Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Wide, Wide World Of West Texas Winter (Photos)

Traveling on the flat plains of West Texas in the panhandle. I was lost in plain sight amid the snow and ice. Where was I? Where had I been? Where was I going?

Reaching the other side I found travelers to and fro. They were on my path but was I on theirs?

I made a wrong turn. There was darkness on my path but I thought, "Is there another way?" I left the light behind, running from it yet still craving it. How bent my words.

Ice was here. Ice was there. Ice was everywhere. But I was nowhere.

I found a road - not much of a road. I sensed a danger. This is the road of fools who've lost their way. Bad things happen on roads like these.

No refuge from the cold. No quarter given. If it can find you it will freeze you. I can't stay here so I must travel further (still away from the light).

I was fenced off from safety by both ice and men. I had to hope against hope of finding sanctuary.

But the road only got colder and the sky broader until there was no road at all. Nowhere now has a name.

I wondered, "Has anyone else traveled here before?" as I noticed the last signs of civilization. Light and colors were leaving me. Also not a good sign.

When I came to the end, both good news and bad. Yes, another traveler before me. Not so alone after all! But what once was living was now dead, frozen striving to the sky in its death throes for having wandered too far. Can I expect anything different?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What The Bridge Builder Saw

So it had happened. While the scientists studied the science there were precious few studying the truth. The emotional dissonance of the planet had grown so great it caused a shifting of the axis. This had come as a surprise due to a panicked movement to repair the earth as its eminent demise became too apparent to ignore. Still, they had tried to have their cake and eat it too hoping salvation could come while still clinging to their ways. That could never be.

With the shifting one had to adapt or perish. Desperate losers cried out for everyone to "stay the course" and not to "tap out" in the face of adversity. But these pied pipers of death soon vanished - as did any who listened to them over their own conscience. A sliver was all that remained who embraced the message of love and surrendered to the freedom of forever sharing. For in the world's darkest hour returned Jesus in triumphant splendor though greatly pained by the massive damage and the need to intervene. "It did not need to be this way."

The Bridge Builder had survived in his tiny, retired hut. But for him this was all "too little, too late."

"Thank you, but I have no desire to leave. I'll stay in here my final days and rot as I please. I've resigned from the world be it wicked or wondrous."

"But Jesus has come to ask you to build bridges once more."

"Jesus? That's some nerve! Where was Jesus when my bridges were burned and hacked? Where was he when I was ran out of city after city so that the wicked may rule intact? Jesus was silent in my hour of need and so shall I be in his."

"But your bridges will no longer be destroyed but stand forever!"

"Who cares. I wanted to build them when it meant something! Do you know what effect those bridges had? People from differing lands talked. They got to know each other and lose the false reasons for war. But always the destroyers were allowed to roam free and sabotage as they pleased. Only in a false world can a man see profit in that!"

"But there's never not a time for bridges."

"I'm sorry. I'm just not interested. 842 times I built a bridge and 842 times I lost it. They begged me, they cajoled me, they pleaded, "This time will be different!" But it never was. I know not the point of anything."

"I understand your sorrows. I've cried a thousand years in frustration. I offered a pure heart and the takers were few. To dream in a dreamless world is to believe in the sun in a world without dawn. But we must each face the fact a dreamless world never survives."

"Fine. So be it. I know this all too well. But I cannot have my life stripped of meaning and then asked to move forward. Take me as you will. I shall suffer the same fate as my bridges. I am at peace."

"The same fate as your bridges? Have you not stepped outside your hut?"

"No, I do not see the reason."

"Then please, come outside and see what you can see. Can you do that for me?"

"I have not closed my mind. I shall do as you wish. But I fear for you, my friend. What shall you say when you find what's done is done?"

And so the Bridge Builder stepped outside and saw what he could see. His life too then shifted back into alignment.

"Yes! Yes! Now I understand! I shall build a thousand more! And a thousand more after that. All that I can! Thank you! Forgive my stubborn soul, what a fool to have doubted. How blessed are the meek."

He fell to his knees in sobbing joy. He wondered if he could fly to the moon. Anything was possible! Time to make it all come true. These things and even more yet to be imagined came to life because of what the Bridge Builder saw.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Bullet Is My Only Friend

"I hate you! I hate you with every fiber of my being. I can't believe what you've done to your life. What's wrong with you? What kind of person gets in a mess like this?

"I've had it with you. You're nothing but a goddam liar. I'm sick of it, sick of it! Was it all because of Sara? Did you think joining the army was going to make you a man? She'd be laughing if she saw you now! You fucking idiot. All you did was dig the hole deeper."

