October 20th, 2021
Silence Is Golden And I’ve Got Something To Say About It
Sometimes there’s nothing to say. Sure, there’s the want and need, perhaps, but nothing comes all the same. There is silence. A great torrent of nothingness sweeping through the mind. Why not.
It has to come. Otherwise we’d continue on set in our ways. I’m no different. I want to participate. To play-act in the thing. Put on my mask and portray the hero, villain, clown. I want to laugh like an idiot. Feel the tears roll down my cheeks. Lick the salt from my lips.
I want to scream out in wild rage at the abyss.
Hear the trailing sound waves dissipate into the darkness. Let my existence persist, at least for the moment. Undress and caress the world with every fiber of my being. Give purpose to the blood in me. Why not.
Fall has come to Omaha. The autumnal tapestry covers the land in its soft golden light. A gust of wind blows down Fowler Avenue and shakes the Ash tree in our front yard, freeing a few colored leaves. The dead ones scratch across the asphalt and brings some life to this quiet street on a Tuesday afternoon. I hear it from my office window. And after a while I go outside to see what it’s all about. Sit in it. Read Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio.
There’s a moving truck in our neighbors driveway. They got a new heater.
“There’s no reason for it, but we did it,” my neighbor says to me as I feel the warmth of the afternoon sun on my skin.
I put the book down. Opened the garage. Grabbed the rake. Shuffled the leaves around the yard. There is something nostalgic about it. About this time of year. There is a knowing in the silence of things that will come to pass. Of stories untold that too die in the silent way a tumult can feel like a rushing wave of silence.
Our lives are perhaps one of the many colored leaves that, too, die out and fall to the earth and so become part of the changing seasons of life like an ecclesiastical rhapsody in blue, green, gold and burgundy.
For some it is only a dream deferred. Their souls left wanting. Waiting. Yearning. What is left around the bend but death. Nature’s decay. Persephone’s decline to the underworld. And then the brittle boughs become the bones of our ancestors creaking in the cold, clawing at the siding of our homes. They have come to tell us something, something we know but haven’t quite understood. They say scratching at your window, “This is it! This is your life.” A retelling of the same old tale. One that will sadly have to be continuously told. Not to all. But most.
I know I need that from time to time. I need a swift kick in the nuts to wake me up from slumber of monotony. I need Autumn to show me that the light diminishes and dies out sooner than we’d like and so brings the slow creeping cold climate with its demise.
I got the leaves in a pile and emptied them into the trashcan. Put the rest in the planters for mulch. Spread them with my hand. Felt the earth with my fingers. When I was done I went back inside and sat back down in this chair. Stared out the window at the tree in the yard and the light and wind blowing the canopies beyond the houses across the street, the leaves shimmering like fish scales.
Some days are easy with nothing to say. There is the work and the life and motions of it all and there is a quiet reservation in me that knows everything there is to know and so there is only the living, of feeling the sun and listening to trees in the wind and the colored leaves wrestling with their impermanence.
This may be my favorite season yet. What else is there to say.
November 10th, 2021
It starts slow . . . It starts with nothing, really. Nothing at all. Just the chair and being in it. Sitting. Waiting. Nothing else. Just waiting, or not waiting because nothing else matters. That’s all there is to it.
November 3rd, 2021
Nine months. That’s how long it’s been. That’s how long I’ve been here on Fowler Avenue. Between these walls. Sitting in this room. Staring out the window at the bare limbs of the Ash tree, at the snow and the green things and now the fallen leaves covering the earth, the tree bare once more…
October 27th, 2021
It was on the corner of 50th and Radial Highway at the gas station there. He was standing outside the white van screaming at the top of his lungs to the woman behind the wheel…