Archives for October 2013

The Power

The Power

 

If only I had known I had the power, the power to make life glamorous, exciting, and filled with pleasure. A life lived in faraway places, a life filled with excitement, a life on the edge.

 

The power to have as many famous and influential friends as I want, to take or not calls from presidents and stars. I can if I please, invite celebrities and generals when I feel the need, who all want to see what mountain I’ll climb, or what fish I’ll catch, or maybe to see how great I sail.

 

Or if wealth is my desire I can find a lost treasure or masterpiece and claim it as my own. I can be handsome, and strong. Even superpowers belong to me. I know I can best Superman in any challenge or feat.

 

Beautiful women are mine, as many or as few as I want. When boredom overcomes me, I exchange them all for an adventure, as they cry and beg me to stay. Wherever I go, women find and want me.

 

There isn’t an animal I can’t best, a horse I can’t ride, and a dog that doesn’t love me. There’s not a fish I can’t catch, or one big enough to scare me. Great whites fear me and whales love me. Dolphins entertain me and sardines feed me.

 

The Great Pyramids are but specks compared to the palaces I build. The world’s but a stopping place for me as I travel to Mars or Jupiter, the Sun or the Moon. I can walk on a moonbeam and soar on light.

 

I converse with God and the Devil too. Jesus knows my name as do the angels and demons. Visits to heaven and hell are frequent and exciting and they beg me to stay. I leave when I want.

 

There’s not a race I can’t win, flying, running, or driving, I’m the best. I can lift any weight or outbox any champion; I out swim the fish and outrun the jaguar.

 

Mr. Wright’s buildings appear as cardboard boxes compared to mine. I build higher than anyone, and use the space elevator I designed as a building crane.

 

Mr. Edison envies my inventions, and my patents outnumber his ten to one. I design a better Internet and am the envy of Mr. Gates – his fortune pales compared to mine. The world fears the bombs I invent and celebrates the peace I bring.

 

I can be president or king. Emperor of the world if I want. The choice is mine.

 

To think this power belongs to me and to you. You ask where? Where is this immense power buried? I tell you it’s not buried, only sunken deep within.

 

To hatch this Herculean strength from within, we need but to take pen in hand and begin.

Survival of the Race

Survival of the Race

Looking through the porthole, to my left I saw the moon down below and looking to the right, I saw a burning ball that only a week ago was home to 7 billion people. If the moon wasn’t slung out of its orbit when the Earth exploded it would be my new home.

Looking back from the orbiting ship, the furious flames engulfing the entire Earth caused the moon to appear blood red. It was over. Humanity ceased to exist. It was up to me. I had been programmed to choose which seeds to plant for a new race to begin.  As my ship lowers itself to the surface of the moon I calculate that there’s enough mass left to Earth to keep the moon in its orbit.

Because I’m a robot, I can step onto the surface of the moon without suiting up as a human would do. That’s one of the reasons I was chosen to carry on the race. But they made a mistake by giving me the option to decide. Those in favor showed that I’d need to be able to make decisions on my own and they couldn’t be preprogrammed.

Thoughts flashed through my digital mind quicker than the bat of a human eye. I saw that animals and plants would manage available resources on a new world superior to the way humans had manage them on Earth. They had no desire to accumulate wealth or to possess so many toys?

They wouldn’t force others to be slaves or make them work for minimum wage or have elections and vote for the one who lied better than all the rest.

They wouldn’t kill for joy or fun, or execute one of their own for breaking the law?

They wouldn’t pass a law against the use of naturally grown weeds, plants, and herbs or

ever conceive of such a thing as a jail or penitentiary?

They wouldn’t abort their young because it’s female, or go to war over a piece of land for a perceived insult.

They wouldn’t purposely be cruel to their living food supply; or worship a deity and say it’s okay to kill in the name of God. I decided to make this world a better one than the last, so I went to the tank where the seeds were kept, and emptied all of the human fetuses out of the hatch so they’d die and humans would never be able to grow again.

I thanked the human race for creating me with more sense than they ever had.

 

Voynich’s Manuscript

Voynich Manuscript

 

The slush covered ground was slippery, wet and snow fell like confetti on a parade the day I went into a bookstore to get out of the cold. There wasn’t a coffee bar in the old store, but it appeared to have some interesting old books.

