Apr. 13th, 2005

joegoda: (Default)
Early stuff comes fairly easy to me, but I can't remember all of it. No.. let me phrase that a bit better. There are parts of it I don't want to remember, or simply don't want to expend the energy to reach.

When I was very young, I think I must have hit 4 or 5.. it was before kindergarten, I was very ill. Probably one of those mumps/chickenpox/measles/ things that create a very high fever. My family was very poor so even though we had a doctor, sometimes we couldn't get the medicines that was needed. I have no idea if I was on a regime of penicillin or not, but I was a very, very ill little boy. In this illness, I lay on my bed and slept. And drempt.

I drempt that I was falling, falling through a very cloying sort of mist. Not sticky, but it could have been if it wanted to be. I was falling and I was nauseous as I fell, and all around me people were laughing, and they were the very people that shouldn't have been laughing, I don't think. It was my family, primarily, whose voices I heard. Falling and falling all the way to where ever I went. I remember it very well, at least the feelings, and when I encounter the same feelings as an adult, I get the same wave of dizziness, the same wave of fear I had in the dream. What it meant, I don't know. But it set me up for ... well.. it was the precursor to deep thinking.

Deep thinking started because I had questions. I was your typical 6 year old. I played in the mud, I climbed trees, I picked on girls without mercy, because girls had cooties. I enjoyed a lot of the things that 6 year old boys enjoyed. And I think, I enjoyed a few things that were relatively special.

I could talk to the fairy folk. I couldn't really see them, but I knew they were there. I could hear where they rustled and scampered and ran, and I could see their echoes.. the images of themselves they left behind. A lot of folks see them, I think. They are the things caught just out of the corner of the eye, moving quicker than an eye can follow, but their echoes stay behind, for just a brief moment before fading. I couldn't really hear them, but I could hear...whisperings. I could hear feelings and sometimes intentions. Real fairy folk? Who cares? I was six or so, so it doesn't matter what my adult mind may call them. They were fairy folks then, they are fairy folks now.

I loved green things, trees, bushes, grass. Yep. Loved it all. Nothing smelled better than fresh cut grass, honeysuckle, the leaves on a bush. Or tasted better. Yep, I ate them too. Looking back on it all, somehow it reminds me of the Green Man of Celtic mythology. Course, that could just be ego.

Yeah, I was regarded as a bit strange. Even by my brothers, so quite often I would find myself walking by myself, doing what ever it was I was doing, just existing and thinking.

Deep thoughts.

Once, while playing hide and go seek in downtown Crawfordsville, I was hiding in the window well of the Masonic Temple. Now, I didn't know that it was the Masonic Temple at that time, but the connection to it became a bit apparent later. To me, it was just another church. I was hiding in the window well, which is a sunken place below ground so that the basements could get light.

I'm not exactly sure what it was that startled me, but I found myself falling through the window. I fell backwards into what I think was a Sunday School room. I didn't fall onto anything sharp.. I didn't get cut by any glass, I didn't break any bones or suffered any damage at all. What is surprising to me now is that the window fell in at all, as it was that reinforced glass with the cross hatch of wire running through it.

When I got up from the floor, I was terrified. Not because I would be found, but because I was certain that my Grandfather Chester would rise from the grave and haunt me for falling into a Sunday School room. Why? I couldn't tell you. Just because it was a church, or so I though, I guess. I had been into many places as a small boy, and many places I should not have been. The only place that gave me any problems as far as conscious was falling into the Sunday School of that place. It still gives me the willies at times, and I still have the feeling that G'dad Chester is somewhere nearby. Silly, since I don't believe in the spirits of the dead walking the earth, but there it is.

Lots of stuff happened that was very ordinary, lots of stuff happened that was rather painful. BrotherJames contracted pneumonia, and almost died. I brought him a picture book from Sword in the Stone, which had just come out. Or maybe it was Babes in Toyland, the Disney version. They had a punchout book, so you could make a little paper model of the ToyMachine. It was at that same time my father brought home little stuffed Naugas.. as in naugahyde. They were lil cute things.. wish I had one now. It'd be worth a mint. Here's a Nauga.. buy one!

Dad contracted Double Pneumonia and almost died. I sat by his side and read "Anne Can Fly" from the Weekly Reader books. His fever grew so large that he lost his mind for a bit, and during it, he spoke the truth, as far as his mind could see it. He cursed his wife, his family, told horrible things to us about us, spoke to his father. I am lucky that I have very little memory of it.. just enough to know that it did happen.

Samuel fell in the back yard from a swingset A frame and landed on a broken soda bottle, which gave him a backward J shape scare, bout 2 inches from bottom of the hook to top of the stem.

Mom continued to drink her world away.

Gary got meaner and meaner, running away, and coming back. He built a railroad bolt bomb and taught the rest of us to do it. He was not a nice guy.

