Saturday, December 27, 2008


Sometimes I lurk a bit. The shadows and fringes can be comforting, a place where I can watch all the people so busy. Family gatherings are something akin to hurricanes, if maybe more chaotic. But they are also easy to get lost in. Its so nice to listen sometimes. I like to listen, even when people are talking of things they expect me not to care about, I always pay attention. Its all interesting to me. And then I get drawn into it, because I just have to ask a question, make a comment, dig deeper and deeper. I can't seem to stay out of it for long. And then every now and then I am surprised by just how much of the conversation I am carrying. Its funny, I always thought of myself as a reserved and quiet person. I think I would be too, if I wasn't so inquisitive.

When a conversation starts moving quickly, when there are a lot of people involved, I sometimes just stop talking. When things are really moving, and everyone gets into it, sometimes I will leap in with some comment or correction. I think I surprise people, they probably thought I tuned out.

Its not like me at all to tune out. But lately, its been happening a lot. In the middle of something, anything, my eyes drift off to some far away or nonexistent spot, and I am lost to what's happening around me. My mind taken by thoughts of you. I can just see myself standing there, eyes adrift and turned inward, with that goofy half grin on my face. Time can seem a bit disjointed, and I wish it would just brake away and leave me and be done with it. It never listens. The day goes on.

I'm not sure what I sat down to start writing about... But I'm not at all surprised where I ended up.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Cactus and Dust.

Star bursts of purple waving at the end of long green stalks, forever frozen, forever in motion. White stones in defensive tiers, guarding emerald leaves. A mottled canopy, casting distorted shadows in the soft wind. Slow and patient Ivy, crawling, waiting, twisting over everything. When no ones looking, in the dead of the night, it spreads its dominion, inch by inch. Up the pale sky blue walls, hiding away wide white trim. An inviting teal double door atop 3 stairs.

A tall and steep hill, crowned with sparse bushes. Each an invader, an outcast, surviving on an edge of two very different worlds. Natures mounded wall, a boarder between quiet suburbia and the wilds. A wall with towers and sentinels, long dead and silent, fallen to ruin. The watchers still there amid the white dusty skeleton of rock, melted into its walls, fused into stone. A graveyard of the ancient masters of a watery world. Cross over, and be confronted by a beautiful and savage vista. Shrub covered hills slopping away into obscurity. Meandering paths leading deep into fields of mustard, with small yellow flowers held high over our heads. A place to lose yourself.

Stands of cactus, sharp and unwelcoming. Keeping mostly to themselves, they grow in tight comities, spike covered havens. Amongst the thorns, purple and yellow flowers blossom with a hundred little fingers, each reaching out to the sun. Past them lay the hills. Rocks piled high with a light dusting of dirt, and a few hearty shrubs clinging on with all their might. And to those brave enough to climb their sides, a grand view and just the right number of seats. A place of rest and reflection, to watch the sun sink on another carefree evening.

For you see they really are fond childhood memories. Cactus and dust.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lost Winter

Its less then two weeks until Christmas, and its just now starting to feel a bit like winter. It came up so quietly. I look out my open window and I see leaves on trees, feel a warm breeze pass by. One out of ten trees are bare, and that isn't even counting the evergreens. Most still cling to a bright golden covering, thinning but still very present. I feel like Fall just kept on falling and falling. Will true winter just pass us by this year? Its somehow a very depressing thought. I hope winter is just running a bit late, maybe half way to California it remembered it forgot all the snow and hand to turn around. I hope it comes back.
I think about all of my wintery feelings, and realize most are artificial. I'm entranced by a smattering of decorations and lights, but its better then nothing. It still makes me happy to see them. I drove by city hall today and saw the one mother with her child trying to skate through the melting slush they laid out. I applaud their determination and sheer bloody mindedness. I'm sure its the mothers doing, doggedly trying to give her son a memory of Christmas that fit with her own childhood joy. I wonder where she was from? Somewhere cold I think, somewhere in the real world. I keep coming to this thought, like there is something wrong... Something wrong with here. Like a "normal" place to live would have snow, and rain. And storms, real ones, ones that we talk about in a sentence with out the word fire in it. A place with forests and trees and rolling green hills. For most of the year the hills are just covered in sad brown grass, mostly dead. The odd small bushes, squat and prickly and uninviting. I have fond childhood memories of cacti and dust.
I can trace my bloodlines back to Sweden. A cold and harsh place, but also one of unsurpassed beauty. After my ancestors crossed the ocean, they settled in Minnesota and Wisconsin. They chose there because it was just like home, cold harsh and beautiful. I feel out of place here when I think about it. I keep reminding myself that we in the west only consider things like snow and rain as normal because that's the European normal. That maybe even a large percentage of the human population lives areas like here. But I keep coming back to the fact that in the greater picture, I am an out of place European. I am one of the first few generations to strike out to a radically new place. In the big picture, I am but a dot at the end of a long line that stretches back thousands of years. Is that were all these feelings come from?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Perplexing reflections

