Given all the world, words, and time my greatest desire is to go back and forth and down paths sideways reconciling metaphors with people and stones. If there are, as William Carlos Williams writes, No ideas but in things, I want to counter that existential dictate that there is no-thing without ideas.
These things, they appear in my brain. I see them. Plainly.
This is lighting that strikes up, rising from dirt; not lightening from ion-laden cumulous clouds that travels a predictable downward path. Most times I just watch in awe as the bolt disappears into the looming dark clouds that the wind carries away, leaving me to contemplate charred earth.
Some images though, they are like the rhetoric before speech and they have teeth. They nibble at me, biting once then consuming me whole. In those instances I always think this must be the same feeling early humans felt the first time they discovered fire. And I worry. I worry I will spend centuries trying to figure out how to keep the fire going, trying to recreate that initial spark or worse, I will have to dig for fire. Push past the roots, the artifacts, the pigmented pottery shards, and dig, really dig deep through the history of fossilized sediment to the crust of the earth and steal the fire.
No. I am the clay figure.
Same as you; blowing pigment over my hand onto a French cave wall.
Dreaming a dream; a series of images that tell the tale of a collective story.
Icebergs in the Caribbean;
It floated across my brain on a dreary Tuesday in traffic. I said the phrase. I saw the picture. I googled the phrase, trapped on Johnson Ferry between the river and Roswell Road; while I waited my turn to cross the road at the light, I learned that icebergs are formed during a process called calving; a phenomenon that happens under stress, pressure or forces from waves or tides.
Icebergs are beautiful and dangerous.
Scars on the ocean floor show that thousands and thousands of years ago icebergs from the Hudson River might have drifted as far south as Bermuda. Humans were busy back then. They were hunting, gathering, finding fire, figuring out how to plant food and they were putting images on cave walls, crafting clay figures and sharpening tools.
When their eyes, just off the coast of Bermuda in the Caribbean Sea, saw icebergs float past; did they feel inspiration?
Feel a lighting shock of wonder?
Hope at the shimmering mirage?
Form a thought that maybe, this was out of the ordinary?
A floating ice island?
Was it extraordinary . . .
I recall my dream.
I am in a dense tropical forest high atop a cliff. The trees are blocking my view of the cerulean sea that swirls below the forest and there are pointy rocks on the cliffs shouldering the sky all the way to the water. I need a clear view of the lagoon below. I want to leap But all the trees are blocking my view.
Through the trees I see distant cliffs with a sprawling scrub that will provide a clear view to assess the lagoon below. The path to that perfect view is long, uncertain. I want to jump from the cliff nearby. It is more convenient but it is also so much riskier.
I stand in the forest amongst low-lying ferns and fronds and thick trunks of palm trees contemplating my choices and suddenly, a bus barrels past. It clear-cuts a path through the forest to the sea. It dives over the cliff, crashing and disappearing into the turquoise rocked-rimmed water below. Pieces of bus and bone are scattered. The heavy metal sinks. Smoke rises, silently. Water moves outward in circles.
I know instantly this is a tragedy.
I am just a witness.
I know people have died but this is an opportunity. The path to the sea is clear.
I can see the rocks and I know the exact spot from where I should jump.
I linger on the cliff.
My alarm pulls me out of the dream.
I leave me on the edge of the cliff.
I have been trying to find my way back into the dream.
I leap from cliff, arching high.
That rib of mine, it scrapes rock, a wound I ignore.
I go long.
My body buoyantly rolls over waves.
My hands scull the water.
My fast feet a rudder.
I swim into the deep blue of the sea.