Jul 11, 2008

One Thousand Two Hundred Forty Five, or,

Q: What do you do with an elephant with three balls?
A: Walk him and pitch to the giraffe.

I can hear Stucco groaning two time zones away, but I figured Clown Car would enjoy the baseball reference.

I started this blog's second incarnation with an elephant joke, and so it seemed only fitting that I restart it (or give it it's third incarnation) with an elephant joke too. I took a break (and not even a very long one, to be honest) thinking that blogging was causing some of the distress in my life, some of the sturm und drang but I was wrong. Taking to heart the saying "cut off a finger to cure a hangnail" I dumped the blog thinking I was going to somehow miraculously fix what ails me, but naturally I was wrong there. I love to write, I love this outlet and during the past three or so weeks I've been gone I've found myself thinking about things I've seen or done in third person (narrator) POV, as though I were...wait for it...blogging.

Face it, it's too much a part of me to give it up now. So I spent the last week working with Mickelodeon and hacking on my own a little bit to develop the new layout you see here and will continue to see as I finish sticking on the wobbly bits and the part that goes "wongwongwongwong" when you touch it. Time, you see, is my enemy. The fire in which we all burn. I'd fully intended to have everything up and ready to go by today but failed to do so, one thing after another getting in my way but damnit I miss writing, so I'm here. Now.

It's been a strange past few weeks. Job searching, attending counseling (with it's attendant load of possible hope,) watching the crops grow and the birds fly, and thinking. Always thinking. It's a failing of mine, and trust me, don't start because once you do you're pretty much hooked.

Early one morning here recently I watched a USDA-type walking through waist-high cotton plants in one of the fields on the way to my office. He had on a pith helmet to keep the scorching summer sun off, and over his shoulder he carried an immense net on a very long handle to aid him in his capture of pest insects. All I could wonder about was why this middle-aged guy was out butterfly-catching so early in the morning.

I dreamed last night that I killed a man. Crushed his bones under my feet. It was night, and I was trainspotting the rails that suddenly ran just behind my house. He appeared from the side yard, jogging in a royal blue jogging suit. He jogged into my garage then back out, then circled around again, jogged in, and jogged out carrying a small object, another camera that I had left there inexplicably. I gave chase, he threw the camera at me which burst into black pieces on the stones of the old driveway. This enraged me further, and I managed to catch him in the spreading branches of the fig tree just outside my garage. As I dragged him from it's branches he turned INTO branches, into an amalgam of dry twigs in the shape of a man, tho he was still a man. I dragged this thing onto the driveway and began crushing it with my boots, stamping the knob that was a head, hearing it crack and splinter, then crushing the long branch that was it's body.

Having torn it in two a friend of mine and I carried it's parts to the tracks, my idea being that the train would destroy the evidence of my attack and perhaps make it appear as though he'd been run over by the freight. I dreamed then that the train appeared almost instantly, a huge black and white Norfolk Southern engine arriving in a wall of noise and a cloud of opaque smoke and diesel fumes. I stumbled backwards to frame it in my camera's viewfinder (it refused to 'see' the train and wouldn't focus) and I was chiding myself that I'd always failed to get a good focus on objects at night, even though in real life I've almost never photographed anything at night. As I fell back trying to get a photo, ANY photo of the passing train I began to be pelted by rocks from another man, another thief, friend to the man I'd just destroyed.

I woke up literally shaking my head in agony, trying to dislodge the dream.

I watched it rain yesterday, positively pour down. I watched the drops hitting the puddles in the parking lot and thought about taking a photo or two, but then I realised that it'd be the same as trying to take a photo of a cloud of insects or birds: to our eyes a moving group seems like so much more. It has a life and a vitality all it's own, and when you freeze the frame, when you photograph it, it loses that dynamic. It can be quantified and sorted, it can be picked apart. I knew the same would happen if I snapped a photo of raindrops hitting puddles--that beautiful dynamic would be gone, would be rendered sterile and lifeless. Instead of a profusion of dancing shapes it would become a simple interplay of colour and light, so that if you were determined to you could easily count all the drops.

We weren't meant to count the drops. We were never meant to count the dragonflies darkening the sky over our heads, nor to measure the sand. So me, I'm going to do like I've always done and sit back and enjoy the dynamics.

(You know, it's good to be back. I missed this place.)


Mickelodeon said...

Dude. Welcome back. =)

Joan of Argghh! said...

Dayum! Quite a comeback!

If I were an interpreter of dreams, I'd say that you are feeling the need to define your own sense of how best to spend your time and place. The only thing the thief stole was a bit of your time, and jogged through your man-space. You crushed him, and another arrived!


But the tree man did you a favor in smashing your camera, I think. Otherwise, you'd be tempted to post static frames instead of weaving living moments. No reason you can't do both now.

btw, is that a pic of a man flogging a dead horse up there? heh.


Gordo said...

We've missed you, friend. Welcome back.

Maggie said...

Irrelephant! Welcome back.

I was thinking that the men in the dreams could be different versions of yourself. Perhaps an analysis of how you feel about your current situations - time spending, job etc. Just an angle.

But as always your lilting words are a pleasure to read.

Jean said...

Heyyyyyyyy...thank goodness!
Welcome back.

Stucco said...

I think the dream represents the chimichangas you had for dinner. I prefer the sex dreams myself, although those get mighty weird too.

So, welcome back dorko. You were missed.

Is that Nietzsche with the horse?

Schmoopie said...

Your beautiful words come from all the thinking you do. ;)

Welcome back. I look forward to reading more!

meno said...

awww, schmoopie's so nice. Too nice. Where the hell have you been? I know, i know, on a break.


Think no more, lad; laugh, be jolly:
Why should men make haste to die?
Empty heads and tongues a-talking
Make the rough road easy walking,
And the feather pate of folly
Bears the falling sky.

Oh, 'tis jesting, dancing, drinking
Spins the heavy world around.
If young hearts were not so clever,
Oh, they would be young for ever:
Think no more; 'tis only thinking
Lays lads underground.

A.E. Housman

Shao said...

I think your dream means you want a job where you get to wear a pith helmet. Those things are so cool. You have the moustachio already so you'd only need a monocle and an elephant gun. Then you could tell stories about Africa and the 51st Burma Rifles.

Irrelephant said...

Thanx, Mix, and thanx for the constant stream of emails that kept me not only fully immersed in all things Whovian but in the writing mood.

Joan, have you ever considered hanging up a shingle? That's DEEP! And yes, that is a dead horse, and if you look closely, yes, that IS my face under that tophat. There's a whole long story to it (the original photo, not my face being stuck in there) that I really need to find...


Thank you, Gordo! I thought at first I'd made a mistake in leaving; it didn't change anything at all but then it made me realise that I really DO enjoy this outlet and the friends I've made here.

I have to say Maggie that your take on the dream is certainly one I'd not thought about, not in the least. Iiiiinteresting! More skull-time needed!

*s* Thank you, Jean. The constant outpouring of love and affection from you guys has truly been heartwarming.

Stucco, that's my handsome mug Photoshopped onto a very old, very peculiar photo whose origins I need to find again.

Chimchangas, eh? I though it was the fish tacos...

Schmoopie, you are a complete and utter angel. How you ended up with Stucco is beyond me... *wink*

Aaah, meno-style Tough Love. Mmmm. Just a tetch lower, darlin', and a little more forearm when you swing that flog, yes?

HAH! Shao, that's PERFECT! Secretly I'm wanting to be Hemingway!