Seattle, Washington, United States
For those who love coffee, poetry, art, or stories - stay. Have a cup with us.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

You Race Yourself & Everything You Know

For a few different friends:


It's raining, and you feel like you're drowning in the heaviness of the air. Somewhere a flutist plays through a cracked window and the hair on your soaked arms stands up as the music travels down your spine. You just want to appreciate something beautiful. You catch sight of yourself, fragmented, in the mirror-like shatters of the scattered puddles spread about your tennis shoes. You are alone on the street. "I want winter to arrive," you say aloud to nobody in particular. Winter means storms and events, but now you are hung - suspended - in Time; you feel empty and strange.

You walk down the middle of the road; you do not care if a thousand cars come raging over the horizon. You own the air you just breathed and the ground upon which you are stepping. You take off your shoes and your jacket to feel the chill, because it is something to feel. You listen to the neighboring buildings for the flutist, but she has shut the window. Evidently.

And you are alone. And you hang - suspended - strange and empty. In Time. And Space. There is so much Space when you really look at it. Marveling at the expanse of sky above you and the infinity of ground, the thousands of mountains you could climb in hundreds of thousands of ways, you shed the smallest of tears, which immediately disappears among the rain. The mountains grow from the magma beneath the earth; the air flutters with the air, making wind; the trees stretch from among the plants and the bodies of dead animals, who eat them; but you - you are so very alone.

People have told you a lot about God in your life. They started when you were little. Seven days for Creation. First He made Adam. He loves me, yes I know. Heaven is for real, and so is Hell. Enoch went up to Heaven, and so did Elijah, and so did Jesus, and maybe Mary and - it bothers you that you cannot rise up with them. You figure you'd get to rise up with them if things were this hard, that God would pay attention and say NO MORE in a voice that made it really true. They build cathedrals and wars for Him, and He can't pick you up off the street.

Why do you feel suspended? It is like swimming in milk. Am I swimming in milk? you wonder.

You get past the city eventually and you enter a forest, because the trees surround the skyscrapers on all sides. Once you are covered over by the darkness you run, you run so fast that you don't notice when stones and twigs slice open the bottoms of your feet, leaving drops of your blood on the roots of trees. And you hum the music of the flutist as you run. And a nightingale picks up the tune. And you pray to God. LIFT ME UP! you scream out into the silence. And you leap high into the air, but you land in a flash of white-hot, horrific pain. You stand up. And you keep running. And you hum the tune with the nightingale, and you keep praying, and your blood keeps feeding the trees.

When dawn breaks, you are watching the east. And the light penetrates to that little corner of yourself where you know you are hiding your soul, where it sits quietly, waiting for you. And you find other souls you have collected there with yours. And you feel better about the day ahead.

And you tell yourself that to be is to connect.

May your coffee be strong, your passions electric, and your laughter easy.
-michael