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Welcome to A Writer's Landscape!

You have entered the realm of my mind where words play with the fabric of our existence. This is the map of my imagination: the very foundations of inspiration, musing, and thought splayed for your wandering eyes. Dive deep into the tides of these forces and experience my reality, my fantasy, my world; and if you should be so inclined, share your words with this land.

Peace and Love!

J Hart F

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Changed Earth (Part 10.2)

He is doing something against all nature. He helps himself to vanity beyond the skies to the sight of after. There is no stopping him now.

All night She whispered to Ethan as he lay in the sanctuary staring at the always moving image of the aurora. The message was always the same and it bothered him worse than the nightmares he often had about his brother, Charles. The message was too vague for him to figure out and his thoughts from the already restless nights. And still Ethan had little time to speak with Gaia. The role of a public figurehead idolized as a leader encouraged him to actually lead and teach.

This night, however, Gaia sought him to warn. With the constant worry of vanity, Ethan wondered which aspect She alluded to: vanity as a leader, a man, or a powerful being.

"Alright," Ethan whispered allowed, stirring the curiosity of Sarah and her pupil. Gaia stopped pressing for his attention.

Sitting up, Ethan rubbed his shoulders gingerly as he twisted his head around to see who was noticing his departure. It was early in the morning; the moon's light filtered through the canopy and mingled its pure silvery light with that of the aurora above. He slowly stood and shuffled silently to the exit--

--to be greeted by hundreds of Blue Morpho Butterflies queerly flocking around the exit. They fluttered together in unison to the beat of the Earth's spirit. Gently, they moved away, leading Ethan away from all other humans. They floated south towards the tip of the island which raised to overlook the oceans. Dark clouds billowed majestically with flashes of lightning interspersed with an orange glow. The resulting rumble coincided with the mellow beating of wings that continued to flutter before Ethan.

Across the ocean waves, a strong wind carried mist up to the butterflies; and though they must dislike it, they remained in the mystical formation. Half mesmerized, Ethan waited to hear from Gaia while watching the flashing of blue against the dark sky. Its juxtaposed beauty turned into a delicate balance portraying the worry She felt.

Suddenly, her voice came through the air and shocked Ethan into a trance. He is doing something against all nature. He helps himself to vanity beyond the skies to the sight of after. There is no stopping him now. Ethan saw the Earth's flow of energy in a field of vision that directly mirrored his terrestrial sight, but the butterflies were a face of blue surrounded by reddened black hair rippling in a breeze.

"What is he doing?" Ethan asked, trying to form himself into a coherent vision of himself within Gaia's frame. He slowly appeared as a chrysalis readying itself to open, and within seconds it did, transforming into a magnificent and old Monarch butterfly.

Akakios draws upon Helios to change the laws of Me.

"His vanity..." and it clicked for Ethan. "Charles is concerned with his power, his influence, his leadership and is trying to reverse the natural aging process... That's your law." Ethan felt himself shaking his head on his physical body, but it didn't translate into the trance world. "That's crazy. Suicide."

He has an apprentice to guide his working. He is of the sun, and Helios is his patron, and the energies will assist him.

Ethan remained silent. Thoughts flew through his mind, desperately searching for a solution that Gaia couldn't see in Her feverish panic. "We have to stop him," he stated plainly.

There is no stopping him.

"I will stop him. I must stop him. He could ruin himself in the process."

Or unleash Helios upon Me and destroy everything we are attempting to restore.

Ethan knew there had to be a way to stop him. Even if one of his apprentices was assisting Charles, Ethan could certainly get past them without much difficulty. However, if Charles did get wind of such a struggle even with his own attention diverted, he would be a force to reckon with once connected to Helios. "Is his plan to attack us? Do you know?"

No. Merely seeking himself in vain does he plan this reckless adventure.

"What can I do then?"

There is no stopping him.

"Why do you need me to simply inform me of his actions?"

The mindscape shifted abruptly and the image of a blue butterfly face and burning, billowing black hair disappeared; replaced by the simple image of an Earth long ago destroyed. I give to you my final, most precious gift. Not even your father knew of its potential. No other being, save Us, know, and We discourage its giving highly unless the laws for which We govern are put to waste.

"What do you speak of?" Ethan waited, his Monarch butterfly avatar still slowly fluttering in the emptiness. The wind of Gaia's voice brushed his wings and caressed him. Though worry and doubt filled both of their senses, the peacefulness of their interaction calmed Ethan.

Akakios strives to break the linearity of time upon the flesh and mind and give himself an upper hand. We have decided to give you an equal foot, and give you immediacy in your thoughts and actions when working with all energies. You and I. We shall be together and one, and my Essence shall be yours as yours mine.

Ethan couldn't think. This idea felt tragic that events should come to something like this. New doubts permeated all his being: to be connected with a Goddess and have her powers at his free will and touch. What if something should happen to Ethan, would it then happen to Her? To the Earth? To life?

And talk of an Us? A We, and certainly not speaking of the small pockets of humanity that survived with few able to commune with any of the great spirits for which Ethan only knew of a handful. Many questions began to fill his mind and the image of the Monarch faded into the immense blackness slated for the mindscape.

Then, as the questions solidified and brought the facade of Ethan into the darkness, a singular Blue Morpho Butterfly appeared and descended toward him. When it landed on his body, a sharp breath brought in what felt like an immense surge of electrified water.

Opening his eyes, Ethan found himself standing at the southern most tip of the island, overlooking the oceans outstretched to the protective barrier holding back the blackness. The sky above him started turning a lighter shade of grey. Ethan stood there, breathing slowly and searching the horizon for a sign of Charles' blasphemous working.

Quiet footsteps approached. "Elder Adair? Is everything alright?" Alexis stopped and waited patiently, feeling the cool sea breeze through her hair. "None of us have been able to speak with Gaia since you left the sanctuary. We assumed you had Her sole attention..."

"I have..."

"Is everything alright?"

Ethan turned to look at his former apprentice. "Unfortunately, things are not alright. Charles has offended Her... and She has taken action... Strange action." He sighed, and heard the wind pick up off the coast. "I'll tell you what is happening as we walk back. Come."

Friday, May 21, 2010

Entre Chien et Loup 3

When does it lie, this
vale between all land and sky
where choice destroys love.

2 by 1

One way to view,
the other gives only death
when soaring by someone else's hand.
Beyond the view,
2 by 1, so small,
the white flies in blue
above the brown and green
on wings conceived of
industry and minds.
Crammed full of souls,
the streamline ballet delivers
to destinations beyond
the clouds.
And all we see is
through the 2 by 1
which was so generously

On Our Way

Excitement never really set in until well after we were on our way. I attribute it to turbulence actually. With two weeks of ailment under my belt, it took the subtle fear of headwind jostling the cabin around high above the Rocky mountains which separated us from our destination. Packing stimulated a little enthusiasm; counting the days and worrying whether the threat of rain would turn into actuality and make the springtime clothing useless at protecting me from the elements. Even so, the days I'll be spending out of doors are still a bit off. Over the past month I had been pushing myself to really get excited to go to an Eden of green and visit one of the most influential people in my life, but something prevented my emotions to be so free.

Until the air set them free. Until the uninhibited and emotionless turbulence broke m barriers, my protections, my certainties and uncertainties and instilled a careful seed of blissful excitement. It feels proper now, where I am with my excitement, where before it was a feeling of errors to be how I was. The two I'm traveling with were far more enthusiastic long before I was; and perhaps one of them was a little forceful at trying to get me to be as outwardly joyful as he was. That is certainly not my way and maybe it repressed my emotions even more. Alas, things are back to normal sitting elbow to elbow with both of them.

One drawback to my sudden realization is the lack of space and strange silence an airplane affords all of its passengers. Rarely does anyone hear an exuberant conversation taking place. Consequently, this could be a very American attitude which suddenly rubs me the wrong way. I want to scream and jump and dance with elation at the perfect journey I'm on.

