Tag Archives: nature

Discovering Rainbows: When your children turn to memories

Sometimes, when we speak to children, specifically those under the age of 3, we find that there is something of a communication barrier.

Sometimes it’s because the words they use contain different meanings than the words we use. For example, when my children say “yesterday” they don’t mean “the day directly previous to today.” Instead they mean “any period of time that came before my last sleep.”

Dinosaurs were yesterday.

Sometimes Rory says that I’m being a bully. But he doesn’t mean “someone that pushes smaller people around” he means… well, he actually means exactly that but the heart of the matter is quite different. He doesn’t like being disciplined. So when I give him a time-out for hitting his sisters, I am, effectively, being a bully.

And then there are times where things are not understood because they are taken out of context.

One day I’m at a friend’s house and Rory turns to one of the girls there and says, “My dad says that we should eat blood.”

And then all eyes slowly shift towards me and I smile sheepishly and stupidly because, well, yes. Actually, as a matter of fact, I did say that.

But my context… was a little different.

Jade and I had recently visited Ireland where they have black pudding. Black pudding is made by taking animal blood, mixing it with oats and spices, forming them into patties and then frying them. Ultimately they look and taste a little like breakfast sausages. So I was telling the kids about this. I was telling them about the time daddy ate blood. And I was telling them that people do this. And I was telling them that they could do it as well.

So yes, I was telling them that they could eat blood.

Conversations and words are strange things because ultimately, words are just empty containers – empty cups – and each of us gets to choose what we’re going to fill them with. Knucklehead can be aggressive or endearing. It’s just an empty cup until I fill it with intent.

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Sometimes, however, we can’t understand children of that age because, well, we just literally can’t understand them. Their lips and tongues and brains aren’t quite functioning at full capacity yet. Their words sound mushy and drunk.

Like today when Bryce said, “Darezah aimbow in our-owse.”

I hear these words escape her mouth and they’re said with such conviction that I’m certain they mean something. Certainly she’s saying something. For Bryce it seems that she has full intent but no cup and her words, rather than being neatly contained, are just splashing all over the place.

And so we try to interpret.

“Darezah aimbow in our-owse.”

I’m sitting in a chair reading a book when she says this. I’m in the other room. There’s a wall separating us and my location in space has my back positioned to her. Ironically, you’ll just love this, my book is about finding happiness in the minutia of life. So it makes sense that, reading this book, I turn my head a quarter of an inch in my daughter’s direction and I say, “Oh, yeah. Neat. Okay,” and then go back to reading.

Rather than finding joy in my daughter, who is discovering and interacting with the exciting world around her – rather than connecting with a human, a child that came from me, no less – I choose to bury myself further in my own thoughts.

Because that’s what kind of person I am, I guess.

Because actions do speak louder than words.

Because even if we say, “I’m not like that,” our actions show us who we are. It’s so funny how, more often than not, our thoughts and our actions do not align. Our thoughts speak to ourselves (no one else can hear them) and our actions speak to others. So if we think one thing but do another, it creates a rift in our reality. We begin to think that we are someone that we are not. Or, worse yet, the world thinks we are one way while we think we are another.

There grows a haunting disconnect between that which we think we are and that which we actually are.

If I think I am the guy that gets up and engages with my children but when my children speak out to me, I pay them lip service in order to make them go away so that I can indulge in whatever it is I’m doing… who am I?

I give her just the absolute most minimal attention possible to hopefully satiate whatever want she has in this moment. Because I’m sure it’s nothing.

And then Bryce says, a little more enthusiastically, ““Darezah aimbow in our-owse.”

“Nice. Nice. Yes. Yes. That’s very wonderful, isn’t it?” Look! I’m paying attention to you, Bryce! I’m giving you words.

I am giving Bryce empty cups. My words are cups but I have filled them with no intent at all. She is asking to be fed with attention and I’m just pushing empty plates at her.

“Nice. Nice. Yes. Yes. That’s very wonderful, isn’t it?” Whatever, whatever. Please leave me be. I’m reading a book. You are a babbling child who is almost certainly making a mess out of chocolate cereal at my dining room table. What do I have to say to appease you?

Or… what do I have to say to silence you?

Or… best yet… what do I have to say to make you go away?

Because you are bothering me and I want to be left alone.

What are we really saying when we say the words we are saying.