The LED digital numbers read 5:24 AM - the time of demons. This night - like every night - they came with pitchforks and terrifying speeches, skewering his body in tense dilemma roasting him alive. Morning wood piled agony on top of agony, crying vainly to a deaf world. Rage like gasoline siphoned through his veins, just a spark away from a burning hell.

The army had bloated his molehills into mountains. For that he was duly used, abused and discarded as a broken toy. For that, the world called him a hero. You're always called a hero for shoveling shit others won't touch. But that's no consolation in the dark morning abyss.

News of the world adored a defiant soldier proclaiming he fought for his buddies before any cause - or no cause at all. What a pity to be still living in that trap. Sooner or later you're going to have to fight for yourself, pal. That or get a guilty 21 gun salute on your burial. They like you to bury yourself in the army. Bury it deep inside. In the hopelessness you gotta cling to your mates sharing the same hell.

But that doesn't stop the perpetual panic, the slow unstoppable fear overcoming you as you wonder where life is leading you. Finding no answer you cling to the camaraderie all the more, leaving you with more to bury, cycling ever downward.

He'd hoped his fears were unfounded. Nothing is really real. Life just seems different after you put a bullet hole in someone. He was imagining the horror. Back in the real world it'd all go away. But the real world only made it more real, more definite - and wholly inescapable. Rage fueled by frustration and fear his only recourse.

To be so blind! Those asshole officers knew this would happen. They just wait for you to fall into the trap so they can control you and use you. Joining the army just makes you a bitch. Is the entire world a conspiracy? He fell for it all: their phony lives and phony wives. Fishers of men's souls they be, preying on the weak and stupid. Like him.

They stole his life and he got stuck with the bill. The vampire brass live high on the fresh blood constantly fed to them, a captive audience. They have the gift of singular clarity, squeezed dry of any feeling, never losing focus, always winning, never needing a worldly whit. He'd trade places with none of them.

Sara had married. While he was off "proving" himself she moved on. You moron! You fucking moron! Stay home and take care of business! You didn't have the courage to do what you wanted. "Grow up. Get a job. Put purpose in your life." Fuck you, you lying pricks. Sara was my only possible purpose. Everyone just wants to drag you in their hole!

"My whole life is a waste." He wasn't fixing anything. All about the cover up now. Get back in the real world and you still have to bury yourself. Don't let anyone know how you really feel! It will ruin everything!

Yeah, well, maybe everything should be ruined.

Losing Sara, the relentless aching morning wood, the lurking demons waiting as you come up for air - who could help? Where are the answers? Are there answers? No mistakes allowed in this cursed world! Sorry, man, can't help you. Don't have the time. I got a life. Go get your own.

Each night, the same conversations running in his head. The same imaginary dialogs with Sara. Never a way out, screaming from the bottom of a well, begging not to die in slow motion starvation.

This has to end or it will end him.

But how? His mind flashed back to Koehler feeling guilty, being deliberately careless, getting himself killed - the easy way out. Koehler got written up in the local paper as a hero who died "defending his country". What would they say if he could come back and tell them the truth? A recruiting sergeant's nightmare!

The knock on the door jolted him.

"Sonny? Are you awake? Don't want to be late for your interview. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help."

His mother felt guilty too having lustily pushed him into the army and his coming back damaged. But the unfaceable ignominy disheartened him to the core of his soul. Even after all the hell and fear-swallowing nights he still found himself living in his parents' house. Didn't coming back alive mean anything? He could have let himself get killed like Koehler - God knows he thought about it enough times. But he fought on. For what?

"The bullet is your only friend." That was the beginning of Captain Carroll's smirking speech. So cocky and confident of his lifer position! As the shade lifted to reveal the na├»ve morning dawn giving birth to beauty on a plummeting planet, he suddenly realized how much he despised that man. Too overawed at the time to speak he wished he could shove that bullet right up his smart ass.

Stepping into the morning light, he lost all hope. There was only the sun, the fresh breeze and unfounded promise of a new day. Bird lined trees sang in forgotten childhood wisdom. What could he do but revel in it? A feeling of trust finally not misplaced anchored him in an unexpected peace. He smiled to himself. "Nothing left to do but love."

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Don't Feed The Cat!

The sign said: "DON'T FEED THE CAT"

"Oh, my God! Why is that cat in a cage? Somebody needs to feed him!" she cried.

"This is your first time in town. Nobody feeds the cat," he explained.

"Nobody?? But he's completely helpless in there."

"Must be his own fault all I can say."

"People just walk by every day in this town square and let him suffer? That's appalling."