My love and my best friend traveling hundreds of miles to visit my mentor, idol, goddess and friend, who happens to have been a former teacher to all of us; and then after four marvelous days in Oregon, it's off to the most magical place in America (perhaps) where we'll be able to celebrate my love's birthday! Magical, inspirational, beautiful, and exciting. And though I've logically known and understood this for ten months or more, the complete impact on my psyche just occurred thirty minutes into flight.

Though I don't see it, my smile is stuck on my face. I'm not tired anymore and the remnants of sickness are having far less effect on my mind.

We're on our way.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Changed Earth (Part 10.1)

"It is time." Charles stood at the edge of a green pasture overlooking the oceans that spread before him. His gaze sought a small island many miles away. Dark clouds billowed with fire above the ocean surface with patches of clarity moving about, evidence most of the destruction had come to an end. Relief swept over Charles; inaction had finally come to an end as well. Now his plans could be put into place and the road would be clear soon enough. "One thing first," he whispered to himself, eyes narrowing in an attempt to see further.

Turning away from the depressing view, Charles headed back to the city. Its sprawling buildings dressed with a mixture of Victorian and Greco-Roman architecture were teeming with life. The life Charles had single-handedly saved. They were thriving under his strict guidance, and no-one complained. It was everything Charles could desire in his society; if only they could remain like this forever.

But time, as he knew, would change the dynamics and his little civilization would grow. Charles had certainly seen enough of time to know how the monster lurks around him, and he would be a good ruler. A grand ruler. Image would be very important, thus he needed to take off some of his years, to reverse what time had done without his consent.

For this he needed the sun, which was hard to come by. Much of the smoke had thickened around the magical force-fields created to protect the two surviving civilizations which meant that getting to the sun required more energy. Something which use to be so simple for Charles he now had to work at. He went to the one person he could trust, his only ally whose anger for their foes ran just as deep as his own, whose abilities to work with Gaia were second only to Ethan's.

Charles entered the city and went straight to his house. He kept it simple and small, equipped with only the essentials to live apart from his people. One thing he learned: don't indulge in luxury when the people suffer, even if it's emotional suffering. Once inside, Charles sent a quick sending through the flow of energy to Alasia.

Within minutes, she appeared. Her dark skin and wavy hair stood in a harmonious contrast to the billowing black clouds and darkened snow beyond the protective bubble. But her eyes were as white as ivory freshly honed into a dagger. Wearing a simple floor-length gown, she walked with an ease and grace to stun anyone. Charles was aware of her beauty and tolerated her posture only because he knew it suited him in the end. She had perfected the ability of youth and knew how to remain in it for eternity. It was something dark and mysterious that Ethan and Charles had both neglected until it was too late.

"You called for me, Elder Sadhin."

He watched her walk over to a seat and piously sit in it. He enjoyed her fastidious game with him. "Yes. I need your assistance in something."

"How charming. The great Elder Sadhin needs assistance from me?" Her rolling, musical tone carried crisply through the room. Charles walked over and sat next to her, giving to pretense to elegance.

"I must be able to reach the sun for a difficult working."

Alasia's eyes narrowed, but her posture remained relaxed and straight, back not touching the chair and hands resting casually in her lap. "What sort of working would require two adepts to reach the sun?"

"One which requires complete attention, where every error causes an incalculable percent of damage to the worker. One which I'm not willing to take many chances on."

She smiled and her eyes took on a mischievous texture. "And you trust me to help with this?"

Charles nodded. "You and only you. You know what's at stake if I fail. You know how much of our survival is tied to my presence here. You know where the true loyalty of the people lies."

Finally, her facade released and she slumped back into the chair comfortably, turning her head away as she exclaimed, "Ha! Loyalty like this lasts only so long, Charles."

"And that's exactly why I need your help to make me younger again."

Eyes shooting wide to reveal white all the way around her dark brown irises, Alasia whipped her gaze back to Charles. "That's crazy. There's no way to reverse the nature Gaia has bestowed upon us." She shook her head. "Not even one as powerful as yourself could accomplish that, and I know Gaia doesn't approve of the cosmetic alterations. I've tried a few myself using Her. They never work out. I used countless doctors trying to reverse what I did to myself, and luckily a few were able to make me look like this. She hated that."

"I know vanity isn't one of Gaia's concerns, but I fear for the well being of this culture that if I remain looking old they will eventually think me useless and outdated and replace me with someone as short sighted as yourself."

Her claws stiffened. Her jaw set. Her eyes glared with a fire ready to strike.

"Come now, you know you wouldn't be able to rule a civilization. Much less, a world."

Alasia seemed to accept this statement, but didn't return her friendly tone as she said, "It doesn't matter who rules, as long as we survive at this point. We all know you can't continue supplying the power to everything forever. And you won't let anyone help."

Charles nodded. "And that's because I want you all preparing for the more important things."

"More important than surviving?"

"Surviving means readying the Earth. I can handle the present situation without a blink. I need you to ready the next steps."

The silence that fell over the two was thick with thought. Finally, Charles asked, "Will you assist me, Alasia?"

"Of course. It's not like there was really a choice anyway." She stood abruptly. "When?"

"Tomorrow, first thing in the morning."

Alasia let out a short laugh. "It's always morning this time a year. And in a few months it's always going to be night. When are we going to do it?"


"Alright. I'll be here then."

Charles shook his head. "No, meet me at the cliff."

Thundering towards the door, Alasia left. As soon as she exited, the facade of poised evil enveloped her form once more.

A Painful Day

Wake Up... Wake Up... Wake Up...

My body is moving slowly today. Eyes bleary with pain and head pounding just above my eyes, I reach over to turn off my alarm which begs me to Wake up. Don't be late. GET OUT OF BED! I turn and force my alarm clock to snooze and roll over, attempting to comfort the pulsing pain behind my forehead. Slowly, for a few minutes, darkness descends the white-hot prickling and pinching and protruding pain and I'm comfortable again.

Wake Up... Wake Up... Wake Up...

Fifteen minutes have gone by. Time to really get up. I have to be at work in thirty minutes.

After a quick shower and an even faster preparation, the cool early morning air rushes over my face as I walk towards the car. The humidity presses against my forehead and stimulates the headache once more. Looking down seems to help a bit so my vision is shifted to the ground. It's black, course, and broken by lines of black tar. Shadows appear between orange light spilling at odd angles across my path. It's still too early.

The sun hasn't come up yet and the silver light of the moon isn't mingling with the streetlights. Without looking I know it's cloudy. Perhaps the pressure is causing this congestion to be worse than normal, even with the news from the doctor, which came only yesterday. Ignoring the raucous thudding of my lightly treading shoes, I make it to my car. An echo resounds as I unlock the door and slide into the driver's seat. "This is going to be a long day..." I say to Phineas, my 2005 Kia. I turn the ignition and a volcano explodes somewhere in the engine. I close my eyes. Lean forward. The pressure stops.

Suddenly, I'm sitting in front of my store and shivering in my car. The clock says 4:25 and no-one else is hear yet. Well, there is my headache keeping me company, and perhaps that's why I can't remember driving to work. Sarah McLachlan is playing softly in the background, singing of an unattained love that made her famous. It's soothing... and loud... but I keep it on to remind me of something happy. A wind rocks my car like the giant waves of a hurricane sweeping down on the shore. "Oh, just stop..." I whisper while bringing my cold hand to my feverish forehead.

Headlights flash in the rear-view mirror and a large, gray Dodge is turning into the parking lot. 4:28 and right on time. I get out of my car, gingerly avoiding an earthquake. Humbly hanging my head in a mock attempt to simply look tired, I make it to the door and manage to walk inside without screaming in frustration. The headache is getting worse...

When we make it into the back room, I'm faced with a physical manifestation of my brain. Cluttered, with boxes filled with heavy liquids and powders able to fog the air. They're sitting there, ominously... tortuously making it harder to move around and relax and rest apart from the sales floor. My head pounds louder as my blood pressure rises a little. "Well then..."