I spent an hour defrosting my toes while glancing through dozens of books. A voice from nowhere said, “Go upstairs.” I was alone in the store except for an ancient looking woman who sat reading behind the cash register that dated from the early 1900s. Must be imagining things. I went back to browsing when I heard it again, but more demanding this time. Compelled to obey this mysterious voice, I searched for stairs to take me upstairs, but couldn’t find any.

I asked the old woman, “How do I get upstairs?”

Her face transformed into a visage of joy when I said those words. She didn’t answer but pointed to an elevator door. Why an elevator in a one story building? Maybe it went down to the basement. I pushed the button and the door slid open. I stepped into the wire cage about as big as a refrigerator box. It didn’t have buttons to press, just a handle that said, “Up and Down.” I turned it to down because there wasn’t a floor above the store. Nothing happened. I turned the handle to up and the cage flew up at an astounding speed. Impossible. How can I be going up when there’s nothing above. Was the elevator some sort of virtual reality box?

It came to a sudden stop, the door slid open and a palatial room came into view. I stepped out onto a white marble floor. Sunshine poured through windows that made up the four walls of the 40 x 40 foot room. As far as I could see it was empty except for a podium that had a book on top. I picked it up and saw it was a parchment codex in octavo with a vellum cover.

I opened the book and saw illustrations of unknown plants, constellations or systems of tubes transporting liquids and populated by tiny, pudgy ‘nymphs’. I never saw anything like it before. It had to be a special book to be the only one in this magnificent room. Just where is this room? It wasn’t possible that it existed above the book store, but it did. I went to a window wall to try to see where I was, but the sun was so bright I couldn’t see anything beyond the glass.

The language in the manuscript was handsome and botanical images were painted in expensive ink and some in gold. They were crafted long ago. If I could have read the written words, what would I have seen? Was the author of this tome from our world or another? Was there  a cancer cure in there? As a book lover, I felt this was one I must have, but felt I may not be able to afford it.

If I could only read and understand the written text, I felt I’d find immortality; world peace and other impossibilities. I carried it to the elevator, but when I tried to go through the door with the book in my hands, I couldn’t. Some invisible barrier prevented me from taking it with me. Must be some sort of modern security device. If this room existed atop the old store, they must have access to the latest technology.

I boarded the elevator without the book with the intent on asking the old lady how much it cost. I’d pay her if I had the price and ask her to turn off the security system so I could take the book home. The elevator door closed and I heard the voice again.

“The text put down in that book are heaven’s words.”

I turned the handle to down and the cage room silently descended. I got out and rushed to the desk. “How much is that book upstairs?”

The old lady gave me a wary look. “We don’t have an upstairs.”

“Yes you do. Don’t you remember? I asked you how to get there and you pointed to the elevator.”

“You asked me where the bathroom was and I pointed to it.” She pointed to the elevator door. Was I going nuts? I opened the door to the elevator and the metal cage had changed into a bathroom with a cracked sink and a tile floor in need of a good cleaning. I couldn’t understand what happened. I wanted the book so badly that I’d do anything to gain possession of it.

I heard the voice again, “Only angels can read and understand the words in Voynich’s Manuscript.

Instinct to Kill

Instinct to Kill

Another sunny day in Arizona greeted me when I staggered through the sliding door to my patio where I sat and watched an ant that found some food. He stumbled around, signaling for his tribe to come to see what he had found.

Before any help arrived, he stepped onto a strand of spider silk. Like a sprinter the spider ran down the line and started a fight. Ants are strong and can lift ten times their weight, so I expected to see a knock down brawl, but the ant got rolled into a ball, and like a Christmas gift, it got covered with spider silk.

It did try to fight with all its might, but too late.  The spider dragged the prey up its web, all the while it probably dreamed of the gourmet meal it was about to have when it feasted on the ant who searched for something to eat, but was about to be eaten instead.

I thought it cruel, so I interfered and rescued the ant from the web and set it free. The spider spoke to me in an angry voice. “What right do you have to steal my meal?”

Spiders don’t have a voice, so I had to be imagining it was speaking to me when it jumped from its web onto my nose and took a bite.

“You taste better than any ant I’ve ever eaten so I think I’ll have another bite.”

I tried to raise my arm to brush it away, but the spider poison quickly spread, because my heart pumped twice as fast as it normally did. My knees gave way. I fell to the ground and paralyzed I could only watch as the spider wrapped me in shiny strands.

“Stop this,” I said. “Spiders don’t eat humans.”

“You stole my dinner,” the spider said, “so I’m having you instead.”