Sometimes I don’t understand what my daughter says because she’s three.

Sometimes I’m thankful my daughter can’t fully understand what I’m saying because she’s only three. Thank you, Bryce, for not understanding that I’m pushing you off.

Daddy. Darezah aimbow in our-owse.”

Alright. So this problem is not going away. I’m actually going to have to engage. I shut my book and I set it down and I stand up and I walk around the corner and I see Bryce sitting at the table with, wouldn’t you know it, a mess of chocolate cereal in front of her. Wonderful. Guess whose cleaning that up?

“What is it, Little Ohm?” This is a character from a movie I saw once and for some reason I started administering the name to Bryce.

“Look. Darezah aimbow,” and she points. And I look. And I see nothing. I see nothing and I just think to myself, of course.

“What are you saying?”

“Darezah aimbow. Dare.”

“There’s a rainbow?”

“Yah.”

“In our house?”

“Yah.”

Where is this rainbow?”

“Dare.” She points. I still see nothing.

I sit down next to her at the table. I lower myself several feet. I squint. I lower myself further. I try to relax my eyes. Still nothing.

“Are you a freaking psychic medium?”

“Yah. Dare.”

I squat down lower. I bring my eyes to her level. I tilt my head like hers. And I follow her finger and I see… a rainbow.

In our house.

And it is a simple thing. But it is also a beautiful thing.

“There is a rainbow. Look at that.” I sit in silence and stare at the thing for a moment. “It’s quite beautiful, isn’t it?”

“Yah. Vewy pwetty.”

“Yes. It is vewy pwetty, isn’t it?” And then the two of us just sit and watch it. We just… enjoy it together. Like a piece of art in a gallery. We just sit and watch the rainbow, the silence periodically broken by the sound of dry, crunching cereal next to me.

“I wuv you, Daddy.”

It’s out of nowhere. Out of the blue. It has no greater purpose. No shadow intent. She isn’t trying to get something out of me. She isn’t trying to do anything. It is a cup that is filled with cold and refreshing water. The perfect amount. At the perfect time.

Where do I fit in this picture? How did I help create a being like this? They arrive here perfect and then we just start to slowly mess them up.

“May I have a hug, Bruce?”

“Oh, yes. Yes, Daddy.”

She puts down her spoon, delicately and intentionally balancing it inside the bowl, steps forward and hugs me. And she holds it. And she squeezes. And I can feel her smiling. When she pulls back she gives me a kiss on the cheek and says, “I love you, Daddy.”

Oh, it’s funny what a little perspective will do to your life. It’s funny that if we stop looking at things the way we see them and start looking at them the way someone else sees them, we actually get to experience life in a richer capacity.

If we open our ears and hearts to others, we get to see the world in a multitude of ways.

We can be both here and there. We can see things as adults. We can see things as children. And if we join together and sit down, we can somehow see the world as both. It’s like the 3-D glasses. You get to see through two lenses at once. And everything pops. Everything is brighter. More intense. More saturated.

I glance back at the rainbow and see that it’s fading – almost a gray color now. And I think about how fleeting all things are. The sun, nearly 100 thousand miles away, cast its light in just this way, to reflect just perfectly through that window, that someone built in that way. All of that coupled with my daughter standing in this room at this time (making a mess from her chocolate cereal), facing the proper direction as she was the exact height at this time of her life to see this miniature spectrum.

And she saw it in this tiny little window of time where it was available to her. Just a few moments in the late afternoon.

This special thing happened.

And then it was gone.

And we couldn’t get it back. So hopefully we enjoyed it.

“You want some cereal, Daddy?”

I nod. “Yes, please.” And she feeds me one small piece of chocolate cereal at a time. She drops a marshmallow on the floor, says, “Oops,” and then picks it up. It’s now covered in dust and hair. She balances it back on the spoon and says, “Here.”

I reach out, dust it off and bite.

The rainbow in our house is gone.

And then the cereal was gone.

And then Bryce left the table.

And then years passed.

And then Bryce left the house.

And then it was just me sitting in a chair with a book, remembering the time that I got to share a rainbow with her. Hoping that I enjoyed it.

Because this memory is all I have left.

