Two Pictures to Examine

family                                                  Fingernails, brittle and worn, thick with age, unable to retain the moisture. Here, so different, tiny specks of cover at the end of slender and graceful fingers, as fragile as the thin layer of frost on the first cool morning of autumn. Hair much the same on either, though the head that holds the dry brittle strands gives the appearance of the last few withered stalks of dusty wheat, missed by the blades that took the field, but for some odd reason left just a patch—maybe to tell what was once there.

          Here, those light silky wisps could easily dance about in the most gentle of breezes; and no matter how they fell, it would appear they had been combed by an angel—one who knew just the right way to make each curl stand out.

         The skin gives the most opposite view of what clearly could not be the same. There, more scales than a fish not yet prepared for cooking, but dead none-the-less. Small scars and bumps, little dots of brown, raised dry spots—an accumulation and abundance of God knows what it might have come from. The tiny waves are the most prominent; a game could be played where bringing the skin taut would appear smooth and shining like a newly frozen rink in winter, then letting go, it would revert back to its wavy self.

         Not  so here, all white and milky, even the smell would be fresh as newly rolled dough. It’s funny how the smell of a baby wrapped in a warm blanket after a bath could smell so wonderful. Not a ripple or a wrinkle, a pale smooth surface, flashes of pink where it should be, a soft downy batch of new fallen snow.

           Eyes are said to be the windows to the soul. But these have perhaps seen too much of the world. They sit in sockets surrounded by skin, lined and grizzled, cranky bits of hair sticking from the lashes at odd angles, the eyes themselves displaying signs of wear, muscles so used up that the eyes are unable to take in the world on their own.

            Here, the eyes are green. They look ready to jump out and take in the world, a brilliant dark green, centered inside a smooth white canvas to show off the sparkle.

             And what the two pictures cannot tell is they are both the same. For inside each is the same heart, the same soul. Neither moment is more precious than the other, neither moment is more urgent than the other. Each moment is but another capture of the one, different than the one before, but no more or less important; it might be so that some moments are more easily remembered because of time or circumstance.

              Two pictures can do nothing more than pick two moments in a life as compared to the two or three billion that is created assuming each second makes a new you.

The Great Sins

oak treeA lazy day indeed from this point on; I will do nothing other than lay and rest in shade and satisfaction.

Days before I could but languish in the knowledge that others rested in the shade of the old stand of trees, a cool drink at hand when needed, as I was forced to trek on. No food for days, until this last one, a kill finally; I ate what was needed and then ate some more, not knowing when again I could. I tore at strips of meat; what might have been a satisfying conclusion to those days before without nourishment now turned to a rage to consume as quickly as possible.

Still I wanted more, no longer to quench an appetite, rather, the feel of the kill, abundance, the possession, the power, and the lust of accomplishment.

Oh to have such opportunity at every turn, food when desired, drink when thirsty.

Alas, as leader I must protect my pride.

I step away that they too might eat.

I will of course confess the great sins I have committed here today, if but one in reverse order.

Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy, and Sloth.

The spiritual Atom

atom antI’m on one of those spurts where I ponder the universe.
Big bang. But not like a bomb that detonates; a bomb involves expansion over time. The big bank was expansion everywhere at once, the creation of space. How big? Don’t know – like a balloon we all move out together, and every point is the center. But it’s not like a balloon; more like the surface of a balloon without the space inside. Not really like that either, as that is one dimensional. Still if were able to cover the distance, and started our trip through the universe in a straight line, we would end up back where we started. Why? Silly me! Space is curved.

The final synopsis being that my feeble brain will never be able to truly comprehend it, no matter how much smarter I get from drinking scotch.
Then there is dark matter, which wasn’t enough to explain the expansion and especially the speeds at which outer stars travel so fast around their center – usually a black hole. So we now have dark energy that kicks their ass into motion – or maybe pulls then – or gives them chocolate to entice them to go faster.
And this is only our little universe – only 15 billion years old, a baby in the arms of infinity of other times, other universes.
I find such information euphoric even as it puts me on the verge of madness. I have neither the time nor the aptitude to grasp what the Einstein’s of the world know better. They too in all probability have their limit, and perhaps in a bow to some higher intellect, they experience a passing moment of envy.
I love science and it is not hard to see I have a special love for cosmology. Never took much science in high school, too busy with math, Latin, French, literature, and history. Carl Sagan hooked me and I have been enthralled since. I purchased a few courses on Einstein and his relativity theories; spent some time revisiting calculus, as in University I was busy trying to pick up a nurse or two from the school next door. I should have stuck with calculus, as I never bagged a nurse. (Yes, that is BAGGED)
The little I learn about cosmology coincides with the little I learn about spirituality. I won’t bore you with the details other than to say that in my young school years the atom was the smallest particle, period; and the Catholic Church was the last word on spirituality and god – full stop.
I have been lucky to live in an age where information and knowledge flow from many wonderful sources. Yes, you need to be careful of your sources and take all with a dose of skepticism.
I am a spiritual scientific student of the cosmos.
Damn, I feel good today.

