Friday, March 07, 2008

The Boys of Winter

(With apoligies to Don Henley and his song The Boys of Summer)

S’Nowbody on the road
S’Nowmen are of the past
I feel it in the air
The spring is coming fast

Empty yards, empty streets
The sun’s rays can be felt
I’m drivin’ by your house
Though I know you’re gonna melt

But I can see you-
Your ice skin shinin’ in the sun
You got your scarf stuck now and your coal eyeballs on, baby
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the snow boys of winter have gone

I never will forget those nights
I wonder if it was a dream
Remember how you made me frostbit?
Remember how I made ice cream?
Now I don’t understand what happened to our love
But babe, I’m gonna watch you melt
Coz snow is what you’re made of

I can see you-
Your top hat shinin’ in the sun
I see you meltin’ real slow but you’re still smilin’ at everyone
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the snow boys of winter have gone

Out on the road today, I saw a snowplow stick it to a cadillac
A little voice inside my head said, "don’t look back. you can never look back."
I thought I knew what love was
What did I know?
Winter won’t last forever
I should just let it go but-

I can see you-
Your twig arms shinin’ in the sun
Your carrot nose is gone but your smile beams on, baby
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the snowboys of winter are gone.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

You Can Check Out Any Time You Like - But You Can Never Leave

It was Wednesday morning, two weeks ago. The throng of the thousand things I had to accomplish that day had already begun to crowd into my conscious thought, trampling the new tendrils of creativity that had finally begun to take root. So, as always, I took the path of least resistance and let the events of the day plot my course, holding on to the hope that at the end of the day I might recapture some time to nurture my imagination. But first, I thought, I do have time to go for a quick run, so I clamped on the earbuds and turned on the Eagles' Hotel California, and off I went.

I don't know when I finally noticed it. Maybe the realization slowly dawned, or perhaps it happened suddenly. I just know that I was intensely aware. The air around me buzzed and swirled, yet there was nothing there. Like a thousand tiny red flags, the hairs on the back of my neck bristled, but I brushed it aside. There were, as always, places to go, things to do, people to see. There was simply no time to stop and pay attention to something that was most likely my overactive imagination ... or was it?

All at once though, daylight became green neon, a whiff of acrid air conjured from my distant memory, the antiseptic pall of an operating room, and the edges of my world took an alarming pitch. And just as suddenly, a feathery boyance enveloped my innards as they seemed to rise, heedless of the rest of my leaden being, at an incredible speed - straight up.

When I could finally drag my eyelids open against the silvery fist of fear that instinctively slammed them shut, I found that a vast expanse of stainless steel had replaced the pavement, and seemed to blend and become both horizon and sky. The colorless buzzing and swirling I had felt earlier continued, but was now somehow more muted and almost soothing.

As I let my vision adjust to the soft liquid shimmering around me, I sensed, rather than saw a comforting presence which conveyed to me that I was safe and my wellbeing would be assured. The presence I felt, seemed to be not a singular one, but multiple, and they were able to communicate with me on an intellegent, but more primitive level. It was as if my senses were piano keys and they were trying out the chords.

Over the space of many days it seemed, I walked the landscape of my own mind, accompanied by the benevolent presence I had come to think of as a council of celtic gnomes. As we travelled, the ideas for stories I had set aside, took form and mingled with childhood memories and half remembered dreams. Ideas took on shape and personality. Each manifestation vied for my attention, but was kept at bay by the gnomes who had protectively formed a circle around me. I neither slept, nor ate, but was not tired or hungry, and so my journey continued. Until, up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light, my head grew heavy and my sight grew dim, and I felt the earth tilt once more as the air around me changed to an electrically charged green flurry.

This time, when I opened my eyes I saw sidewalks and trees and melting snow. My breath puffed out in measured clouds, and Hotel California was still pounding out the rhythm for my running feet, as I turned into my own driveway.