Ellen seems to know something's wrong. "Oh don't worry about. It'll get done eventually."

My scratchy voice groans a little as I shuffle off to take care of the opening tasks. The three of us work well together: an all-star team it appears, even if it's short one player; but it won't be short one player. I'm at work. I have to work. I'm getting paid to work.

A hot iron poker lunges into my head and the lights grow brighter by the second. I sit down to count the money and start assigning tasks for my crew.

"Everything okay?" Mandy asks cautiously. "I don't like seeing you like this..."

"No, not really. I've got a splitting headache..." I look up at her. Mandy's eyes are tight in the corners, her mouth slightly open in a stressed way, head tilted just a little off balance inquisitively. "I'm sorry... I'm probably not going to be much use this morning."

She steps forward and places a hand on my shoulder. "We'll be alright. Don't want you dieing on us or anything."

The simple statement and touch soothes me a little, clearing away the immediate sting and washing it down to a mild numbing beat as constant as my heart. Moving off to continue the open, sidestepping boxes and squeezing through tight spaces, Mandy and Ellen rush to get things done. Molasses holds me to a different pace, coupled with fear of an unknown predator lurking in my mind. Somehow, we manage to open on time leaving two hours before a chance I'll be relieved of work.

And that two hours is hell.

Every step is like thunder berating my brow. Every bending and twisting movement is a tornado ripping my skin into shreds atop my swollen forehead. The noises of the coffee shop are cathedral bells ringing ten feet away. The lights from above are paparazzi flashes. Even the touch of my cold hands gently rubbing feels like an arctic breeze freezing my thoughts. Sitting and standing and walking put different pressures on my head and all I can hope is that working will pass this hell faster.

Two hours passes and I'm able to put away the boxes, mostly; and after allowing Ellen and Mandy to take their short breaks, I'm able to finally relax myself for a few minutes and pull myself together a bit.


They stream down my face as soon as I sit down in the back. The pain, which through time I've learned to suppress to a large degree, overwhelms me and I can't see. I can't think. I can't move. There's ten minutes available for me to surrender to these feelings. Ten minutes to let it all out and hope the resulting overload of chemicals in my brain will help me push myself to work. Ten minutes to allow myself to be weak.

Twenty go by, and suddenly I hear the family jingle of keys and a low voice talking on a cell phone enter the back room with me. Wiping my face clean and dabbing my nose, I keep my head down so she can't see my obviously red eyes.

She asks the wrong question!

"How are you doing Josh?"

The walls break again and my head pounds with renewed embarrassment. "Not well..."

"Oh God! Why didn't you call me?" She knows it's a migraine the size of Texas' ego. "Can you drive home?"

"No. But I was going to see if someone at home could come and get me." I'm blubbering. I've lost all control of my eyes, my nose, my mouth, my words, and my body. I'm standing, walking stumbling around looking for my things as Jenny tries to usher me out so she can take me home.

She talks to me, comforting me, I think... but I can't comprehend what she's saying. Stepping out to the floor I see our Pastor Karl looking concerned at my red face. I try to smile to reassure him that everything's really okay and not to worry. I yell something over to the girls as they work diligently to provide our customers with a wonderful experience... even with my waterworks rushing past them.

A gray world reveals itself outside, and the reverberating light stings my eyes. A gray mood overcomes me as I cry all the way to the car. A gray understanding of what to say and what to do decides my conversation as I apologize over and over again to Jenny as she drives me home.

Gray eyelids block out the world as I lay in bed. Sleep dissolves my awareness of the pain, and I'm gone for hours until the sun shines in my room around noon.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Come Chill Into Spring Air

The Dark of winter's touch resides
in shadowed vales behind the ides.
Speed farther down the road foreseen
and dress emotions with light seams.
Come chill into spring air, my love.
Rest worries and doubts high above
the needs of naught; below our own
Desires, my love. Lets make our home.
Summer's light will touch our souls
and teach of love all dream to hold.
Beautiful nights, warm in the air
will make us laugh without a care;
where lightning rolls on Eastward bound
and thoughts travel the whole life round
Once fall descends we'll know for sure
whether heart-filled home makes us pure
as Golden leaves reflect the sun
my love desires an honest run.

The Nameless Stranger

“Say Yes” by Tobias Wolff is a short story about a couple who encounter a discussion concerning interracial marriages. This discussion happens primarily in the kitchen as the husband and wife are cleaning up after dinner. Wolff writes this story in a limited omniscience narrative from the husband’s perspective about the topic at hand. It is very apparent that the husband loves and respects his wife, but very strongly disagrees with her stance. Eventually the discussion stops and Ann, the wife, sends her husband to bed after he apologizes. She has him turn off the lights and enters the room in the dark, and the husband is suddenly struck by an odd emotion. The husband feels there is “a stranger” in the house. One of the most peculiar things about “Say Yes” is that Wolff left the husband nameless, whereby instigating the audience’s notion of him as a stranger even though he is the main character.

The audience is first introduced to the husband in “Say Yes” very early in the story. He is portrayed as a “considerate husband” by his wife’s friends since he helps out with a lot of the house work. The evidence from the short story coincide with this analysis of his love for his wife, especially when he hurries off to find “alcohol, cotton, and a Band-Aid” to help Ann after she pricked her finger on something. Considering his verbal tone during the argument, the husband tries to stay calm and level headed, only losing his temper once when he says, “These are dirty,” and “[dumps] all the silverware back into the sink.” This incident is the first indicator of the husband’s change in the story.

The choice to leave the husband nameless leaves several interpretations to be had. The first of which is that the audience is suppose to remain distant from the husband even though the narrative is from his perspective. The audience sees Ann’s reactions to what her husband is saying, but they are never more than the interpretation the husband sees. This is made evident several times throughout the text, one of which is when the husband notices that Ann “was piling dishes on the drainboard [sic] at a terrific rate, just wiping at them with the cloth.” Instances like this don’t give the audience insight to what Ann is thinking or feeling; it’s just a visual queue for the husband to understand her reaction. Also, when the audience is given a glimpse of what the husband is thinking, the glimpse seems a little arrogant. Taken from the first paragraph, when the husband is talking about when his wife’s friends think of him as “a considerate husband,” he thinks, “I try.” When he comes back with the Band-Aid, the husband also thinks, “that [Ann should appreciate] how quickly he had come to her aid.” Both instances, though they are complimentary to the husband, are still self centered thoughts which make the audience distance themselves from him when reading closer.

Another reason for distancing the audience from the husband is to help demoralize his case against interracial marriages. The husband thinks too logically, hoping to keep emotions out of the discussion. However, Ann, brings the emotional side of love and circumstances and force the husband to reconsider. The husband pulls arguments like “they don’t come from the same culture,” “they even have their own language,” and “most of [the interracial] marriages break up.” Wolff is trying to have the audience dislike his arguments and possibly distrust the husband. By having the audience distance themselves from the husband Ann becomes the next character to sympathize with. Her argument in the discussion is of emotion, and she attempts to bring her husband into that mindset by saying, “But if we had met, and I’d been black?” This sort of hypothetical question is ambiguous and the husband falls into the trap his wife set for him. The husband knows that he is “cornered” because he admits he wouldn’t marry Ann if she were black because “[she] wouldn’t be [herself].” Throughout the discussion, the lack of the husband having a name depicts his groundless argument between husband and wife.

The major reason the husband remains nameless is to associate him with the “stranger” who appears at the end of the story. In a way, having the husband without a name allows the audience to step into his shoes more easily as well as distance themselves from him. This allows the audience to feel the shift he goes through while he cleans the kitchen. When his wife leaves the kitchen in anger, the husband continues to clean the kitchen until “the kitchen looked new, the way it looked when they were first shown the house” which reflects his won mind. This is a pivotal moment for the husband. It is safe to assume that this couple moved into the house right after they got married and have lived there ever since. When the husband thinks “In another thirty years or so they would both be dead,” this gives the audience a sense of how old this couple is. Assuming the life expectancy to be 85 or so, the couple would be in their 50’s and probably would have been married in their early 20’s. A 30 year relationship certainly would have changed their relationship quite a bit, dispelling a lot of the newness they felt for each other when they got married. The kitchen changed with them, and formed into a representation of their relationship because the husband noticed the sudden cleanliness that hadn’t existed since “they were first shown the house.”