Friday the 13th


                     The bus dropped him unto the dirt road that ran adjacent to the park.

The back lights of the bus disappeared around a bend as he walked along. The path he followed was bathed in the soft glow of the park lamps which skirted the park on all sides. He had walked it many times when he worked late.

He loved the quiet change that came over him here; so different from the bustling city life where he spend his days.

The lights blinked once, once again, and his world went dark. He looked back at the sky over the city he had left behind. No lights anywhere, a blackout. No cars came up this way, few people lived this far out.

He let out a small shiver; perhaps from the cold, more likely from the odd feeling of being so alone in the dark with no light to guide him. He would never go into the park at night, too many possibilities. Inside the park was for the daytime. This now felt like inside the park. The lights had always been on as he walked around towards his home.

Nothing to do but keep walking; Let eyes adjust to the darkness. Ahead, huge dark blanketed clumps, surely stands of trees. He glanced at the sky, hoping for light; none promised itself. Rain drops increased in intensity and thunder rolled in from the south. He needed to hurry or the storm would have him.

No sounds. Stop and pause a moment to listen. No movement of any kind; not even birds chirping. How odd. Yes, for as long as he could not hear any sounds he would be safe. He strained his ears to listen and prayed silently for nothing. Somewhere in the strengthening storm he could make out small sounds, most likely the rustling of wind against the bushes and the branches of the trees, nothing more; still he looked behind him, into the darkness, nothing.

Friday the 13th. It came to him in a flash. Each of the Fridays the 13th before had involved a killing in this very park. One had been during the day, a lady on a bike hit and killed by a car losing control. The other woman had been killed at night and the police said drug related. Such a silly thing to be superstitious about a day and a number. Lightening flashed. They were both women anyway; not men.

The rain pelted his head and his face, no raincoat or umbrella. He doubted even if there were light he would be able to see, given all the rain washing down his face. Only the sound of the rain now, coupled with the intermittent crash of thunder. He strained harder to focus on any sounds that might tell him he was not alone. Best to cautious. He turned to look behind him again; footsteps?

“Who’s there?”

No answer, nothing.

He should run; he would catch his death of cold out here. His pace quickened and the urgency that overtook him made him break into a run; stumbling almost immediately on a branch that had been pulled from the tree by the strong gusts of wind riding on the storm. He cursed and picked himself up. He forced himself to stop; he had to face what was happening.

This might be Friday the 13th but he was not a woman. He peered off into the darkness. He was being followed. Best to cut through the park. His home was on the other side. It made no sense to walk around under these conditions. He headed into the park, but quickly found he was unable to navigate without constantly hitting a tree, a bench, a garbage can or some other obstacle unable to be seen in the darkness.

He pushed back out to the path, his clothes now drenched, his mind in tangles. By the time he made it to the bridge, his mind was racing with the possibilities of his own disaster. He had no belief in Friday the 13th, but he knew the sinister nature of people.

The town newspaper had run an article yesterday taking note of the coincidence, but making sure the folks who read the piece saw the Friday the 13th connection; and that two women had been killed.
Some sick maniac would read that and want the coincidence to be more than a chance happening. That sick mind would want to perpetuate the myth and bask in the stories of the Friday the 13th Park Killer.

But the victim had to be a woman.

He tripped over his own shoe lace that had become untied. The urge hit him to kick the shoe off and keep going. The gulp of air he forced into his lungs shook him in place. Deep breaths, one, two, three. Enough.

He turned around to better be prepared for what might otherwise surprise him from behind, and bent down to tie his shoe. He sucked in another breath as he stood back up, and turned to continue his trek; a light moving towards him on the bridge. He wanted to run. His attacker had somehow gotten ahead of him and was now confronting him.

The fear propelled him to full flight. He hit the attacker with every ounce of energy he could muster. His attacker went sailing over the bridge into the water. No hesitation to see if his attacker might escape the water, he kept running, stumbling, and picking himself up. His hands and knees were scraped and lacerated in pools of blood.

Tears mixed with the rain as he made it to the steps of his home. He pounded on the door, struggled to find his keys, managing to finally unlock the door.

The lights blinked back on as he stepped inside.

He almost fainted from the massive release that flooded his body.

Home. Slow down. It’s over.

He called for his wife. No answer.

He went to the kitchen, where a small candle sat on top of a note.

“Honey, gone to meet you with a flashlight. If I miss you I will go to the bus stop and back your usual path.”