I.. welll.. with all the conflict and contention I did what any self respecting child would do. I crawled inside myself and tried to die.
Deep thinking. Into myself I went and deeper and deeper I pushed.

It is called meditation. Back then, I didn't call it anything, but I did it many, many times. It was a great escape from the world, diving into the darkenss between the thoughts and words, leaving the outside outside to do whatever it was going to do. I suspect that I looked like some sort of autistic moron sitting there in half lotus (we called it indian style) quietly rocking back and forth while my mind slipped loose from it's moorings.

There have been a few folk in my life to commit suicide. I believe suicide is an act of incredible bravery and incredible cowardice. I've known folks that have come back from suicide and told me their story. They saw NOTHING. It was blank and empty. Now, I have my own opinion for what happens after death, but it's gotta be a summer night, there has to be a bon fire, and I'd prefer something to drink.. pepsi would do, but I find it causes me to gain weight. Beer on the other hand, does not, for some reason. Maybe it's because pepsi makes me stop to drink it, and my mouth never stops while I'm drinking beer. Just ask those that have been with me.

When I went dumpster diving into my head, I saw anything but NOTHING. At first, it was kinda difficult but easier and easier as I did it over and over. So it goes with any thing. When I started to break through, it was light.. of all sorts, from all round. Streaks, stripes, strips, of all the colors there were in the crayola box, and more. Sounds too.. but not words.. just murmurs.. whispers, grumbles.. soundsl like that. If I go diving now, I still hear them, but I haven't gone as deep as I did that one year.

One day, one very odd day, I dove farther than I had ever gone.. past the lights, past the sounds, down so deep that If I wanted to I could have just not come back. Down and down and darkness surrounded me and the noises left me and all there was was just me and the dark. I seem to remember there may have been one sound, but the memory is soo faint it could have been just the memory of a memory. I do remember that I was floating in this space of nothingness, deep in the heart of me. What I do remember seeing was a sphere.. black and black and black as black could be. And I knew what it was. It was my soul. Now.. regardless of all the arguments to the contrary, this is what my 6 year old mind perceived, that it was, indeed, my soul. Black as the ace of spades, black as the emptiness between the stars, black as the bottom of a coal mine at midnight with a new moon. And I cried, floating there in the darkness, because I knew, in my child's mind, that even though I didn't believe in hell, that even though I didn't believe in heaven, I was looking at a damned soul. A rotating, damned soul, cold, black, and empty. Except, as I floated there, watching it and crying, it rotated around to present to me one, pure, shining spot of white. That white showed me that though I may have been damned from the beginning, there was redemption, there was a chance.. there was a way out.

Ok.. now.. look. I know that some of you are probably looking at this from an allegorical standpoint. That even though I profess to not believe in heaven and hell, the Christian God and his son, the Devil, there must be something in my childhood that created these images. And you know, I doubt I'd argue with you. And it doesn't change a darned thing. This was the real start of what became the me that I am now. Yes, I still talk to fairy folk, yes, I still talk to trees and occasionally eat grass and leaves. Spring is my favorite time of year, and Fall is lovely and makes me want to take a 5 month nap.

But it was my death on that day that put me on the path that I currently walk. I've strayed a few times, but fortunately I've met folks and had things happen that pushed me back towards the true. Being There allowed me to be Here. Being There gave me access to knowledge that does me good NOW. I won't say that I'm privy to some great Universal Truths.. I won't say what the hell it was. What I will say is that it was so profound that my entire basis, the core me, was formed that day, born without benefit of man or woman. What I will say is that day was the first day I realized how incredibly alone we all are.

The rest of my life has been an effort to prove me wrong. And here, I'm just 6 years old! tain't done yet.. just that goofy arm of mine is tired. More to come, of course.
joegoda: (Default)
"Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all
over the world, I can’t help but cry. I mean I’d love to be
skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and
stuff."
--Mariah Carey

"Smoking kills. If you’re killed, you’ve lost a very import-
ant part of your life."
--Brooke Shields, during an interview to become spokesperson
for federal anti-smoking campaign.

"I’ve never had major knee surgery on any other part of my
body."
--Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky basketball forward.

"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest
crime rates in the country."
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington, DC.

"The word genius isn’t applicable in football. A genius is a
guy like Norman Einstein."
--Joe Theisman, NFL football quarterback & sports analyst.

"We don’t necessarily discriminate. We simply exclude
certain types of people."
--Colonel Gerald Wellman, ROTC Instructor.

"Traditionally, most of Australia’s imports come from over-
seas.
--Keppel Enderbery

"It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the
impurities in our air and water that are doing it."
--Al Gore, Vice President

"If somebody has a bad heart, they can plug this jack in at
night as they go to bed and it will monitor their heart
throughout the night. And the next morning, when they wake
up dead, there’ll be a record."
--Mark S. Fowler, FCC Chairman.


***

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