Therefore, by having it so clean, he notices his own relationship has changed and become new because of the discussion they are having. It’s also strange because they aren’t agreeing on something he sees so logically, assuming its infallibility in the logic he brings. However, logic doesn’t hold up to emotion and the husband is forced to assess his own standing on the subject while he cleaned the kitchen by himself; while he cleaned his relationship by himself. The very next scene, when the husband steps outside, he feels “his throat [tighten] so that eh could hardly breath” and two things happen. He feels remorse for the loss and disappearance of the relationship he had with his wife to this point. However, he also feels the love he knows is there for his wife because “His face and neck began to tingle [and] warmth flooded his chest.”

This new love he experiences from the birth of a new chapter in their relationship is the stranger that exists in the house. The last few sentences describe this feeling for the audience very clearly:
“The room was silent. His heart pounded the way it had on their first night together, the way it still did when he woke at a noise in the darkness and waited to hear it again – the sound of someone moving through the house, a stranger.”
The husband is excited about this new love he feels, and this is the same excitement he felt when he first fell in love with Ann at least 30 years ago. However, he also fears this new love; fears where it will take them and if it will survive. This doubt is evident when he equates his feeling to the “noise in the darkness.” By the husband saying “The room was silent,” he’s saying two things. The first is that he doesn’t know where his new love is going while the second represents his wife’s silence in the matter. She hasn’t given any indication whether she feels this turn in their relationship.

Ultimately, the husband is the “stranger” because his feelings on interracial marriage are strange and different to what Ann believed her husband would think. Also, his sudden creation of a new chapter in the marriage and new love for his wife has befitted him with strangeness in a long marriage. The most obvious indicator of the stranger is the lack of a name for the husband in such an intimate setting and conversation.

Delivering Oblivion

“We can no longer afford to take that which was good in the past and simply call it our heritage, to discard the bad and simply think of it as a dead load which by itself time will bury in oblivion. The subterranean stream of Western history has finally come to the surface and usurped the dignity of our tradition. This is the reality in which we live. And this is why all efforts to escape from the grimness of the present into nostalgia for a still intact past, or into the anticipated oblivion of a better future, are vain.” (ix)
The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt, 1951

The above passage from Hannah Arendt’s preface to her book The Origins of Totalitarianism, points out the growing idealism of civilization to always present humanity as being always good as “vain.” Arendt claims it’s not enough to declare the “good in the past” as the roots to civilization and neglect the “bad” history and that by doing so the Western world found itself in two tragic world wars which decidedly transformed world mentality. One of the people whose writing was certainly influenced by the events that inspired Arendt was Samuel Beckett. His play Endgame is certainly seen to mirror this mentality in a very different fashion. This one act play revolving around a relationship between the two main characters, Hamm and Clov, goes nowhere more than back to the beginning. The way Endgame deals with the relationship of Hamm and Clov, and furthermore how they react and relate to their circumstances, mirrors Arendt’s message of ignorance of the past.

In the beginning of the play, Hamm and Clov discuss the time. Hamm begins by asking, “What time is it?” to which Clov responds very plainly, “The same as usual.” With a short intercourse regarding the view outside, which must appear quite bleak given the conversation, Hamm suddenly asks “Apart from that, how do you feel?” Clov, in a very poignant manner, responds with “I don’t complain.” This last statement by Clov relates to his reactions to the outside world which, in several interpretations, is either post-apocalyptic and barren or pre-civilization. Relating Endgame to Arendt’s passage possibly negates the pre-civilization interpretations, whereby focusing a relation to post-apocalyptic trends in theme. Having the time be “The same as usual,” as Clov describes, has both Hamm and Clov represent the people in society who disregard all of history and all possibilities for the future. Mirrored also in the statement “I don’t complain,” Clov is expressing a forced disinterest in the events that led to the post-apocalyptic world the pair find themselves in.

This world in Endgame is a culmination of events Arendt seems to predict in her passage. When she declares “or into the anticipated oblivion of a better future, are vain” Arendt must mean the dream of a post-apocalyptic world that humanity will survive and thrive from no matter what is ineffectual. Certainly such an aspiration, if groups in society indeed hoped for such an outcome in order to better humanity, would result in a collective mentality much like Hamm and Clov’s. Surface thoughts of the past buried beneath a lack of feelings about the circumstances that led to Endgame’s world result in a stagnation of progression; thus the cyclical nature of Endgame: the play of one act, never moving on and closing without resolution. Arendt should certainly have feared this outcome.

The audience of Endgame is introduced to Nagg with a sudden outcry for “Me pap!” repeated until the proper acknowledgment of the need and a donation to its source. “Me pap” is symbolic of several things in Endgame, the first of which is food. Nagg, who lives in a trashcan and who represents discarded waste in humanity, is calling for some source of nutrition that is easily consumed by the elderly. With Arendt’s influence on the interpretation, Nagg’s status as waste becomes symbolic of the disregarded past which society deems as “bad.” Therefore, the call for nutrition is suddenly a request for more history, more understanding, and an accurate retelling of events; but the placement of this need in a trashcan within the play indicates the detrimental course society is on. “Me pap” also indicates Nagg’s age. This is indicated with great force when Clov declares “If age but knew” upon Nagg’s exit from the scene. Clov is showing his greater comprehension for the events that transpired and his unwillingness to explain to the audience. This statement also shows how “age” in the symbolism of Nagg is the past being interpreted by the present, and Clov means that the present is being ignorant of the past by putting such a person in the trashcan. Nagg is obviously old because of his request for a pap, and if he is old he must know something of the past.

Nagg and Nell, the two elderly characters who live in the trashcans, represent the ability to see into the past. They reminisce several times in their short scene in the play. One of these times is about a lost tooth which Nagg claims “I had it yesterday” to which Nell mournfully laments “Ah yesterday!” These two are able to remember the past and freely discuss it like in the conversation about the wreck on their bicycle for two “in the Ardennes.” However important this ability is, Nagg and Nell are placed in the trashcans by society created by Hamm in his master role in the house. Hamm also attempts to ignore the two completely; and only engaging with Nagg later in the play out of necessity to quiet him. This interaction reflects Arendt’s second sentence: “The subterranean stream of Western history has finally come to the surface and usurped the dignity of our tradition.” Hamm’s act of ignoring and disregarding Nagg and Nell’s intercourse about the past indicates the “subterranean stream” surfacing as a negligent feat in society. It also represents the younger generations and new politicians ignoring historians, and this deed is itself the downturn of dignity in “our tradition.”

Clov in Endgame seems to have the memories available from the past, but disregards them all the same out of a respect for his master. He is able to see how Hamm treats his parents in the trashcans, and is himself treated like a slave even with the predicament the four find themselves in. Clov’s very first statement is a short monologue where he says “Grain upon grain, one by one, and one day, suddenly, there’s a heap, a little heap, the impossible heap.” The obvious trope of sand in an hourglass forming the nonstop sequence of time until it overwhelms is the first impression this statement brings to mind. With Arendt’s affect on Clov’s line, the “Grain upon grain” which leads to “the impossible heap” represents the relentless course of civilization to the vain betterment of the past. Clov even expands on this premise when he says “All life long the same questions, the same answers”; whereby he’s clearly saying that humanity’s desire to answer the questions of the past with only the positive outlooks of events have brought about the same end. This line also hints at the cyclical nature of the play, and the relationships therein.

