So sorry. Not writing. Reflections? Have there be any? Any Self? Napping, wake-me when something changes.
Living. Time-passages. Daily routines. Patterns to lean upon. Propped-up by daily concerns.
Every timeless now, and thens which pass unseen, I rub my sleepy eyes.
Sitting on my terrace in the chilly, late evening air, my attention on the phone, swiping news: A Sihk beaten in California, the Indians lost 0-1, it may rain Thursday, Elon Musk, tariffs imposed on Turkey. Is Tayyip Erdoğan a bad guy? Was he elected by a fair vote? Do the Turkish citizens support him? Or do they suffer silently and endure a barrage of little lies? Aren’t there a lot of populist leaders, nearly dictators? Putin, Erdoğan, the Saudi Prince, Duarte, Xi Jinping, Maduro, al-Assad. And, Trump trying very hard to be “the boss” like the others, no? Have the world’s citizens accepted a non-democratic, democracy? The framework of democracy within which populist leaders extinguish competition?
I look up at the stars as the winds stirs from the west. I am here in Tremedal. My legs are cold. I wear green shorts we bought cheap at Carrefour. Mountain summer nights. I look straight-up, a 180 craned neck, I can almost see the Milky Way. I can, yes, I see it. That’s what I have decided. Yes, I think I see it. My eyeglass lenses are dirty.
I look again at the glare. Do I have more likes on my Instagram post? People respond more to selfies. I should take more selfies. Do I have texts from parents on my teaching app? What are the other teachers posting? Teachers trying to market themselves, get more students, get more money. Or teachers’ sharing their teaching experience with the new ones, explaining that on this platform, students follow teachers, so post something everyday. Oh, you have only 15 followers, you are not working the social media side. Yeah, that’s how it is to be me, the noise that I see and hear.
There are stars, I am chilly, and I look up from my phone. To my left and to my right, old street lamps light the paths of the village. I wonder how much their glow overcomes the light of distant stars. Mars is bright and red.
What could be better? What am I looking for? What do I hope to find within my phone? What information could make this moment better?
Sometimes I am agitated. Disappointed. Angry.
Why? I do not know. Triggered by the unseen. Chasing down the cause? No, I am not too interested in causes. If I see one, cool. Instead, I wonder what is behind the mood. Is fear lurking nearby? Anger masking fear? Is my illusion challenged? Dented?
I am careful, I don’t wish to not “fart” my mood into the space. No one wants to smell another’s. That said, the mood leaks out, I am not big enough to hold it in.
I ask myself questions. As the negativity pulses up, I watch. What was said? What they do? The escalation can reveal. Seeing myself, I see others.
We receive a call from the guests in “el Pajar” There is no washing machine, where can the clothes be laundered? The outside light does not light the night. The kitchen ventilation system is not working.
Already edgy, the annoyance rises, a inter-day high for negativity. Why worry? Sensations in my chest, I tighten. A reasonably sized, powerless, portion of me, says again, “Why worry?” It is suggested that I go over in the morning and fix the ventilation. Another rise on the charts, the bulls are running. “I don’t know how to fix a ventilation system.” Followed by the words, “It’s not possible that it is unplugged.” Behind the words, my thoughts try to find a model of a man who would not check the electrical plug. I can’t find one. So I add, “We will likely need to call Pepe, the electrician. It’s just fan inside some aluminum housing.” I am made to feel better. The anger spike has peaked, now falling, I can add a distraction, a change of subjects, lurching to the left, away from the angry pricks.
“Snow Globe” randomly plays in my headphones, “Big City Lights.” I used to love that song. Wonder when The Academy school year begins? Are my colleagues re-experiencing the dull renewal of the school year. Are they tired of summer? Ready, Go! The joy of seeing good kids and super colleagues eases the transition from summer to another school pregnancy, nine months and 40 more young adults are birthed. Meetings. Hope. Meetings. Hopelessness. “My name is Fred and I am head of Media Arts, and I teach in the literature program, This is my seventeenth year.” I sense the room. New teachers are nervous, others are trying to count the years. An hour later, the last of the circle of teachers says, “…and this is my fifth year.”
I open the browser, no, not yet. School begins next week. I remember nearly thirty years of the last days of summer. Excitement and fear in the early years, and a mix of dread, acceptance, and hope in the later years.
I leave the computer keyboard to have a smoke in the stillness of the night. I sit beneath the ancient roof, covering the entry way of our home and the two ruins that would be neighbors. Shrieking children and playful screams. Hide and Seek in the darkness. Mothers’ voices neither scold, nor approve. Neutral and equal. Mothers and children at 11pm. Elderberry Trees arch in the night, welcoming guests to our corner of the village.
I remember my concerns, but they fade.
And passed over to memory.
Looking back upon the what prompted me to write, I cannot remember the details. I remember its grip upon my mood. Triggered upheaval. Within the moment, dominate strength, the struggle to contain. Wildfire. A fighter of fires with a fire burning within. Yet, it is a nothing. It was a nothing. Describing it, sharing an inner-reflection, and personal experience, seems self-indulgent. Hey, look at me – you will love me and appreciate my insights.
Attempting to help, I reach out. Reaching out, I draw myself in a role of importance. I know. Or I don’t know, but my “not knowing” is clever and insightful. I experience the experience, I write the words, organized to form a bridge between lives. Word packages rush to the fore, rounding off the sharp details, rounding them to fit my within my limits.
Sitting on the terrace in the early evening, the sun’s heat less, I drink ice tea and smoke. To the northeast white, blue-gray, clouds are forming. We count the cars that ride up and down the mountain. The west brings a cool breeze. I sit in silence, then pick-up my phone.
Swallows dart near our terrace, bowed flight, soaring sideways.
The decay. Stories overgrown and stone fences tumbling, one rock slips and another loses its balance. Paths that connect the villages lost among blackberry bushes. Too few hands to hold it together, to fortify against the slow push of time and nature. Communal efforts to clear the way, for a day, a week, a year, an hour. We hold the line, but victory is never at hand. This is how I explain things to myself.
I play tapes, pre-recorded explanations, that cover pure, unfiltered experience. I sit on my terrace and I run tapes that explain, round-off the sharp relief of reality, recreating creation, allowing me to live life as I see it.
Last night, I left my phone inside, and stepped out into the night to have the final smoke of the day. Cool air sped my puffs of tobacco. I strained my neck, looking straight-up in to the night. I wish to be here, to live this moment, free from the noise. Free from my conceptions.
We left the noise of the city, said good-bye to career combat. I am here, on a terrace, in a forgotten village at the top of a mountain. In mostly quiet silence, I can weakly mock-up a mood, appreciation of the universe, represented by stars and the black night. I wish to be here – wherever here really is.
To my left a shooting star streaks the darkness. Meteors. Meteorites. I feel rewarded for standing in the cool night. Then another lessor streak. Two. Wonder what the old-timers thought when they witnessed these decaying light streaks? What explanations did they offer to the miraculous?