Monday, July 14, 2008

Columbine and Ambiguity...

There are, in my unscientific estimate, more people who relate Columbine to a couple of very sick, very lonely children who determined their place in history was to take away the opportunity of others - with no remorse, only to end their lives - and to forever change the way the State Flower of Colorado was viewed. Above is the real Columbine, a spring and summer flower, that, like the children who were vicsiously mowed down, comes in amazing colors and varieties, and speaks of newness and life. Along the hikes this week in Colorado, along the Colorado Trail, I was constantly reminded of the newness of life - short hikes along and up to Cactosin Point, along the double rutted wagon trails used by early pioneers and gold rushers looking for a new life. Anyone who has ever read even the slightest bit about the history out here knows that those folks who were coming out here did not own shit - they were working wealthy Eastern land owners that sat and relaxed while numbers of women, men, and children died along the way to finding an arid, cold, unforgiving land where nothing grows - nothing except for the Columbine and other meadow flowers in the late Spring and early summer. Bears, Elk, Foxes, Mountain Lions, Coyotes, and the like - it was a good hike. It was about 2,400 feet of elevation over and around a creek, through old log cabins sat in the corners of small green meadows, parts of the trail were dusty with enough rocks shaped into ball bearings by years of snow melt and rain. There was plenty to see and to breathe in (when my East Coast lungs finally adjusted to the 12,000 feet of elevation) and even a little July snow patch on the shady sides of the mountain for the kids from Florida to delight in. Still, it was a good hike, but something was missing, and I suspect will forever be missing from those hikes.

One day, this blog will be open for everyone to read, right now, it is my journal, my place of rest, the way I feel close to my rythm without being able to hear or see that song - it is my respite from ambiguity, from the decisions that we allow others to make for us - and then we live by them, we live for them, and then, generally when we realize it is too late (based on all of the great literature), we die without them and bitter about them. Let us not be ambiguous about these things. My life has been in a place that I can only say has more reward than learning something for the first time - it has been surrounded by certainty that was constantly - and I mean constantly - defined by the ambiguity of the situation I have been in. Well - that certainty is still there, I still love, I still feel, I still wake up on the grass at George and in the Gas Works, and throw a skee ball, and sit on a park bench, and realize luggage tags do mean something - but now the ambiguity is gone - there is definition that I did not want, nor ever wanted to face; however, it is here, and now I must deal with it.

I am reading a book on relationships right now - for folks like me, who constantly understand that sleeping in your own bed is sometimes over-rated, has given me insight - it is okay to want the best of everything, it is okay to give until you have nothing, and it is okay, sometimes, to want to be in a small dark place with a bottle of scotch, and some simple words, and maybe a few minutes with a friend.

Here is the definition of Ambiguity:

Doubtfulness or uncertainty as regards interpretation: “leading a life of alleged moral ambiguity” (Anatole Broyard).

Something of doubtful meaning: a poem full of ambiguities.

Well, I can assure you, that, as far as I can tell, only my future is ambiguous - I am, for perhaps the third time in my thirty six years, at a place where I do not know what I will do. I know what I can do - I know what the choices are, and normally, I would barrel through and come to some conclusion after a decision had been made - but now, I do not know what I will do. I don't know what I will feel, I will taste - yes, for me, loss can make the sweetest flavors bland and the strongest flowers pungent, I will want to touch, or even what I will want to feel. That is ambiguity, and frankly, I don't know.

I have had a week filled with excitement - Texas baseball, Austin Rockabilly and long-haired eighties cover bands, long drives, Colorado mountains, love, and quiet. Most of all, just quiet. That sense of quiet where there are only two things that matter, there are only two places that count, and there are only two people that care to hear them. Perhaps that is the choice I can make, (pardon the ambiguous ending), but I just do not know, and am buried by the weight of the ambiguity of it all. Maybe dreams of Columbine...



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