Furthermore, the post-apocalyptic interpretation of this text, paired with Arendt’s statement reveal a small society completely void of reflection of the past. This is the most atrocious outcome of what Arendt certainly must fear in the “anticipated oblivion.” Clov, whose power is undeniable since he serves a crippled, bleeding, and blind Hamm, must also know the unbelievable account by which they arrive in the house because he says, sadly, “No one that ever lived ever thought so crooked as we.” He knows that Hamm does not allow much memory to influence his daily life and thoughts. Hamm’s cares are about the world at present, whether something has changed from the immediate past to the present and how that will affect the immediate future. The only time Hamm allows a thought from the past to surface with any power is if the circumstance is consequently necessary. An instance of this is when Hamm demands that Clov “Go and get two bicycle-wheels.” Clov explains there are no more bicycles in the world, so therefore no bicycle wheels exist anymore. Hamm indulges in the memory of bicycles for mere moments until his thoughts move on a mere two lines later. Since Hamm is the authority figure in the house, and therefore the only society on Earth in a post-apocalyptic read of Endgame, his influence is what holds their society in stagnation. The fear of looking back into the past and seeing what might have created Hamm’s absolute authority is what Arendt’s preface is all about. Hamm is vain for neglecting all the realities of the past.

The final monologue given by Hamm at the end of the play contains the most relevant line to Arendt’s point. Hamm states, “Moments for nothing, now as always, time was never and time is over, reckoning closed and story ended.” Dissecting this immensely important line ties Endgame to Arendt’s preface. “Moments for nothing” carries the weight of history culminating in an apocalyptic world wrought with nothingness; and Hamm’s complete disregard for any historical significance in moments as representatives of memories is the action which instigates the nothingness they cannot leave. As Hamm progresses to “now as always,” he is clearly saying that since the actions of ignorance to the past are solid, which Arendt clearly says is “[usurping] the dignity of our tradition,” the present state of endlessness in nothingness will proceed until the end. He declares his own endgame; the point where the end is clear and the winner is known, but the steps must still be taken to that end regardless. The only end in sight for Hamm and the others is death without survival of humanity. Hamm continues this idea with “time is never and time is over,” but he also presents the idea that humanity is lost because he refuses to see history for its necessity. It may also be a hope for the renewal of possibility by negating the sense of time and declaring it over. The final portion of the phrase states “reckoning closed and story ended,” and this may also be Hamm’s vain attempt at overlooking the events that led to his circumstances. The reckoning brought the post-apocalyptic world to fruition, and that is over, as Hamm thinks it, and therefore that story is over as well. Previous civilization’s influence on his life cannot be since they do not exist anymore. Arendt explains this careless attitude and it’s folly in her opening sentence: “We can no longer afford to take that which was good in the past and simply call it our heritage, to discard the bad and simply think of it as a dead load which by itself time will bury in oblivion.”

The heavily influential political climate in the early 1900’s shifted the collective mentality drastically. Arendt saw a need to accept the events of the past, both good and bad, and feed it into knowledge and education so humanity would not turn out like Beckett’s Endgame. We cannot submit to a need for happy thoughts and distinct morals that arrive from the ‘good’ historical interpretations. As many contemporary minds know, we learn from the past and strive to overcome the cyclical nature of certain circumstances by looking at the ‘bad’ in history. Hamm has forgotten this fact and believes simply that “Something is taking its course” and everything will be as it should. This fallacy is regrettable, and Arendt is pointing that out.

Spaghetti with Meatballs of Irony!

We walk from my house to his van; the family van, otherwise known as his man van thanks to my little input. "I like it because it has power," he jokes. "It's wicked fast." Nobody would guess it until he beat them on take-off from a stoplight. It really does look like a soccer mom's van, and that's part of Terry. He drives something that isn't exactly fitting of his facade, but fits his needs for his family. For instance: tonight he's wearing a leather jacket fit for either biking or flying an airplane, with a beanie and jeans and certainly a well cut shirt underneath the jacket. Yet he's driving a mini-van.

Settling into the passenger seat, Terry hands me a book: Illusions; The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach. "That's the book I was telling you about. Wanted to make sure I got it to you," he says as he buckles in and starts the car. I think the title is meaningful, and suddenly I'm struck with a deeper sense about Terry which had already been growing over the past month. Is he a 'Reluctant Messiah'? And if so, what is he trying to bring to his friends, his family, and most importantly his society?

First meeting Terry was quite a shock to my little world at work. He's a regular customer who typically sits at one table with his computer and up to seven books splayed around him. Half the time he wears a graphic t-shirt with a Japanese design or symbols. Arriving at eight in the morning, Terry can sit there until four in the afternoon working on either his online courses or his graphic design stuff. He has tried to explain what he does, and for the most part I understand that he's been working on a computer animated cartoon; specifically designing the space ship for the 'good guys' to fly in. However, his hobbies are creating new computer codes to enrich textiles and skins and writing novels. It's a little mind boggling what he does. He has been working on three different novels, the most recent of which is a collection of stories revealing parenting methods through the allusion of playing board games.

However, this isn't why we know Terry at work. Going to one Starbucks for nearly two and a half years allows for some friendships to grow with the Baristas. Not only this, but rumors arise and quick personalities are enforced which creates a facade that both sides of the counter have a hard time breaking through in such short encounters. Essentially, my first impression of Terry was the rumors that had been told me: immoral, childish, immature, lazy, etc. My coworkers were building a picture of the scum of the earth. The initial encounters with Terry were indeed supplementing this pretense. The jokes he tells are sexual in nature most of the time and in the two minutes o service provided at work, that's usually what we would hear.

But recent events drastically changed that view. Not two weeks ago, several of my employees were suspended pending further investigation of theft and alcohol consumption. Terry was moved by their plight and called me up, asking if I could be an angel and keep a secret. "Although... Angels can't keep secrets, so really I'm asking you to be my little devil." He giggled at the possible sexual reference he was making with me.

"Yeah, I can keep your secret. I'm good at secrets." Even as I said it, we both quietly recognized there was an essential flaw: once it's shared with another, it's no longer a secret.

He got a little somber; possibly serious is a better description, but somber holds that sadness he was experiencing for the trials my coworkers were going through. He said, "I want to give them each two weeks pay for the time they're missing. I want them to know someone's thinking about them... and you know; give them money to pay bills and stuff." Anonymity was Terry's goal in the process, making sure they didn't know who was donating such funds to their lives; he wanted to be an angel for my coworkers.

He pulls away from my house after flicking on the widnshield wipers to take away the innocent flecks of snow drifting down from the graying sky. The ten minute drive to Buca di Beppo experiences many little jokes.

"Shelly and Wil are going to be so jealous," he explains with little giggles about his wife and son. "I know I'm lucky though."

"Well, next time we'll have to invite them both too."

Terry asks in a childish way, "Do we have to?" We both laugh, as we pull up to the restaurant.

We walk in to find five people standing at the hostess station. "Just the two of you tonight?" the hostess asks, looking between Terry and myself in a knowing way.

"Yep," Terry responds for the both of us. "I see you guys are ready for us!" he declares to all five of them.

One of the guys, obviously the general manager, attempts to joke back and merely reveals his lack of enthusiasm at being so slow on a Sunday night. "Oh yeah, we're so excited..." Seeming oblivious to the manager's tone, Terry laughs and starts talking to the hostess leading us through the kitchen. There isn't a quiet moment in Buca di Beppo: chatter explodes from several tables throughout the restaurant and the music is just loud enough to compensate for the noise. The girl sits us down and leaves us to chat.

By the time Whitney, our waitress, arrives, Terry and I have gone off on another conversation already. We haven't even looked at the menu. "What can I get you guys to drink?"

"I'll have tea. Iced tea pleas," Terry orders without thinking, almost before she can finish asking the question. I order water.

"What what are you guys celebrating tonight?" the gentle sense of knowing revealing itself again. I can't help but think these employees assume we're on a date, which certainly tickles Terry to no relief.

He looks at me. "Oh, we're not celebrating." It appears to be the perfect opportunity to iron out my thesis on Terry.