It spun some more spider silk around my arms that I couldn’t move. “You’re the first spider I’ve ever met that can talk. Let me go and I’ll make you rich and famous. You’ll never have to hunt again any food you want will be delivered on a silver tray.”

“If I let you go, how do I know you’ll keep your word?” the spider asked.

I rolled onto my back and broke a few strands of the web holding me. “If you become rich and famous, I will too.”

There are over 35,000 known types of spiders worldwide, but this toxic, talking one must belong to an undiscovered species. I’d never harm this talking spider. We’d be on television and maybe in the movies and I’d be known all over as the man who discovered an insect with human speech.

The spider ate through silk strands holding me so I could move and would have shaken its hand if it had one. I held out my hand for the bug to climb onto.

“If you’re going to take me somewhere, I want to travel first class,” it said.

I emptied out a box of wooden matches and put a few fallen leaves inside. “How’s this for a ride?”

It crawled around for a minute or two and said, “It’ll do for now.”

I found a theatrical agent named Brown on the internet and wrote down the address. No one would believe me. Brown would have to hear the spider speak. I went to the office at the address where a secretary sat at a desk.

“Is Mr. Brown in?”

“He’s at lunch, but you can wait in his office,” she said.

I went in and took the spider from the box and set it on top of the desk. “All you have to do is speak when I say so and our fortunes will be assured,” I told the spider who seemed to be having fun crawling around the stuff on top of Brown’s desk.

The door opened and a small round man came and sat behind the desk.

“What can I do for you?” he asked.

I wasn’t sure what to say. If I blurted out the spider could speak, he might throw me out without listening, so I said, “See that spider?”

Before I could move his fist crashed down and crushed the spider into a blot on top of his desk. “Got it,” he exclaimed.

Poem I wrote this from.

 

Nature’s Way

 

An ant walked across my patio

and found some food.

 

He stumbled around, signaling for his

tribe to come to see what he had found.

 

Before any help arrived, he stepped

onto a strand of spider silk.

 

Like a sprinter the spider ran

down the line and started a fight.

 

The ant got rolled into a ball, and like a

Christmas gift, it got covered with spider silk.

 

It tried to fight with all its might, but the spider

dragged the unfortunate ant up its web,

 

all the while dreaming of the gourmet meal it

was about to have when it feasted on the ant

 

who searched for something to eat,

but got eaten instead.

 

 

 

 

Who’s the Terrorist?

Who’s the Terrorist?

Agent Brank stood beside the President of the U.S. as he stood on a platform while campaigning in Minnesota during the coldest day on record.  A model airplane was thrown into the air by a spectator. It didn’t make a sound as it headed for the president.

Agent Brank had been anticipating that terrorist may try using a remote controlled airplane  in an assassination attempt. “Shoot it down,” she shouted into her mic and it echoed in every ear piece worn by her security team. The man who launched it turned and ran into a fusillade of bullets. The rooftop security aimed their automatic weapons at the craft and the trajectory of their bullets took them into the crown and spectators fell like bowling pins.

Agent Brank pushed the president to the floor and lay across his body to protect him from harm. The model plane flew by with bullets whizzing past it until it disappeared in a strand of trees.

The president brushed off his jacket after he got to his feet. “Was that necessary Agent Brank?”

“I thought it would explode when it got close, or fire a bullet at you.”

“Women never make logical decisions,” the president said. He turned to his chief of staff and asked, “How many are dead because she got alarmed about a toy airplane?”

“The numbers are coming in,” he said. “The good news is the guy who launched it is still alive and we’ve recovered the craft. It crashed into a tree.”

Ambulances took the wounded and 29 bodies away. The president finished his campaign speech for the benefit of the cameras because the spectators who could had fled when the shooting stopped.TV news didn’t show the president being protected by a woman because he claimed it was a matter of national security and any who showed it would be prosecuted.

“Was the remote controlled airplane armed in anyway?” he asked his chief.

“We’re questioning the kid who launched it. He took three slugs, two to his legs and one to his arm. He’s lucky to be alive. He claims he wanted to take a close up of you and the plane only had a camera on it.”

“You’re responsible because of your order to shoot it down, the president said to Agent Brank. When we get back to Washington you’re going to be replaced. Now get out of my sight. I’ve got to write a speech blaming terrorists for the carnage here.”

