The music plays and I get lost in a story that sounds far too familiar, so distant and so very close.
When instinct drives you and you feel things so strongly you sometimes mistrust your gut and refer it to logic only to discover the solid ground you thought you were standing upon has been ripped out from under you.
I am standing in front of a commercial building in McKinney, Texas but for a moment I can’t tell where I am.
Could be LA, Queens, or Denver, all places I am familiar with but none looks like the place I am standing in now.
I am off kilter and off center but not in the normal or familiar way. I am not drunk, stoned or high on any substance I have intentionally taken and that is part of what is throwing me.
Maybe it is the time and anticipation of what is coming or maybe it is something else. Whatever it is, I don’t like it.
‘Cuz I may be passionate and at times hot tempered, but I am not wishy-washy or prone to panic attacks or anxiety.
But what woke me far too early was a searing pain and a feeling that I was being attacked.
Normally I would spring out of bed prepared to take on the fire demon, bigfoot or whatever other monster had found me.
It would take less than an instant for me to recognize I was dreaming and start laughing for being ridiculous, but not today.
The Secrets We Keep
Dad and I are immersed in a conversation about the secrets we keep and those we share. I have let him in on one and we are picking a few things apart.
There is no judgment which in some ways surprises me yet doesn’t shock me at all. As straight laced as he may be I know whose son and grandson he is.
I know the story of our uncle who parachuted into LA during the Long Beach earthquake in 1933. We aren’t so simple, ordinary or basic as some might think, not that any of us care.
And it occurs to me that my father, who I often thought of as the ultimate rule follower had a big life outside of me.
Because I forget that he joined the peace corps in his early twenties, almost at the very beginning.
What he and mom did by signing up was a bigger deal in the sixties than it is now.
That is not to belittle or demean those who serve now but it is different when jets can move around the world in hours.
It is different when technology makes it simple to stay in touch with whomever you want, virtually anywhere they are in the world.
I remember calling my parents collect from Jerusalem and keeping it short because our five minutes was something around $50.
Sometimes I think about the secrets we keep and those who keep them with us.
Will they reach out and touch someone or will we.
Will contact and connection allow what is normally kept in shadow to celebrate the warmth of the sun upon its back.
I remember telling dad faith is a funny thing because sometimes the actions make you think there shouldn’t be any but when you reflect upon it you see it differently.
There are those who have gained entrance into the gardens of the soul and the shadows of the heart because faith tells you to have confidence they will till the soil and plant seeds.
Bright colorful flowers will grow in those spaces if you let them.
The Monsters Won Last Night
A younger Josh would never have admitted the monsters won last night because he couldn’t accept that.
The dope wouldn’t have framed it as one battle in a long war but I am not so young anymore. Not particularly old, but not young.
And so I see last night for what it was and realize why I was awake at 4.
So here I am preparing for the morrow and recognizing the wild things may want to throw another wild rumpus.
The mutt isn’t here to confront them nor are there other humans so tonight we build a fortress around the heart, a labyrinth around the soul and take two shots of whiskey plain.
Tonight we’ll go to sleep listening to humpback whales sing and think about stories yet to be written or told.
Kind of cool and kind of exciting.