I explain to Whitney that I'm writing an essay on Terry, who use to simple be one of my customers and has grown in my eyes. I say, "The reason I chose him is because he's a big ball of irony. He comes off as crass, joking about anything, but really he cares so much more than that."

"Meatballs of Irony!" Terry blurts out and starts laughing almost uncontrollably. I can't tell if Whitney is truly amused or not, but she smiles and softly giggles.

She looks at Terry and asks jokingly, "Is that a compliment?"

"Oh, everything's a compliment!" Liking the answer, she rushes away to fill our drink orders and give us time to look over the menu. Terry starts laughing almost immediately, very pleased with his internal monologue. "I'll take the spaghetti with meatballs of irony." I can't help laughing a little either. He flips through the pages of the menu and comes across a picture of two sausage links on a plate of sauteed bell peppers. "Perhaps we should share a couple of Italian sausages," he jokes, referencing our sexualities and obvious inability to do just quite the action. Quickly continuing his peruse through the menu brings him to the alcohol section. "Oh my! Menage A Trois! Cochron! Ha ha!" All the beverages seem to have some sexual connotation and he's off laughing again, creating a very relaxed, fun, and amusing atmosphere for the both of us. It's certainly a joy to be in his company.

"Oh, I'm so naive," he declares suddenly.

I look at him, his eyes filled with happiness. "No you're not," I tell him.

"Yes I am," he says immediately, suppressing laughter.

Very recently, Terry revealed to me something that came as a surprise to him. He realized he wasn't straight. This isn't to say he's gay, but Terry came to a realization that he could be sexually attracted to men. Some of this he attributes to my openness with my sexuality with whoever asks me about it as Terry did on multiple occasions. The rest he claims is because he's attracted to me and a few other guys he has run into.

Returning with a glass of ice water and iced tea, Whitney starts chatting with us again. Terry quickly discovers that she wants to become a teacher; having already graduated with a journalism degree, she wasn't finding a lot of good work with the economy being so depressed. One of Terry's other sides is revealed by his willingness to talk to the waitress. Diving in, he reveals how he was a computer technologies teacher at a high school. "I quit," he says at one point, "because I couldn't handle a job that had no accountability." A sense of pride and arrogance come through his statement. The conversation ensues as they talk about teaching and school. Terry is open; completely willing to talk about anything. His air of joking has dropped away.

Whitney finally takes our orders and leaves for the kitchen.

Somehow, through the conversation with Whitney, Terry and I begin talking about an old television show: Kung Fu. The way he talks about this show uncovers yet another facet of his personality which I already had a sense was present. He speaks about the lessons he learned through watching Kung Fu and how Master Kan educated his pupil. One of Terry's favorite episodes, he explains, is when Master Kan makes his pupil be the master for a day; whereby Master Kan serves his student instead of the student serving him.

"There were three lessons to this," Terry explains of Master Kan's actions. "The first was that it is a service for yourself to serve others. The second is to own your own shame that ends up being because of the obligation that arises from always serving or being served." He pauses, thinking really hard. "Sorry, I'm manifesting this myself," Terry blurts out as he tries to think of the last lesson. "The other one is to provide the opportunity to feel pride in providing the service for others and yourself.

"But there's a complication," he says very seriously, though his eyes are still lighthearted. "When you're the giver, that's easy. It's harder to receive..." He thinks about what he said, and suddenly his face explodes. "Wow!" he declares, hands on the sides of his head, hazel eyes wide with delight, inspiration illuminating his face in the darkened corner of the restaurant in which we sit. "I can't even... put words to what I just thought."

Whitney returns with our food and sets it before us. Terry has ordered the apple and Gorgonzola salad while I received the four pasta sampler platter. They both look wonderful: on abundant with greens, hinted with the purple of cranberries and white cheese sprinkled throughout, while the other dish is covered with off-white pastas smothered in red tomato sauce.

I sit there smiling, thinking to myself how deep his thought process goes even when talking so mildly with a friend. I'm sure he has deep conversations with many of his friends, once he's passed the first stage of joking and relationship building. With our suddenly deep conversation, he moves us on to fallacies. He explains how a fallacy is a logical argument that is flawed even when it sounds logical and reasonable.

"How do you spell 'fallacies'?" I ask him, holding my pen ready to take my next notes about our conversation.

"Umm... P-H-A-L-H-A-S... You didn't just write that down did you?" We laugh hysterically for a moment, our food before us getting colder as we enjoy our time together. We continue to talk about the creation of fallacies and I'm struck once more with the depth of understanding Terry has about the world around him.

I say at one point, "It'll all work out in the end... Wait, is that a fallacy?"

"uh-yeah," Terry responds and giggles, pleasure at my understanding of what he's describing. As we laugh, a little three year old boy walks up to an exit door right next to our table. The door is obviously rigged to make loud noises should anyone attempt to leave through it, alerting the fire department to a possible disaster and making many of the patrons of Buca di Beppo flee. Terry looks at the kid as he reaches up to push the red door handle and says very calmly and assertively, "You might regret pushing that."

The boy turns around and looks at Terry before scampering off again.

Suddenly, I remember a moent from a week ago; a Ki-Aikido lesson I went to with him. Aikido is a Japanese defense martial arts which teaches the individual how to use his Ki to reach out to opponents and relate with them. The way Terry talked to the three year old boy brought back an image of Terry working with his opponents in practice. Sitting on the side and observing the advanced session Terry partook in allowed for me to get a better appreciation for how a person's Ki interacted with others.

What I noticed was how they all stood. Being a defensive art form, everyone stood with their feet at odd angles: left foot typically behind the right foot and at almost a ninety degree angle, ready to shift to a better position to throw the opponent off balance. Terry, however, stood with both feet perpendicular, facing his opponent directly until they were engaging in the moves being practiced. I realized this during the lesson, and explained it to Terry that night. I told him how he stood differently from the others in the class. He had no idea he was doing that and made a loos promise to work on putting himself into a better prepared stance. However, when Terry spoke to the boy something clicked in my mind about how Terry extended his Ki to the world.

When he spoke to the boy, engaged Whitney in an intense conversation, or talked to me about his sexuality Terry didn't stand on guard. He doesn't put up his defenses and prepare to deflect or throw people off balance so they won't get to know him. I assumed his joking nature was a protective aspect in Terry's personality, but the jokes are used to help others lower their own defenses. He enjoys life and wants everyone else to do the same. The simplest way to do this is to make people laugh; to provide others with a moment of amusement and joy. It is a wise thing to do. Even though some of Terry's history may be suspect and some of his actions may seem immature and immoral, there is a deeper acumen when Terry regards his actions, the world, and the interactions of humanity. Maybe this is how he's teaching all of us: in small moments of gaiety with a friendly figure judged for living life how he wants.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ill Caused Sorrow

She stands before me,
red rimmed eyes distant,
And she shrugs. Not
able to say what can't
be said.
Her heart is broken,
though not by love;
by ailment unkind and
By love she strengthens,
survives surviving
Fear corners her into
unwillingness and doubt;
her eyes are red from
sleepless tear-filled
Falling with walls to
protect, she stands
before me.

Friday, May 14, 2010

What Has Happened? I Am Unaware.

The sight of another's pain for which I cannot help nor know the source devastates my sense of friendship and belonging. It's strange, my helplessness, in the face of the unknown. Even more so when I think of the possibilities, which run wild and free, that might cause her to mourn so. The most treacherous of which makes my heart scream just thinking about it. Virtue of the world's order would be spoiled upon hearing of this circumstance. If it were the case though, certainly I would know; someone would have told me of the change in condition which a plethora of family are watching with utmost respect and love. So the real cause must be less tragic, less severe and less timeless. Prying is not my style and I'll wait for the time which words will manifest truth to be heard. Until such time, I can only make myself available, attempting wholeheartedly to bring back that smile which lights the face with Grace. It's my way of not remaining helpless; to help regain a lost spark in darkened times where light is treasured above the self.