"You think too much."

"What's wrong with you people? I've never seen anything so heartless."

"What's heartless about it? What's one life more or less?"

"Well, what if YOU were kept in a cage and left to starve as everyone walked by?"

"It's not me so it doesn't matter."

"Have you no sense of justice?"

"I'm not much into philosophy."

"Justice is not a philosophy. It's a need."

"Why can't you just relax and enjoy the beautiful day?"

"How can I relax when I know this poor animal is suffering?'

"Have you tried golf? Works for me."

"You know what? You're hopeless. I'm going to find out what's going on here if it's the last thing I do."

"OK, I'll meet you back at the house."

"Don't bet on it."

"What's that supposed to mean? You saying I can't stick my dick in you anymore?"

"Igor gets a clue."

"Just because some cat's in a cage I get my nooky cut off!?"

"Them's the breaks."

"Fuck that! That makes NO sense! Where's the justice in that?"

"I don't do philosophy."

"Sex isn't a philosophy, it's a need!"

"Try golf instead. Don't forget to grip your club hard!"

"You know what? You're just a selfish bitch who doesn't give a damn about anything as long as she gets her way!"

"Better hurry or you'll miss your tee time. Bye!"

The muttering ex wandered off into thorn bushes to cry. Her inquiring mind continued.

"Sir, can you please tell me why this cat is in a cage? It's so cruel and irresponsible."

"Just what are you trying to say? How dare you impugn my integrity in front of my wife and children."

"But surely you can't agree to this!"

His wife took exception. "My husband is a good man! He'd never allow anything cruel or irresponsible. And not only that I hate your purse!"

The family stormed off, the two children flipping her the bird as they passed by.

"They're raising them to be monsters." Then a teenage girl walked by.

"Hey, surely you don't want to see this cat suffer?"

"Oh my, of course not! I signed a petition on a Facebook page to feed him. It was, like, so totally responsible."

"But you could just go ahead and feed him yourself."

"What for? I already did my part. Besides, I gotta go now. I promised blow jobs to the whole football team!"

"Can't anyone answer my question why this cat is in this cage unfed?"

A political activist was perturbed by the question. "Nobody feeds the cat. Duh!"

"Why, 'duh'? I think it's outrageous."

"Outrageous? It's you who is outrageous! If everybody is not feeding the cat then everybody can't be wrong so it must be OK. Who are you to think you're right and everyone else is wrong."

"I shouldn't have to say anything. It's obvious what the right thing to do is."

"Did you vote?"

"What's that got to do with anything?"


"No, I don't even live here."

"Then you have no right to complain! End of discussion."

"Did the president say the cat should be freed?"

"Of course not and I would not have voted for him if he had. He doesn't go around upsetting people like you do. He's responsible."

"He's just telling you what you want to hear so he can get elected! There's nothing responsible in that."

"Such arrogance! If you want to change things then you need to get elected. Shouldn't be a problem if you're as right as you say you are."

"You just want someone who agrees with you."

"Don't you?"

"Not if I'm wrong."

"Good luck with your campaign. HAHAHA! Loser!"

By this time a crowd had gather around, shooting darts from all directions.

"She's a troublemaking terrorist radical!"

"What's radical about wanting to feed a cat - especially when you've imprisoned it."

"If it's in a cage it must be for a good reason."

"Like what?"

"It's not our place to question why. We leave that to people lots smarter than us. You should too! It's the right thing to do."

"But it's a perfectly fine thing to feed this poor kitty."

"You're using up all your political capital, lady. You need to come up with kosher sounding logic that doesn't upset anyone and sell yourself as a great person to get your point across."

"Fuck if I do! You people are perfectly capable of knowing right from wrong."

"If the cat is in a cage then it must be evil and therefore to feed it or free it would be a perfectly evil thing to do. What kind of message would that send?"

"It's sends the message you're a living, thinking human being."

"On the contrary, I've read 4,200 books and published 800 essays on my deep knowledge and study of morality. I think we can safely say you have not which means you speak from a place of ignorance."

"You can keep all your clever arguments and phony reasoning. I'm buying some cat food and I'm going to feed this cat!"

"That we cannot allow."

"And just why is that?"

"It simply isn't done. And if you were to do it it would paint us in the light of destructive terrorists who rip apart the fabric of society on a pathological death trip. Since we know that is not who we are then it must be who you are."

"If the shoe fits, wear it! Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to buy some cat food!"


A week later another couple walked through the town square. "Oh my God, they've got that woman in a cage and they're not feeding her."

The man shrugged. "They must be doing it for a reason. None of our business."