Calmly watching from mind a twisting tumult, I can’t help but look on slightly perplexed. It feels like I woke up one morning, drew back the curtains, and was greeted with a vista of unimaginable strangeness. I expected a quiet lake, the odd bored duck. Instead I find oceans of sand crashing on a frozen crystalline shore. The sun is a writhing void in a glowing sky of soft and pale light. It is then I realize that it is but my own reflection on the chilled glass I peer at. Beyond lies the world much as I remember it. It is only I who change. Slowly at first, ever so slowly. Then faster and faster, like an all consuming storm driven by its own fury. Change.

I look back at words and thoughts both old and somewhat new, and I can’t help but to wonder: Who’s are these? Its disorienting, I know they are mine, its just hard to believe sometimes. I still feel the much the same, I still stand by all of it, every last word, every last notion. But somehow I feel disconnected from the person who originated them. Much has happened, inside and out, and it is only accelerating in pace. I don’t know who I am anymore. Logic says I should be afraid, that I need to know. Reason tells me I should latch on to myself and not let go, to try and bring this headlong rush to a halt. But my heart tells me be at peace. Its voice is strongest, and I listen to it alone.

There is nothing to fear. I feel possibility surrounding me, so strongly I can almost reach out and touch it. I feel undefined, liquid. Its staggering, and frightening, and comforting, and exciting. What will I see tomorrow? Who will be looking back at me on that chilled glass? I honestly don’t know.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Commonplace impossibilities

It was sunny and bright, with a few skittish clouds cowering before an onslaught. A light wind whipped back and forth; just strong enough to remind you it was there. Standing next to my car on top of a hill, fumbling with my keys, a most impressive thing passes overhead. Then just a few dozen feet behind it, comes another one. Screaming like wild and enraged animals, loud enough to drown out thought. Two sleek jet fighters in tight formation flies past, lazy and confident. I’m not really into planes, but this time seeing them it hit me just how amazing they really are. They were clearly masters of the sky. Thinking of the one or two people sitting at the tip of these contraptions, commanding their path with the touch of a finger, I was taken with awe. It’s strange, sometimes I feel like I grew up inside of an airplane. They have always been a part of my life as far back as I can remember, but I don’t know if I ever really, truly thought about it. How truly overwhelming the idea is.
And yet, around here, such shows of technological might are actually rather commonplace. Ask people who work around here and they will tell you it gets annoying. Always having to keep your coffee mug from rattling off the edge of your desk gets tiresome. Always having to pause a phone call and wait for silence and sanity to return, and then explain what that hellish sound was, becomes frustrating. I guess when you get to see a miracle enough times, it becomes just another parlor trick. Gimmicky and unwanted, how sad.
The very idea that anyone could hop into one of these infinitely complicated things and fling them selves around at unimaginable speeds and incomprehensible heights should be breath taking. But of course it’s not really. Most all of us have done it ourselves, most of us so many times we lost count. I know I have. But after a little reminder of just how insane the idea really should be, it’s becoming easier to look at all planes with wonder. Even the lumbering commercial jetliners that pass by more often then birds have some new meaning today. I wish I had fresh perspective on everything now, I wish I could really see things for what they are. Every little detail would be quite astounding and miraculous. Every tree a work of art, every splash of color a masterpiece.
I just wish I could look upon something and really see it more often. Sometimes it takes a bit of focus. Other times you couldn’t ignore it even if you wanted to. Today was like that.