Lost in Words

Sweet surrender is all I'll ever desire for the places I am and the world I'll know. To give and be had, circusmtance foreseen or surprised, memory brought or forgot: life happily lived, the sun joyfully bright, the river flowing beyond. All I have to give is what you ask of me. What is asked is more than thought or held. Love, my sweet surrender, is tortuously broken in cherished breaths; a continuum of myself in you; a universe for you lost in me. I cry to think its bewilderment could be lost after it's sought above sight. Words spilling like black gold from the imagined spaces, relinquished desperately by pens surrounded by the fingers of truth. Oh Life! Such sweet surrender for my mind! Give me your words, feed me your mind! Let me into your pages, sweet lover, surrender me! Take me away!

Without Peace

Silence! Quiet! Please...
Too much pace for life to know.
Gentle feather drop.

The Strained Voice

Tight voice struggles free;
A cough demands attention.
Healing in the cold.

This is a party.

This is a party.
The party.
Constantly improving moments
changing, moving,
in a wind from the west
carrying thoughts, hopes,
to the east at daybreak.
The gentle rise of breasts,
heaving much needed breath;
flicking hair
through the air.
The World rejoices
at a laugh,
a smile.
This is our party.
So Dance.


Invaded and pillaged; such an odd sense to a word whose origins must stem from dismemberment. Now it's a digital horror to be hacked, security bypassed and individuality violated by someone who maliciously seeks a pretty penny for their pocket. Perhaps I provided them a slight relief, yet I know not how the opportunity was provided. I thought my steps were protected and agile, my method smart and careful.

Technology is not my strength, and I've never pretended it was. I know how to operate within this frame of existence, but it brings such a woe and despair when something so cherished is thoroughly changed and the ability to enjoy it is lost. Worse yet: I wish to have a source to blame, though I know this satisfaction will never be had. Blame is left to me, for surely my actions, however naive, allowed for this circumstance to occur.

Now I wait for authorities to tell me my next actions. Time is slipping by like the wind over a river. I sat by the river and wept my sorrows, dry emotionless tears dropping only in my mind. Doubtless rage flared like a gentle blanket: it's materialistic and vain to rampage when only time and patience will ensure a reprieve from the injustice. Authorities like these are friendly to their patrons, and I have been loyal for quite some time.

A lesson was learned, and not the kind about technological security and the want of my electronic game world... I'm peacefully accepting the moment as an event like a footfall instead of a Hiroshima. My life is enjoyable despite the lack of play and I'm find with the ticking I must endure.

Entre Chien et Loup (2)

Lively pup will mourn
Red spills eastward as breath leaves.
Wolf drips blood on Earth.

Entre Chien et Loup (1)

Great sense of passing.
The Dark bestows its kind Light.
Shallow trees swaying.

The Moment is Coming.

Will we be ready for it? Certainly is a matter of vigilantly preparing for its coming; suburban life is no better than city, and maybe no better than farm life, but its proximity is preferred to succumb to it. This commitment is suppose to build two into a unit to strive for a golden living. At least in America, this is true. Virtue is bestowed to it, pomp and circumstance tied irrevocably to it. Exorbitant amounts of cash flow, yet the moment lasts maybe two weeks of an entire lifetime. Such a moment profoundly degenerates the human experience into vows that block the full existence of experience; but we'll strive to fulfill them despite nature. But there is a symbol which resists scrutiny, in my eyes; the circlet of life binding love in an elegant and beautiful relic which, can if its meaning fades, will still hold power until its smelting down to the bare elements. This exchange, sans the ritual, is honest. Perhaps we can stand before the alter with that. Will we be ready?

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Fight.

The announcer calls out, "And in the Red corner, straight from the swamps of deceit, riddled with bug infested hair, wearing eons old clothes, Miss Whale Swamp Sow! She's known for her lying uppercuts and fabricated logic! Her only passion -- to rule the ring."

The audience, caught in the enthusiasm of the announcer's voice, clapped politely with a few leering cat-calls. Meanwhile, Miss Whale looked around with a half smile, eyes piercing through the air as if trying to find her foe.

Allowing the applause to die down naturally, which didn't take long, the announcer continued his introductions, "And in the Green corner, already dazzled by previous battles in a resistance, standing a lean foot and a half over his opponent, always faithful and loyal -- The Magical Elf-Witch!"

The hall shook from the roar that came from the audience.

Without waiting, which would have wasted much time, the announcer began setting the parameters of the fight. "This will be a fast one! One round, six minutes, and hopefully we'll see a knockout!" More applause as several groups began chanting "Elf-Witch!" at the top of their lungs.

But in the ring, Miss Whale and the Elf-Witch were in perfect silence, staring at each other with malice and strength. There was more behind this fight than the friendly competition of most fights; these two called each other Nemesis.

The bell rang before either one was ready, but they vaulted for each other regardless. The clatter of bone against fat was resounding in a dull thud and the hall grew a little quieter as the opponents struggled together. Fists were thrown and missed, the air was sprayed with sweat and spit. Each landed their fair share of blows, swelling and bruising the other.

And then a bright flash sent Miss Whale stumbling backwards, her eyes stunned into a mad dash of blinking to rid her sight of the spots that appeared magically. While she recovered, Miss Whale let out a echoing bellow of guttural disdain. She flopped her gelatinous form onto the rink and sent waves of floor everywhere.

The Elf-Witch, his lithe and agile feet ready for such a desperate attack, nimbly rolled with the waves. Still he attacked with a poised energy, mythical in its retelling.

Within four minutes, Miss Whale Swamp Sow was flat on her back, slow and ragged breaths heaving her form up and down as her mouth hung open. The announcer took over the scene faster than the audience could realize.

"And the winner is the Magical Elf-Witch! What an amazing fight!"

The medics took twenty minutes to recover Miss Whale's attention and cart her off to the back corridors of the East wing. She never fought again.

(To those of you who might realize what is going on in my life, this is an allegory directed at me and one other. Hopefully the real end to the story will be as finite as this one, as my Nemesis will supposedly be moving in due time.)

May 10, 2010

I sat outside and watched
the busy life of humanity
swirling in every direction
singularly and together.

Alone within the rules;
even outside the cage
Nature's breeze forgets
to Touch their gentle minds.

Spring's humid touch
opens nostrils to a clean
air purified of the fervent
chill lingering in the shade.

Green skyscrapers are "forgot!"
in cars traveling the gray road.
Black tar pummeling senses
numbed by electric screens.

The feel of grass and twig
buried beneath the souls
calloused by hands they thrust.
Watching is all I have.

Blurring Buzz

Hello. I know you can hear. You do, but I won't dare have you acknowledge the truth that stands where you sit. Lie down on gentle noise, washing and rushing and muffling and stinging like the ocean. Blanket those fears -- No! thoughts -- in a swirl of fog. Dream in wisps lost because of concentration. Go survive in a world of molasses. Go!

The Wearing Day





The time ticks

it tocs

We tick with the constant motion

We talk of better ways.

Ticking gently pushes eyes "forward" to an ever narrowing field of view,

the stalking openness prevents the freedom to feel obliged.

As the hands of the day tick faster with the sun climbing over the sky ever onward to the west where mountains lie

the feet drag with thick stocks growing to reach the heavens with open leaves glowing bright.

The tick is right, only doubtful in a dream.

The toc is left to fend for itself.

The tick is first and always last.

The toc is last before the mind.

The time ticks on

it tocs of truth.




Mother's Day

The power of three,
the three by three;
Faces of the Goddess shine on me.

Old and fair whose life has come
beyond the wisdom
sought by none.

Wise beyond the shadowed leaves
a world of conscience
she no longer heaves.

Joyful youth lost only to sight
Innocence biased, play
regardless the height.

Three faces to me
the mothers I see
Goddess incarnate the power of three.



Sounds so odd to say it. Recovery. Especially after so many experiences wrought with anger and suffering through stress and tears. Recovery. Not to mention the fear. It also brings peace in some strange fashion; smoothing the surface to hide the damage of the past, hoping for a joyous return that was missed to begin with. How can all of it possibly return to a state of normality after the treasures were ripped away without remorse or morals. Well, perhaps they thought their morals were being judged by an ethical standpoint from higher powers manipulating regulations to ensure a specific outcome whereby damaging several people's survival.