 

 

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The Spiraling Cornucopia of Pale Lavender [seq. 1 – 2]

[SEQ. I]1Inside, but also outside, of the grand sweltering nothingness I do not exist. Nor am I an I. No singularities drift. 2In empty space that is not cold, a warmth suddenly envelops me and I recognize and accept that I am a thing. 3Liquid washes over my being although I do not know the word liquid because I have never known anything. The currents of motion and time push me where they wish. 4I am the first of my kind. 5Something tingles at my core and I feel a tugging and a separation of my being before becoming aware that there is another. A second presence is nearby and it is the same as me because it came from me. 6I am a singular cell. A collection of atoms. A bond of life. I am both mortal and divine. I am spiritual and temporal. I am life. The very first. 7And now there is a second, made from me. My partner was pulled from my essence and made from my content. 8We are not identical but we are not the same. 9Another spasm and then we have some company. There are four of us. Eight of us. Sixteen of us. A village of faceless, emotionless, drifting amoebas in the liquid love juice of existence. 10We are the spermatozoa in the semen of creation. 11A tail. Gills. Limbs sprout from my core. Intentional movement drags me to a mate where we replicate and create our own life. Our community calls our replication evil. Says we are dabbling in the unknown. Playing God. 12The breath of life rushes over me again and I can move faster, hide better. 13Survive in the darkness. 14Stay away from That Thing that has engulfed so many of my kind. 14Above me is a sharp blanket. It hurts my eyes to look for too long. I push towards it. Ah, yes. Light. 15The pressure of the environment pushes back against me. 16Our tribe says not to go towards it. They say that is where God lives and we were meant to stay back. If He wanted us to approach Him, then He would not have placed the pressure barrier between us. 16My body has changed and the pressure doesn’t bother me any more. 17I am curious. 18I crawl along in the shallow dirt, the light just above me calling not my name, as I have no name, but calling me. My code. 19If it is God, I want to see. I want to press upon It with my eyes. 20I press on to the light and then, like a gentle slap, my face births from the water and I understand that I am in water and that there is such a thing as out of water. 21I have been reborn. 22One step at a time I emerge from the ocean, the cradle of existence, the warm goo that is The Earth’s Womb. As I have birthed a child, so too has the Earth. 23The air is cold and a fibrous material begins to coat my body, covering me, changing my form. 24Fruit hangs from trees and I crawl up them to eat their sweetness and I look around and I see The Land stretch out in front of me in such a great distance that I become dizzy observing The Eternal. 25I hop out of the tree and my face has altered. 26In the distance I hear a noise and when I follow it with my recent eyes, I see a four footed creature behind a tree. It too is covered in brown fur but it is not like me. My stomach rumbles and I know what I must do but I know not how. 27I straighten up, accepting the task at hand. 28I pick up a stick that has fallen to the ground. I rub it against a rock until the end is sharp and I hunt. I follow the creature until I fall upon it and I stab it. 29Red life gushes out of it in currents and I drop to my knees and press my hands into the warm blood. I did this to you. You gave your life for me. I am grateful for you. 30I watch as its eyes blink, staring into the trees. I follow its gaze and see another one like it but a smaller version. A baby. 31I am ambivalent to it. 32Without waiting for my beast to die, I reach my fingers into its chest and I pull, ripping open the skin. Greasy and stinking organs ooze out of its hole and coalesce at my feet. 33What are you? What is it that controls you? 34I dig in deeper and find a hard white material. I crack it open and expose a soft beating rock. I lift it up. Here you are. 35And I smell it and I engulf it and I am filled up and the creature that is a part of this place becomes a part of me and I become stronger. 36A breeze scratches me and I find that I am cold and so I peel off the hide of this creature and I wrap myself in it, dripping blood down my naked and goose pimpled body. 37I stand above this beast and I stare at its empty shell. I stare into its hollow eyes and I send my value and worth towards it. I am grateful that it has given its life for me. It has given me food and warmth at the very cost of its breath. 38I recognize something called color and that each object in my surroundings contains variances of its own. 39In an empty field that is green and yellow, a forest suddenly bursts from the ground, not saplings but large oaks that are mature and the Earth continues to change as I do. 40It happens fast because I don’t pay attention. 41There are natural holes in the trees trunks, inverted knots, where small animals roost and nest. Creatures scurry in the branches. I see a red squirrel with a white belly and a fuzzy tail. It has big cheeks, full of food. The squirrel runs down and curls up in the hole of the tree but then the tree eats it, consumes it, nurtures itself. 