After a scant five hours of mediocre sleep, I still find myself awake at 7:09AM. It’s significant because the alarms go off at 7:10AM. Of course if the irony is if they weren’t set, I wouldn’t ever wake up in time. It’s strange to have a something that works best when you don’t need to use it. I think we all would rather just wake up, then be woken by shrill and annoying sounds. I know I hate my alarm, so much so that I rarely hear it anymore. It really is amazing that we can do that. Of course there is all that nonsense about Circadian rhythms, but I don’t buy it.
There is nothing about my life that has much rhythm. Every forthcoming day is an unknown to me. I work when I’m needed. I play when I’m lighthearted. I relax when I’m calm. I think when I’m reflective. I sing when I’m inspired. I laugh when I’m elated. I learn when I’m intrigued, and when I’m not, and when I’m every feeling in between. At the end of the day, I often lay awake in bed, not wanting to let any of it go. And when sleep finally takes me, I dream of the wildly imposable, and the stunningly ordinary, and often, a surreal mix of both. And yet, on days like today I just wish it was tomorrow.
Do I wake when I do because I deiced that is what was needed? Was my body listening in? Watching as I programmed the alarm clock? Could it be so simple? I hope not, because I think that would be quite unfair. I wish I could so simply deice to do other things when it’s needed. Like set my mind at ease because I will it. That only ever seems to work for about three quarters of a second. Some thoughts just seem to persist like a virus, caring only for their own existence. Uncaring as to what they devour along the way.
I still don’t think I’m an optimist, and this is why. Sometimes scary or sad thoughts find me, and I have to work very hard to be rid of them. I just understand the value of being positive, but it doesn’t come naturally sometimes. For a true optimist, I think it would.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Its good to be thankful, it keeps things in perspective. Truth be told I love Thanksgiving. Yet somehow I always end up thinking about what some people say about Thanksgiving: A day celebrating the colonist's imperialistic conquering of the helpless natives of the Americas. What a depressing way of looking at things, and I don't think it has any relevance on the holiday. Every year building up to this time, I hear it again and think... How sad. I don't know how much about the first holiday is just Americana Folklore, and how much of it really happened, but I like to think that the first Thanksgiving was a happy day. There is no one denying that we did some fairly nefarious things to the Native American, but that wouldn't be for some time. I like to think there really was this wonderful sitting down of two peoples to enjoy the bounty of the lands. Does it really matter? No one really could say what happened all those years ago. I'm sure its been romanticized, no question there. But its strange that on the one day we have set aside to actively be thankful, some people choose to focus on some of the darker pages in history. I don't even think I am an optimist. But I would rather think about happy things when I have a choice, and I think we all get that choice every day.
We can be happy and thankful, without feeling guilty. Is that where this comes from? Are people just feeling guilty because we really do have so much? But when I stop and think about all the things that have really made me happy, and that I am thankful for, none of them are material. I think about love and kindness. I think about friends and family. I think about the simple joys of life. These are all things that are limitless, and me having them does not mean someone is missing them.

I just want to feel happy, I think we all do. Yet I am surrounded by things that say I shouldn't be. I think of the institutions that are built on guilt and despair. Some, it could be argued, do some good. Some, I would argue, do some bad. Its almost to easy to take shots at the church, well here goes anyway. The first step spreading most religion is first spreading the idea that you need saving/fixing. That at some fundamental level, there is something wrong with you. The second step is "But its okay, because we can fix that." It would make me very happy to see a religion or church that started with the idea that everything really is great, and if you don't feel that way, we can help you see that. I think I would go to that church when I was feeling down... And I gave up on church long ago. Relief charities are the next thing to come to mind. You have to guilt people into giving, and helping those who need it most. You start by showing sad and dieing people, then you ask for a credit card number. Some charities do great things for the betterment of mankind. Its just where the focus is that bothers me. Why can't we start by showing how happy people are when relief does arrive? Show people being helped, healed and fed, then ask for a credit card number. I would give to that charity, and I would feel better about it too.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