I'm in peace.

Even that statement feels like a load of shit. There's no peace while I feel such... dislike, if not hatred. No, hatred gives them too much power over me; move than their obvious monetary stronghold on my soul. But I can say I'm in recovery. And that where I am is still a touchy thought. Loyalty begs me leave. Loyalty exists not where I am. Loyalty to myself tells me to try. Thus staying feels disloyal and right.

I despise the situation.

Step one achieved.

I'm truly happy with my life and can overcome this dissension in emotions.

Step two?

I commit to surviving and striving for a better environment.

Step three.

I will be honest with myself and the people who I interact with. Honest with a sense of respect and dignity that these circumstances warrant despite the tumultuous events which shaped this outcome. All they need do is ask.


Getting Over It

The world feels like a dream where everything exists miles away but you're still able to touch it, hold and lift it. Thoughts feel sluggish even though they keep pace with the ticking of the clock. One by one the moments fly by in eons, and before you know it the dawn has gone past the time between the dog and the werewolf. But the permeating affliction of sleepless nights holds even more firmly to he body in a muffled cry of cold. Still you must trudge on, voice harsh with the remnants of ailment. Hide what has become and hope you're getting well; fight the molasses of sand and succeed in living. There isn't time to rest with the stars, no time to howl at the moon, no time to shiver in the dark. There's no time for sickness to win in the West. The show must go on.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Rightly Due Apology

To my Faithful Readers;

I am sorry.

These absences I transpire, despite my fervent desire to neglect such grievous states, are but my own fault. The situations I find myself in seem to bear down upon me more than my mind can handle, at times. As life stands now, finals week is upon me and I have a cold. Dreadful timing if you ask me. However, the haze that spreads across my mind from time to time, as time is the fact of import in this circumstance, I have realized inspiration and direction once more.

Thus the load of creations so hastily displayed here on the blog.

For you, my Faithful Readers, I must recommit a promise that I shall keep: for each month there shall be as many blogs as days; and of these there shall be one installment of "The Changed Earth" per week!

And as I commit, I make a request of you: please help to assure my inspiration! Donate ideas, make requests, and give suggestions. And if you see me slacking, LET ME KNOW! Yell at me on Facebook, find me at work, post a comment on my blog.

I know I'm not perfect, but I strive to keep my commitments. I hope you accept my apology and are looking forward to wonderful things to come on my blog!

Peace and Love!

J Hart F

My New Affinity

Well, as one of my dearest friends would despise me for saying, I have acquired a new appreciation for a wondrous poet: Emily Dickinson. As I'm reading through her complete collection of poems (Yes, all 1775 of them... That's a lot) I am finding something within me that is growing even stronger.

My love of Language!

It's so delicate, so simple, and vastly indifferent until we place the tongue into a context that is created of ourselves with the filter of society. Blasted society, with its ever expansive rules and morals... it harms our view. But this is something Emily Dickinson seems to have understood much better than most people give her credit for. My favorite poem of her collection so far (and I must admit I've only read maybe 9 of her poems... but this one hit me to the core for some reason... subconsciously it appears):

(c. 1853)

On this wondrous sea
Sailing silently,
Ho! Pilot, ho!
Knowest thou the shore
Where no breakers roar -
Where the storm is o'er?

In the peaceful west
Many the sails at rest -
The anchors fast -
Thither I pilot thee -
Land Ho! Eternity!
Ashore at last!

I'm not going to pretend I have any inclination of what this poem means beneath the surface yet. The choices and intricacies are far beyond my newly acquired (or rather: budding and growing) literary skills; but my initial reaction is of some sense of happiness. A starting anew after being lost perhaps. Lost from what? I can't say? And why the illusion of sea and ships? Can't quite say yet.

But that's the point! It's so much more profound to me that I know there is something beneath this that I cannot grasp, though I understand the words and their meanings, that makes me LOVE this poem and Emily Dickinson all the more! I can only hope to write with some semblance of depth like hers.

I'm positive you all will be seeing more of her poetry and my reactions to it on my blog as we progress through time, for certainly her influences will appear in subtle allusions in many of my writings. As any writer must undoubtedly do at some point: make allusions to great writers of the past in hopes their power will flow forth from the new words.

Trigonometry Inspirationals

Mathematics allows for the complex to be unreal, imaginary or simply impossible. 'i' for example is the square root of -1, which cannot exist but does. It's existence is contingent on me writing, thinking about or working with it. Sure mathematically it does not exist because the variable of the square root of -1 does not compute in any equation other than Euler's Formula (which I still don't fully comprehend).

If the two universal languages are Math and Music, it seems these both harbor universal truths. Math allows for the implementation of imaginary numbers to produce real numbers which work in the real world. Simple enough, right? Well how does this relate to the world we live in? What 'complex' or 'imaginary' occurrences help connect two thoughts, events, or realities in a workable and realistic manner?

One which I cling to is magic. True magic which may seem lost but exists to believers; not that 'hocus-pocus' magic magic we see on TV or at shows. magic is explainable within a frame of reality that exists in 'otherness' or 'imagination'. Therefore, it is 'complex' or, to use the mathematical terminology, 'imaginary.' Remember, the square root of -1 is a usable, substantially important number (imaginary yet real) that allows for real numbers to occur. Then Magic is a usable, substantially important thing that allows for reality to occur.

In the same breath, I think of God. Perhaps I say 'God,' but I'm using this word to invoke a greater sense of Divinity which exists for all peoples and religions. All people literally meaning ALL PEOPLE. This Divinity may be the simplest example of scientific fact (as the Earth is round) to the most complex idea (atoms are made of yet even smaller particles we will never see with the naked eye); however it does include Deities of every religious background. Divinity may be consciousness, God, Goddess, Gaia or merely the Sun. Lets allow God to symbolize all these things. God is not provable without doubt; we have not seen God (aside from the Sun for those who believe thus). However, this God is used to explain the existence of many things. Is it not a 'complex' idea which creates a real answer? Then, using mathematical terminology, is it not an 'imaginary' value which sustains reality as we see it? (Don't take me wrong, I believe in the existence of Divinity, God, Goddess, etc., as a fact for all who believe; as I surely believe. I'm just thinking openly and freely.)

But then we must look at reality. Is 'reality' as a word indicative of a substantiated, tangible object? Or is it a complexity to explain the existence of the individual and unique thoughts we have? And if this is the case, can we not add even more complex existences to influence the perception we have over the dominion we are given? Whereby altering what we KNOW is reality to be something different? Ok... Now I'm just imagining a different reality in which I'm not thoroughly convinced is even possible.

Perhaps these thoughts are better had by the enlightened. I certainly don't feel enlightened for thinking about them, that's for sure. But it feels like a truth that I cannot shake. If mathematics is so precise, yet it contains these imaginary/complex numbers in its arsenal, then why is the perceived reality any different? Or is it even any different than the math we so futilely cling to as the foundation for this reality?

Here I go again...

When is it ok to mourn?

When is it ok to mourn?
And how's a simple question too.
Where gentleness fails to find
the sacred judgment of sublime
Feelings locked behind domains
built by blindness to a light.
Let the structure of fames
tremble down the darkest blight,
structured frightful but not mine
but handed down in ways sublime?
Searching inward by only you
determine under words to mourn.

My Tongue

Between the Shaken leaves,
Tremor of the broken wind,
Light flickers from stars above.

Gentle Kisses springing down
As droplets mist the air.
Subtle Brushes cling to eyelashes.

Careful glistening iris dawns the
Face of hearts lost in the purest
Darkness of night graced by Moonlight.

To see through filters
Brings light to insightful mind.
Goddess guide my love!

Think and Speak

Is it Poem or
Poem? Pronounce it and create
a world of Chosen.