past.  

Once on the walking trail--an old railway bed converted into a paved walking path--I strolled in the crisp, dry air of the purple twilight, still able to see the pink shaft of light through the spindly spines of the hardwoods going along the path. Usually during walks I talk to myself, aloud, basically converting the idle chatter of my ever-anxious left brain into verbiage that allows me to air and resolve some if it, but lately, I've grown weary of the endless babble. The other day, it seemed appropriate to put this part of myself to death. The next day, lying in bed after awakening, I envisioned this dead blathering fool as an endless chattering, frantically anxious skeleton and lay in the quiet darkness laughing heartily at the image. I named him Skullboy and at times just let him chatter along while I allow life--life that I've not been too keyed into because of Skullboy's endless prattle--to come into my awareness.


This time, I wouldn't allow Skullboy to needle, but quieted my mind as I strolled along. I closed my eyes and let all the sounds that normally escape me come into awareness. Soon, I could feel a rhythm, or was I sensing it? I don't really know. What I do know is that in those moments, all of the sounds I heard--my breath, the scritching of my jacket, the crunch of snow under my feet, a single leaf rattling on a branch as it falls, squirrels frolicking among the spindly fingers of a maple, even the rumble of cars on the road I was approaching, the squish of their tires on the pavement--it all fit together somehow in some vast rhythm, some connected and united dance where all of the participants were synchronized and flowing in harmony and cohesion. I felt old; not in a tired and dying way, but like an old, old soul who has lived for thousands of years and has finally awakened from a long and wearying dream.

Skullboy wouldn't stop blabbing, and occasionally his words sunk in "...we're in trouble, we're in debt, it's getting dark, it's too cold, i don't like it here, i need to leave..." I pictured his frantic, skull jaw flapping like wind-up teeth and I laughed, as I tend to laugh whenever I picture Skullboy's anxious chattering.

 

On down the trail, I spotted Alpine and Doug, an Alaskan Malamute and his owner. I've run into them a few times out here. I don't especially like dogs, but Alpine has some presence about him that stands out to me. He sees me and begins to howl. Doug hasn't remembered meeting me, but he says, "We must have met you before because he uses that howl when he sees someone he remembers and likes." It seemed an omen to see Alpine, to run into an animal, a dog no less, to which I feel some primal connection.

In the growing darkness, I continued down the trail to its end, a wooded area near the freeway. As I turn around and walk back, I'm aware of ancient spirits in this wood, old Native American ghosts, but then, I sense guardian spirits of the forest and from them sense a positive energy, a connection, a welcome, love. On back toward my parents, the feeling has passed as I come closer to residential neighborhoods, but the feeling of connection to the rhythm in creation is still there. It's a rhythm I want to feel connected to always, even in a room constructed of cinder blocks watching the News on TV with a group of people who think they're hearing the truth. That would be a life well worth living.