There is a place I know, where a sheer drop descends into white mist. Mist so pure, so fair it hurts the eyes. It dances and twists on currents of air. Shapes build silently into phantom silhouettes. They dance and coil endlessly, elusive. What secrets are obscured at the bottom? Does it go on and on forever and ever? Is there an end?
I've sat long at the top, musing and gazing, watching the boiling fog. Absorbed and rapt by its magnificence, I longing to embrace the winds. Countless times I have approached that razors edge, and closed my eyes. I imagined I was falling, as the wind whipped up over the lip and around me. I would breath in the breeze and smile. Yet, my feet still on solid ground. A half effort. Its cold and barren atop my cliff. I refuse the chill. The time has come.
Again I draw near the edge, again I take my place on the brink. I close my eyes, and turn away. I plant my feet just over the edge and wait. I wait for a gust, a breath. Its so easy. I can feel it welling up in me, and around me. I reach out and draw the gust close, I embrace the winds. Its such a simple thing, just lean back and push. Like I phantom's murmur I am away from my perch. The gust becomes a gale, the breeze a tempest. I can feel it clawing at me, tearing through me. All of my fear is ripped away before the storm. All of my brooding drops away like so many stones, to heavy to be born on the winds. I am left to tumble like a feather, unchained and unhindered.
I fall and fall, but I am at peace. Will you catch me?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mirror world

There is a mirror world. Its coherence with this world shifts and changes with the wind. Sometimes its out of focus, and nothing more then a dancing ghost of the surface world. On some chill and serene nights however, it becomes almost like a plane of glass. It is never still, it is always changing, it is a thing alive. Its never a perfect reflection of the surface world, and I am grateful that its so.

It is the inherent difference from the surface world that makes it special. Light become brilliant and vague, at the same time. Bands of it dance far and wide from the source. Shadow becomes a void, strips of nothingness. Objects shimmer and distort, only to return then do it again. And it is this very property that makes it magical. Why is the mirror world more beautiful then the surface world it reflects? It is very much the same, and yet just slightly different. Different enough, maybe to remind me to actually look and see. To not simply let my eye pass over things, and see what it expected to see, but to really look. Because it is the first time and the last time and the only time I will see that part of the world just that way. Because the winds will take it, and change it, and it will be gone forever. And the next time I look it will be new again.

And when I fly out onto the mirror world, riding my own reflection like a magic carpet, I am lost to the dance. I become part of it, my passing disturbs the world, and changes it. And I can go to far off places, and look down at the stars shining up at me. All it takes is a change of perspective and I see them again. Really see them. What if we could learn to see the surface world like this? Every day, every moment, really seeing things for the first time?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Hidden Ra