41It contracts and the hole squeezes shut and I hear a crunch and a squeal and the tail of the squirrel, which is trapped outside of the nest, gives a few weak kicks and then the tree sucks it in like a dog eating spaghetti. 42I walk towards the river and I find a small raft made out of thick cut branches tied together with old yellow fabric. 43Who built this? 44Underneath the raft I find a dead and bloated body that resembles my own save for the color of the skin. Where mine is dark, his is light. It reminds me of the color I saw in the ocean, hovering above me. 45Could this be the source of the light? Could this be God? 46Has our understanding of God been wrong? 47This is a man with a potbelly. He has white hair in a male patterned type of baldness. His skin has turned into cottage cheese. His eyes used to be green but now they look like someone has poured glue over them. His fingernails are yellow and brown and caked with dirt. 48I wonder what this man’s penis looks like, mangled and gross, bloated and crawling with bugs. 49He is wearing a white shirt with blue trim. The subtle intricacies of the design are unparalleled. How he was able to fabricate such a creation sits beyond the fence of my understanding and must be a kind of divine wonder. 50I wonder what is in his pockets. I wonder who this man was. 51I hear another crunch and my senses tingle. I turn my head and see another beast walking towards me but this one is far different. It is what I will look like someday. It is what I will become. What I will change into if I am left to change. But I will not be left to change. This thing is about to take me away and show me things. 52I have been chosen. I have been chosen. 53If the others thought the bloated man was God, it was because they did not lay eyes upon the creature approaching me in grace. 54It is short and thin – its body structure narrow and delicate. It has big black eyes and gray skin. It approaches me and I see that it has a very tiny mouth. 55I wonder if it has teeth. 56It stands before me and we observe one another in silence. 57The Great Being looks at me and I get lost in those monolithic eyes. Getting lost in their darkness. Am lost. 58I want to sing their praises and write their poetry. A sense of awe pours over me and I realize how tiny I am. The Earth that I saw from the top of the tree is nothing. 59I am a speck of shit on the toilet paper of existence. And now I’m going to have my nose rubbed in it for thinking I was better than I was. Such a foolish and limited creature I am. My stupidity and primal state are embarrassing. 60I take a step closer. I could touch it if I chose. Or I could try to. 61A gentle humming that is not verbal radiates from the body and sends shivers up my spine. My penis tingles and a tear runs down my cheek. I smile and my hands clench to fists. I drop to my knees and stare up at this thing. “I love you. Please. Save me. Show me. Anything.” 62If it wanted to, it could end me. It could simply cap off my life and tear me open and wear my skin to cover its nakedness but I sense that it won’t because it has not an interest, but no need to do it. 63The holy black eye surrounds me and [SEQ. II] 1then I am standing on a craft that crawls through the blackness of space. 2I know this to be true. 3The fence that circles my mind doubles outward and I see the lay of more land. My understanding rises up out of the Earthly sludge and comprehension of things previously unknown dawn on me like the beginning of time. 4I now understand that there is a fence and that my mind can only approach the fence and that I cannot wander past it. Present, future and past tense are moot. All happen simultaneously. Language tense is invalid and lacking true dimensionality. 5All around me are greys, none of them staring, all of them observing. I am the center of naked attention. 6There are machines everywhere. And hallways that seem endless. 7I walk down one and off to the side I see a woman with the top of her head split open and her brain exposed but she is still alive. She says, “Hey, Chuck!” and wiggles her eyebrows at me in a friendly gesture. Her hair is brown and curly. The grey operating on her brain reminds me more of a mechanic than a doctor. 8He is just fixing a small problem in one of the machines. 9I enter another room that is more like a great hall and see that it is more vast than my simple field. So large that I cannot see the roof. 10Where am I? Am I not on a craft? The sky seems endless. Am I on a planet? Where have they taken me? 11The inside of the cavern glows with perfect light that radiates from nowhere. The essence of life gives light to itself. It is a light that exists at the origin of everything.

 

 

Return next Monday, May 23rd for part 2 of 10 as our adventure continues through the realms of deep space. We’ll also ground down to a small village and meet a woman who carries the weight of many lifetimes of misery. She will guide us to a community park filled with doors that lead us to the land of Somewhere Else. Fear, hope, anxiety, betrayal and escape. This is the beginning.

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