Thursday, December 07, 2006

Birthday Experiences and Other Observations

Dec2 was my birthday. Here's some of what occurred that day.... oh so long ago. Ok. Last Saturday.
I stand cold on the back and warm on the front. The snow still covers the ground and holds aloft the little birds who venture forth on the white frozen expanse. The fire crackles and smokes as the heat radiates outwards and up into the crisp clear blue sky. I stand in the middle, along the heat's border, cold on the back and warm on the front.

A bird perches on the open metal hand attached to the outstretched metal arm of the iron birdman sculpture.

Not only can I hear the snap, crackle, and pop of the fire, but also the dripping of melting snow. The icicles point down from the wooden eaves, as, behind and beside me, snow clumps discard their branches for the earth's embrace. The fronts of my legs feel toasty but my tootsies are ice. Beside me in the snow is a tomato. Chilled in the giant expansive refrigerator of our localized existence.

Time to push the fire back together as the birds look on. Perhaps it is time once more to enter the art show; the press of the crowd. I want to have a cookie.


I await a sign! Soon it will be time. The line is forming. Like bovines they stand. Creatures of habit, they scurry and scuttle after each other. Why? To be first on a ship that won't yet sail for a time. What does this hurry gain them?

The awaited sign occurs! Magically the gates part and the race is off. The throng charges up the loading ramp. The crowd surges forward as at the start of a marathon. But this marathon mob has only a short sprint in which to accomplish their goal.

Our culture greatly respects personal space and because of this there is very little actual physical contact. There is very little jostling. Much like race car driving it is jockeying for position at high speeds with inches of room for error.

Time has passed and the forward crush has advanced onward. Now it is my time to proceed. The bulls have run their Pamplona streets. Now I, like a wily predator, will pick my way through the burdened mothers, their young children, and the infirm elderly. For this leg of the race matters little.

Experience has taught me, perception has equipped me, wisdom has guided me, and practice has prepared me. I will go find a seat at the front of the boat. Though I am one of the last to walk on, there will be one at the front of the boat. As we near the Tsawassen terminal they will line up once more; expend their energy wastefully as they stand and mill about like sheep. Still I will sit. Part of the dock structure will drift by. More will stand. Those standing will tire. Still I will sit. The sailor will walk by, make his way through the crowd, go out the door, and prepare. More stand, still mill, as I sit. Finally when the time is right I feel the fire in my belly. I stand. Calmly, confidently, and quickly my backpack comes to rest upon my hips and shoulder. I stand aside the front of the line. I am near the bottle neck: the doors and the gangway. I politely, purposefully, always respectfully, merge and ride the wave of people propelling energy forward. The pressure pushes me across the gangway and into the closed series of straightaways. A few of those long term standees will be in front of me. But to my well rested legs they are no competition. They quickly fall away, victims to my long stride and unrushed steady pace. This is a race with purpose. To avoid the crush and cram. To avoid those that clog and close the channels. To get out of the arrival area ahead of everyone else and avoid the car lot chaos. This is the reward. The thrill of the race run well. A chance to stretch legs long left idle. The arrival room will be full of people. Eagerly they await a sign. Their sign will come to them borne on long legs; a backpack on his back. When I arrive, the doors shall part.


Anonymous said...

Jordan, you should be a writer!

Jordan said...

lol... who said that? ;) Well... what makes a writer? I write. So I guess I am. ;) But seriously.. thanks for the compliment. (Aren't writers supposed to know grammer or something? I also got in trouble a lot in school for inventing new words. Which seemed silly to me cause the english language is very adaptive and full of new stuff. Heck, Shakespeare is credited with a bunch of new words... Lewis Carroll invented gallumph.. and that's a sweet word). Where was I?... oh yeah. Thanks!