Its strange how different things are in this day and age. There are fundamental assumptions we make everyday about the world around us, and beyond, which were completely hidden from the ancients. In no great way do these effect our lives on their own. But in mass, as the giant of modern knowledge, I think they alter our perspectives. Everyone hides from the cold specter of great understanding.
The reality is overwhelming. It is too large, too huge, and way too shocking for out minds to encapsulate, analyze and label. So we just don’t see it most of the time. But now and again I try to really understand our place in the universe… I try and I fail. It basically can not be truly understood, but sometimes I feel like I get closer to the truth. Not much closer, maybe a step or two in a journey that would take a lifetime and beyond.
It’s a humbling step. I think about how small I feel compared to the world, and how small the world feels compared to the solar system, and how small the solar system is compared with endless space. I think of galaxies and try not to see them as a picture on a wall, or a pretty poster, but as what they truly are. I feel so incredibly small.
How much easier it is to think the way we used to. To think of stars as gods dancing across the heavens, looking down on us. To think of stars as a thousand frozen dreams, forever winking quiet warmth. To think of stars as a shell of lights just out of reach, marking the end of all creation. To think of stars as a road of souls, slowly making their way to the underworld and everlasting peace. We now know all these things to be far fetched at best, but they are so much more effortless to understand then the truth. And every fiction is so much more reassuring and comforting then the monumentally uncaring reality.
…How untrue are these thoughts really? Everything I know about stars fits just fine into a standard definition of God. Stars are so large and powerful that they are beyond our thoughts. In the unfathomable and hellish nightmare of that power, the heavy elements were created out of simple hydrogen and helium. There was once a star who worked for billions and billions of years to create us. Such time as has not passed sense the formation of the world. And then when it was done, and the building blocks were ready, it burst and sent its work unto creation. Sacrificing its self for its creation. All that was floated for billions of years more. Slowly fitting its self back together… And from the ashes of that sacrifice, the ground we stand on was created. And from that sacrifice was born a new sun. The son of the creator of all things.
And that sun works now, every day it churns and shines, granting us life. It is the fuel of nearly all living things. We rely on it for everything. And it is also creating too, the work of creation is never finished. One day, many, many years from now, the son will join the father in a monumental Armageddon, and another great sacrifice. And the world will be consumed and remade, its fragments mixed with the elements being forged this very second. And in time beyond time, the worlds will reformed.
It all reminds me of a big black book I read once...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stars and Insecurities

When the night is at its darkest, stars blaze all the brighter. When I sit outside and watch stars take the sky, I can just see them consuming the blue. Taking the light into themselves, a swirling vortex of hope. A promise of light, a promise of life. In this way, the daylight is always with us. It’s a gentle reminder that all will be well. Do stars fight over the light? Do they struggle to take as much as they can hold, do they yearn to shine the brightest? I know that some are stronger then others, some shine more brilliantly. Some stars try and burst with light, begging to be seen. Some starts try and consume every drop of blue, and keep it for them selves. But now and then, I see one that is just quietly radiant. I know of a star that sits low on the horizon, that twinkles slowly and softly. And every night, the sun sets right behind it. Its filled with the golden rays of sunset, and quietly dominates the night. Sometimes, it’s the only star I can see.

When its soft golden rays fill the sky, and even the moon dims and bows, the cold seems to melts away. The night no longer feels so dark. Yet even as I am comforted, I worry about the morning. Will it steal away my star? When the suns harsh grip takes back what’s his, and he hides away the magic of the night, will it still be there? At dusk I watch for it, as the sun relinquishes majesty. Waiting for its return. When the last rays of the sun crest the horizon, I hold my breath and wait. The world stands still..

..My heart stops with it..

..And a moment stretches into an eternity..

And then all of a sudden its there, bursting with a warm glow. And everything snaps back to normal, and reality comes crashing in around me. The wind touches the leaves in the trees, and the waters ripples continue their slow plod. The world is a magical place again. And already, I think of the morning light.

Friday, October 17, 2008

On Greatness

The world was once a mysterious place. There was a time, not that long ago, where legends walked the earth. A time where magic happened every day, just out of sight. When it was thought that the Holy Grail was real, a hidden and guarded secret. All one had to do was look hard enough and you could find immortality. At least as a legend in your own right. The man who did such a great deed would forever be remembered in song and story. Can you imagine such a world? Think of the people who set out to find such things, to explore unknown places, to find greatness. But the sad truth is most never found much, never achieved glory. What does it say about humanity? It comforts me to think about people braving imposable odds on not but a wish, a dream. People who set out into the blackest part of the map, faced real peril, for a chance at something greater. People who risked all, and lost, for nothing but hope… And then others followed in their footsteps, knowing the dangers, risking all again.

How small my gambles appear, how diminutive my dangers, how insignificant my troubles. All I risk is pain, how does that compare to life? All I could lose is dreams, and if I lose, my old life still awaits me. How easy life feels all of a sudden. And what do I hope for? The same things as the great ones who have passed before me. I dream of love and serenity, peace and joy, freedom and fulfillment. These are common dreams to humanity, and I dream them nightly. I think of the pioneers who settled the west. How they burned their bridges when they choose to trust in hope. I think how they wagered all for the same things as I, for hope. And there was no going back for them… Do or die.

