Wednesday, September 7, 2016


I think two parts of 
me  - at least two  -  
have always been 
at work, warily 
one circling the
other. I've had 
to come to grips 
with that, and 
it's taken a long 
time. I think 
now I have. There
have been, because 
of the ongoing of that
'conflict', some tough
and confusing times.
Things I look back on
now and maybe wince
over. That dichotomy,
the roiling difference
inside me, has been as
symbolic of me as
the stark symbolism
woven through my 
life between places
as varied and apart
as  -  yes  -  Avenel
and New York. It was
my path : with some
honorary detours to
other little lands called
'seminaryville' and
'Columbia Crossroads.'
Everything had its own
weight and substance.
Nice guy. Weird guy.
Do-nothing. Over-achiever.
Once I got to Pennsylvania,
there were many long 
nights of nothing much to
do but cold-weather 
thinking. (It was January
19, and it immediately
stayed about 12 degrees
below zero, overnights,
to perhaps 12 above, in
the day. I undertook, as
if some isolated, emergent
Zen master, the deepest
and trickiest moment by
moment review of my 
days that I could muster.
Sort of, in a very medieval
sense, I was cloistered, alone
with my soul and spirit, as
they devolved into Reality 
for me. No guidebook, no
guide-lines; in fact just an 
'empty' books of dreams
and revelation. That's what
pushed me along. When
this sort of thing happens, 
you either get fat  -  like
those pictures and drawings
you see of happy, roly-poly
mountaintop monks, or
seriously skinny, like you're
dying  -  from all that 'dark
night of the soul' stuff and
the emaciated psychological
ways that underpin it. Maybe
you come out a butterfly,
maybe a dead worm.
My first month up there, the
cold, crystalline air was
always a'flutter. It wasn't
what we call 'snow' (like
the language of the Eskimos 
or Aleuts, of whose tongues
it's erroneously said have
some hundred plus words 
for 'snow'  -  all the different
varieties and categories)  -
this particular 'crystallized
cold air' would need a word
of its own. It was more like
tiny suspended ice crystals,
formed from the moisture 
inherent in the air, turned 
to ice, and looking like 
tiny diamonds just staying 
a'float or suspended in 
place. Night after night
of this  -  it was very 
strange. There was a 
complete silence. It was 
pretty much black-dark,
except for some stupid 
light the previous owner 
had installed on the front
walkway area, out at the
dirt road, and which ruined
everything until I had it
disconnected by 'Tuscarora
Power and Light', which 
was, I guess, their sort of 
electric company. I was 
about to shoot it out 
anyway. This ice-stuff
never accumulated; it just
hoar-frosted on everything,
in the same way, say, an
old chocolate bar turns 
white from dryness or 
something, that starchy,
white coating. Don't get
me wrong, when the real 
snows came, the kind that
accumulates, it was fierce 
and with a vengeance,
(which is His, sayeth the 
Lord. He can have it). A
few mornings I awoke to
nothing but walls of white.
It took a solid week before
anything resembled planet 
Earth again. So, like 
Thoreau at Walden 
Pond, in some ways,
I sat there obsessing 
over each and every 
little, incidental 
aspect of the new
reality before me. If
you've ever read 'Walden'
he goes on for quite a 
spell about how, for his 
lack of much else to do,
he developed a measuring
and sounding system of 
his own and set about
determining, and than
mapping, the floor of the
Pond, by its depth and 
width and all that. The 
most surprising thing, to 
him, found was the little 
'geography' underneath
the pond  -  rises and
hillocks and ridges and 
deep spots. Big deal. I
never quite understood
how he could be that 
dumb, or bored. What 
did he think it was down 
there, a smooth swimming 
pool bottom? Of course, 
!idiot!, it's submerged
land. Some people get 
credit for the strangest 
things. (Mainly because
most people never really
'read' this stuff, they just
run around saying they did
because it's cool and they're
supposed to be too. Lots of
misinformation thereby).
So I sat there, in deep thought.
I survived. I got skinny. I got
pale, watchful, nervous. I came
through, eventually, the other 
end and started even liking 
the ice and snow. There are
times when words make all
the sense, and other times 
when words are useless. 
This is one of the useless 
times. No words can get 
across where I got to or
what I found and what I
determined. However, this
being a sort-of peep show,
I guess I better start disrobing:
I figured that, in creating our
own 'reality' as it were, it's what
we 'believe' in that builds for 
each of us our personal worlds. 
Your beliefs can increase your 
vision, or diminish it. Like, if 
you 'think' that when you get 
old your hearing is supposed 
to diminish, and your eye-sight 
begin to decline, that will
begin happening. You'll take
on that assumed 'burden' and
it actually will become real.
Functions, in this particular
regard, are just habits. As 
poor thinking too is a habit. 
Hard to break, yes, but
able to be broken. You simply
forget how to hear properly,
following your belief. Or see.
All from the same junky
toolkit. The physical 
deterioration does occur, 
but it follows, doesn't
lead. In the other direction,
as well, you may believe
that wisdom grows with age
or that self-understanding
brings a peace of mind not
earlier known  -  those
conditions, then, will be
met in your physical world.
The physical apparatus, in
line with your beliefs, will
prosper. That was pretty
wicked stuff : me, in my 
new Pennsylvania bunker, 
forming my damn world!
Energy as the one creative 
force-field n the make-up 
of all things. Bodily
electromagnetic realities!
One thing after the other. 
Life was sweet. All energy
at the inner self's disposal 
is concentrated to bring 
about the results asked 
by the conscious mind. 
What a challenge that
was, immediately.
I could, if I dared, step 
outside; but I coudn't 
certainly go up to any of
those new Pennsylvania
people and assert : 'Hey, 
by the way Jethro,  -  and 
how's the family, wife's
looking nice, always 
does, new car is nice  -  
did you ever realize that
the end result of your 
own thought pattern is 
the electro-magnetic
manifestation of the 
changing reality around 
you, which you can 
change by altering 
your own thought
patterns, you big 
huckleberry you.'
Nope, that wouldn't get
across. Might as well talk
to a blind guy about the
sunset colors. I had met 
checkmate, so soon and 
so early on. I had locked
my own little room around 
me yet had forgotten to worry
about 'egress', about a way out,
an escape hatch, instead of
just worrying about what and
how the front, 'come-on-in'
doorway looked like. Big
trouble in Little China, or
at first that part of me thought.
But I punched my way out of
that bag soon enough.
Playing my own both ends
against my own middle.

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