Tuesday, April 30, 2019

mmdcccxlvii

Del Is Short for Delicate

And so, for conversation
after conversation we 
sat in a circle as the
ocean breeze chilled
the sweat from our
shirts and our blou-
sers and cooled our
hearts a bit, as they
[our hearts, that is]
each attempted nev-
ertheless outpace the
others.  Our precious
hearts.  We needed
this.  Or that was be-
yond a shadow of
doubt at the time,
anyway.  But did we?
Some of the attend-
ees were upset about
one thing or another
and had to either 
prove the validity
of their anger or 
to simply vent
to those who,
more than any
other group of
folks that he
could image
gathering into
a setting of this 
size and in a location
like the peaceful one
they huddled in, sim-
ply would not begin
to get it.  Or allow it.
Like these, his people,
who would certainly get.
He believed this.  And
I wonder years later if
it might bother him to
know that some did,
some did not, and
others just endured
it, steeped in confu-
sion.  These meetings
worked well that for 
such things because 
at any given moment,
even those sitting in
the circle weren’t paying
much attention to any-
thing being spoken, 
which was okay and
but was understood.  
Often their attention
would seem to be on
the ocean, to which
they were not study-
ing or admiring at all,
really.  Just meditating, 
either screwing in their 
brains so tight that 
thoughts came and 
went quickly and 
were each paid almost
no attention; meditation
as precipitated by the 
grand ocean that lay 
before them, and the
by the us the sat in a
circle on the sand
in close proximity
to it.  Some, rather
than meditating, pre-
cisely would seem to 
just dissolve into the 
comfort of its white 
noise.  Often they’d
nod off for extended
periods of time, do that
quick jerky dance akin
to what it must look like
being electrocuted at
some point, coming to
attention almost immed-
iately, and they were 
clearly back into the
fray; the subject of the
moment.  This, in particu-
lar, was a favorite practice 
of mine during much of the 
duration of these meetings
we’d had each month for
several years now.  Each
of the attendees also
knew quite well that if
I didn't meander back
and forth between alert
and semi- or unconscious-
ness that I would be other-
wise overwhelming the
entire group, not letting
one of them get a word in
edgewise for fifteen minutes,
a half an hour or sometimes
even much longer.  And these,
my friends, knew this about 
me.  And made me feel that
it was accepted, for the most
part, eliminating the usual
guilt that encounters such
things.  When I did mangle
or mismanage the pace of my 
melting into the ocean and of 
then returning again, and in-
stead allowed my overly dram-
atic voice to overstay its welcome
before realizing that here I was,
once again, doing my damnedest
to maintain attention indefinitely,
I'd say (or at least feel) a bit of a 
whoops and in no time had dis-
solved back into the Pacific. The
health that comes with knowing
(right or wrong, even) that  people 
accept you as yourself, don't seem
to want anything else.  Just me,
as they listen attentively, by all
appearances.  This ot only is life
but it surely must extend it if you
have the pleasure of living that
on a regular basis.  Sure, a few
of the more clever folks would
use the time for their bathroom 
break.  We always tended to 
overdo it a bit on the snacks.
But as I remember it, it was
sheer peace and the always
unpredictable and always
enlightening run of some
apparently necessary 
thoughts and emotions 
with people who felt
like your family (e-
motius that usually
wound up by meet-
ing's closure to be
summed up as 
absolute joy, im-
mensely appropriate,
keep it up Del you are
doing so well, aren’t
you?)

But now it’s all sand with a few
eroded memories that got washed
back into the sea.  I go there some-
times, trying to remember the people,
exactly where we were sitting, but I
just can’t remember a thing except
what I’ve just recounted, and much
of that might be some sort of prob-
ably necessarily revisioned history
(I neither take the pace of the pass-
Ing of time nor the long-term effects
of trauma for granted.  Or do take
them for granted, but incorporate 
them into my common sense, how-
ever uncommon it surely is.)  This
is what I’ve been doing these days.
And lots of furrowing of the eye-
brows.  Also, I keep thinking about
sanity.  And what, if anything it 
might mean.  Maybe it’s the ads
for the revision of The Twilight
Zone that brings that thought
into full bloom for me.  As I do
remember some things.  Like
how when a person gets con-
fused, quite often those who
witness this simply play
along.  People get con-
fused; we play along.  Or
you do.  Whenever it’s
you that’s doing the
playing along, thank
you.  It can be very…
placating.  But, before
you find yourself doing
it a next time, if there
happens to be one, 
lock your eyes on
mine for a minute
and tell me I’m al-
right, maybe give 
me a hug.  I love
you for doing this
time and time again,
whoever you are.
Wherever you are.