Even the great treasure seekers were not so different. Because, you see, I don’t think they really wished for glory, fame and riches. These are not dreams in their own right, they are just one outer shell of true happiness. One of many. These are concepts that overlay a basic ideal: an easy life, a fulfilled life. But something does feel different now…

Has the modern world changed something fundamental inside us all? I wish I could say that it hasn’t, but I am starting to wonder… Have we lost touch with hope? There are still great doers, great dreamers, but has the average man lost something? I can think back to so many times where I lost because I never played. And why? Because I wouldn’t ante up. You still have to wager to win… that hasn’t changed, and I hope it never will. But how I greave for what could have been, if fear hand not paralyzed my actions. Is our attachment to the current state of affairs far greater now then our aspirations for what could be? For what will be? Are we existing from day to day, amassing and acquiring, our greatest hope simply not to lose what we already have?

There was a time when I lived this way, not that long ago. But how ineffectual… All structures are unstable, all forms dissolve and change. Chaos rules the world, but that’s not a cynical thing to say. Order is an illusion in our minds, its just a mental concept we attach to things. How strange it is to fight disorder. Its not a fight you can ever win, because it’s a fight with your own perceptions. Its amazing how I would rather cling to a supposed sure thing then risk greatness. Only because of a questionable outcome, will the new state of being be worse then the current one? Maybe… But how did I let that be the end of the conversation? How could I not ask myself, will the new state of being be better then the current one? How could I not let that be the balance for every silly anxiety that had me?

Things are different now. I wish I could say “no fear anymore”… But that would be a lie. Its easy to see these things and know these things, but in the moment of truth… do I still listen to that old voice? Its so seductive, so safe and easy simply to give in. Its been said that bravery is doing something even if your afraid. To disregard that twinge inside and push forward. People of old did it, in the face of great hardship. Surly they were afraid. How could I fail to do the same? And in the face of so little opposition. I’m almost ashamed of my past... But its not the end of the story. I can strive to better myself. Strive for greatness.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sunset Noon

Somewhere, a war as ancient as mankind is underway. Its another skirmish in the endless battle of man verses nature. The troops are assembled, and weapons brought to bare. For you see, somewhere California is burning. The scar from this primeval battlefield rises up to the heavens and blots out the sun. It came drifting over the hills, from miles and miles away, driven by a cold and hungry wind. Smoke and ash falls from the sky like a great perversion of rain, speaking of only death. Sunset at noon. Its so disorienting. The shadows are short and tucked, the midday's heat still beats down from the obscured sun. But the colors are all wrong. Its orange and red, a mockery of the end of days.
There is this smell of wood smoke that hangs in the air. I know its a herald of destruction but all I can think of is quite nights around a campfire. Of happy times where I was safe and contented, in the peace of nature. And yet I know, right now people are losing their homes to this war. There will be casualties. Is that wrong?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Computer Zoos

Its always so cold in computer labs. Climate controlled, sterile and freezing. It’s a holy shrine to the bit and the byte. Where the machine is king and there is no compromise for the comforts of mere mortals. People move slowly, speak quietly, in the presence of their masters. Labs are always lined with cheep vertical plastic blinds, forever half open. Bars on my cage, holding back the beautiful world outside. A silent sentinel protecting the quiet regulation from nature’s perfect anarchy.

I feel like a monkey in a zoo. I can imagine passing strangers, tapping on the glass, laughing with their friends. Staring in at the confusing little creatures, hunched protectively over their little keyboards, guarding their little secrets. Just like monkeys in the zoo, we are not dancing, we are not playful, we are not happy... We hunger to be free. Just as you stare in at us, we stare out with longing. We dream of open places, of grass, of trees, and of freedom. We stare out the bars and dream.

