Folio No.19 - Fall 1978
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A Thought for Today
A soldier doesn't need to grunt to be a soldier and a lover needn't pant to make his point.
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Squinting, I see atoms. Pulling back, the eyeís lens broaden for a wider angle, the atoms split and disappear. Sun spots perhaps but atoms in the abstract, as wave on wave of sunlight set my eyes to dancing or to staring straight ahead, hoping I can split the atoms or cause the spots to come together in a single blur.
Sometime last year, or has it been two years or six, I gave up taking sleeping pills. Why do I sleep easy now ? Because I know that there is something I do not know - not necessarily cosmic or identifiable but something in
between perhaps. Few people talk about it but itís there, as sure as I see atoms. Certain as the sun spots that dart along our telescopes.
Three tanks to fire up three tons of air. Eight stories of bright nylon, billowing and bulging. A wicker basket wide enough for two, no more. I doubt that I will traverse any trails as yet untraveled or come home from a new Atlantic crossing. Oh, but itís wide enough to wander through Godís playground, saluting him by being careful. Now we have a common meeting place - wider than the massive church for masses - taller, deeper, longer than the planned cathedral. Godís own backyard, birds pause in passing and carefully perch upon the basketís edge.
Waking up with cotton mouth, come with me. The mist is thick enough to wash your face. Hurry, the countdownís started. We are together, as the universeís small perimeters. Hurry. I want to be the first in line.
My Brother Edward
Edward made for me not just my own private sky, but trees to frame it. Ferns to reach the wide, fat trunk of every tree, roses where no rose sought to bloom. Grassy knolls for barefoot carpet so that I might cast my eyes heavenward, undisturbed by open ground. He induced an owl to wake me, almost nightly, to be sure no sliced or open moon escapes my eyes.
Stringing out the stars he made them visible and indivisible so that I might waste no time in calling up astronomers.
I painted Edwardís porch and balcony and regularly I wash and clean his rabbit hutch.
It isnít much - but he has everything. Still for my little brother Iím working on devising more. Heís yet to coast through clouds on his way to nowhere. I intend to take him there.
Topping the Trees
Up at 6 a.m., I track the near horizon while the sun is tracking me. My balloon hopscotches trees, and skims the lakes and barnyard fences like a skater on a pond trying to be dangerous by feigning figure 8's to gain attention. It lifts me higher than Iíve yet gone. Iím careful not to tamper with the unknown except to make it better known to myself.
Once I thought the closest I would come to heaven was to climb a tree.
Breaking and Entering
Youíve but to push your fist through mist and haze to penetrate the clouds. They are an easy mark for airplanes and space ships, easier even for the dreamer. The man whoís dead to dreaming lives within a cloud and so his chance of entering the stratosphere is slimmer than that of most. I do not expect to close my eyes to dreaming, only long enough to dream.
Mysterious ? Yes. The sky, vaster than the widest ocean, should afford the thinker more mystery - but while the oceanís deep itís also murky and seemingly without a bottom.
Looking up one feels, however endless it may seem, that he surely sees the ceiling if not the rooftop of all heaven.
Like the body of a well-known lover, the sky is void of much new magic, that is unless you try to meet it as an equal.
The Long Run
Once I thought Iíd die at fifty. I had no reason or rationale for thinking so, merely that I would have spent the hours allotted to me and it would be time for me to move through the distance to whatever waits when we are separated from the life we so far know. Now I know that I will not go easy. I enjoy too much the sparring, the skirmishes, and the long runs that only life affords.
I have no time to hate, Iím in a hurry. But Iíve got all the hours in the day still left to me to waste on love. And what a waste of Godís free time to not love readily and straight ahead.
RM From Folio #19, Fall 1978
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