I watch the trees dance in the wind, and it torments me. I can’t seem to focus on anything else. Its so cold in here… I yearn to run outside where the sun warms, and the air is fresh. I want to lay down in the grass and watch the wind embrace the leaves. Its so inviting… But I know I wont dare. Somehow I know I am trapped in here. And when the gate is lifted, and my freedom granted, I know I will rush right home. I will walk out of this frozen den, onto concrete, onto pavement, into my car. I’ll not even touch a living thing this day. I know all these things, and I can’t even feel depressed about it. I am resigned to it. But here, behind my bars I am free to dream.

When I wake, I find that I am becoming indoctrinated into this other world. After all these long years, the darkened chambers feel safe. The clean and orderly spaces, lined up in perfect little lines, feels right. The faceless interface has become my friend. Will the longings fade away? Sometimes I think they may, sometimes I am terrified they will.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Once, in Solana Beach

I was sitting on a the platform of a train station, on a solid concrete bench. My back pressed to a wall that towered over me. This station is dug into a mountain, and the tracks lay at the bottom of a deep ravine with 40 foot walls, climbing sharply away into the clear blue sky. Sitting at the bottom, stuck uncomfortably close to the tracks, no where to go, no where to hide, no one around. The silence was a thick blanket, slowly working its way around me. Tighter and tighter, it enfolded me in its warm embrace, lulling me into peace.

From a long way off it came, quite at first, ignored and forgotten amid the drifting points of light in my mind. Each a little thought, waiting patiently for its chance to burst into a little flash under my minds wandering gaze. It flashed brighter and brighter, growing more insistent with each pulse. Soon I turned my attention to it, and knew that every pulse was a distant horn blowing. It wasn’t hard to guess what it meant, I was in a train station after all. But I also knew there was no trains scheduled for hours. When the lumbering beast finally came roaring and growling into view, it was a yellow goliath with miles of empty, multilevel car carriers. I expected to see it pass on by, but it came screeching to a noisy halt on the double track on the far side of the station. It slowed, and just as it came to stop, a thousand loose metal doors gave one last thunderous slam of protest, and then silence came slamming back into the gorge. The faceless beast sat quietly, and never have I heard such quiet.

Just as the stillness again entranced me back into a stupor, and my mind defocused among the dancing lights, a felt a strange tremor in the ground. Moments later I heard the first report of the horn. It was higher pitch then the first, and from the other direction. I looked on expectantly, but could see little. It got louder and louder, and it became hard to focus on anything else. When the yellow monstrosity finally came charging into sight, it was like a rabid bull, bellowing its protest at each of the master’s goads. It moved with the total assurance anything that would dare stand up to it would be destroyed, and it would hardly take notice. Unfathomable and impersonal, it came at me like it was hungering for my blood. I wanted to move, to run, ancient instincts were ripping at my mind. But there was no where to go, the walls pressed in all around. The horn screamed its challenge, the ground shook, and then it was on me. A blast of hellish air whipped my face, forcing me to turn away from the maelstrom. One moment suddenly stopped leading to another. Among the chaos, the whipping wind, the roaring sound, the shaking ground, I lost myself. Every point of light dancing in my mind was ripped away on the relentless wind from the wings of a thousand demons. In the storm there was nothing but madness and fury. The train seemed to go on forever, each car over 22 feet tall, clanging and banging, blocking out the sun. I just mere feet away, huddled on my bench, defenseless toward the onslaught. I felt like my mind fractured, and everything inside just came pouring out. Just as I thought it would go on forever, without warning, it stopped. It was over with such abruptness that it to was a great shock in its self. All of a sudden it was just over, and I felt helplessly empty.

Silence consumed the ashes of the conflagration. From a long way off thoughts came swirling back, timid and vigilant. Weaving closer and scattering away, then jagging back. Just as I reached out to embrace them, and comfort them, the forgotten machine made a piercing wail. With a lurch and a great crash of protest from a thousand angry doors, it returned to life. Thought scattered again to the winds. Digging deeply into its tracks, it started its headlong rush away. Moments past, and I was left in a daze as its last car disappeared like a dream come morning. Thoughts returned, one or two at a time, but I simply ignored them. They all felt so small, so meaningless, in the wake of passing gods. Tranquility packed in around the spaces between the soft glowing points, bringing their dance to a slow halt. I sat there in a daze.