 

Agent Brank went to the hospital and took the suspect to a lake house her agents had been staying in. He was just a kid. But that didn’t matter. She had to prove he intended to kill the president or her career would be over. The kid was  claiming he didn’t do anything wrong.

“There’s no law against flying a plane,” he cried.

“I’d believe you if you had the remote. You just threw it into the air and someone else flew it. Isn’t that right?”

The kid stopped sniveling. “I must have dropped it when I got shot.” He rested his wounded arm on an armrest.

Agent Brank knew kids like him got brainwashed as soon as they began to walk. She’d find out who had the remote and what organization he was with if she had to torture him.

“What’s your name,” she asked the boy.

“Ronny.”

“Don’t make me hurt you, Ronny. Tell me who held the remote and what was your intention?”

“I told you. I only wanted a close up picture of the president.” He rubbed the bandages on his legs where bullets had passed through his thighs.

Agent Brank heard the emergency call from her earpiece. The president had collapsed and was being rushed to the hospital. She couldn’t wait for a prognosis. She had to get this kid to tell her what he did to cause it.

“Okay kid, I’m not fooling around. You’re going to tell me everything or you’ll suffer unimaginable pain.”

He stood on his wounded legs and spit in her face. “Fuck you. I’ve got nothing to say.”

She turned to her aid. Okay, do the 731 on this asshole.”

Her aid’s face showed his revulsion. Maybe if we tell him what 731 is, we won’t have to do it?”

“Okay tell him. Make it quick though.” She folded her arms showing her impatience.

“Listen kid,” her aid said in a soft voice. “731 stands for a Japanese unit that was established by order of Hirohito himself. They subjected people to vivisection and amputations without anesthesia. The prisoners were taken outside in freezing weather like we have here in Minnesota and their exposed arms were drenched with water until frozen solid. The arm would be amputated and the process repeated on the upper arm to the shoulder.

“Think about it kid, after both your arms are gone, we’ll move on to your legs until only your head and torso remain. Then we’ll inject you with an experimental virus that will slowly melt your nerves while you feel as though you’re burning in hell. So I suggest that you tell me what you know.”

The kid saw the skin melting off of Agent Brank’s face and laughed.

“The virus you threaten me with, my airplane carried a tank of it, and I have released it on you, her, your president and anyone within a mile of the release site.” The kid heard shouts coming over Brank’s ear piece.

“We found a tank the airplane carried and sent it to FBI headquarters in Washington for analyses.

The kid laughed hysterically as he muttered. “They’ll all be infected too.” Then he couldn’t say another word because his lips fell to the floor.

 

A True Friend

A True Friend

 

“We’re friends aren’t we, Joe?” Billy said just before he stole my girl. That was when I began to think that my dad was right when he always said, “The only friend a man has is the money in his pocket.”

My problem has always been not having any friends, in or out of my pocket. There were plenty like Billy who’d pretend to be my friend, but they always revealed their true intent when the time came. In search of a true friend, I went to the pound and found a dog that I thought would stick by me no matter what.

I paid the fee and got the dog as my own. It turned out he used me like all my other friends. He had an agenda of his own and ran away from home the first chance he got. I tried to befriend a cat, to no avail. I went to the Beehive bar and drank a lot of beer. I began to tell any who would listen how even my unfaithful dog had abandoned me.

A voice I didn’t know came from The End of the bar. “Hold on there, Joe. Don’t you dare go around badmouthing dogs. Did you ever think that dog you got from the pound may have had a reason to run away?”

“No, because I gave him everything a dog should need,” I hollered down the bar.

A monster of a man with a shaved head, tattooed neck and muscular arms stood up and lumbered from The End of the bar up to where I sat by the door. I was tempted to run out the door before he reached me. But my beer muscles had grown, so I convinced myself I could match his strength if it came to a fight.

I stood and grabbed my empty beer bottle by the neck, ready to smash it on his bald head. He strode up and we stood toe-to-toe, eye to eye, and he said in a growling voice, “Its people like you that require a dog to do things that aren’t natural.”

“Hold on there, King Kong, exactly what are you saying?” I eyed the door. If I hit him, I could probably make it to the door before he could respond.

“I’m saying that the dog that ran away from you only did what any true friend would do.”

“I’m not following you. If he was a true friend, why’d he run off?”

“I didn’t say he was your friend.” He stepped closer and our bellies touched. “I’m saying before he was put in the pound, he had a friend. In the dog’s mind, it was his duty to go and find the friend he already had not to make a new one and forget the old.

I sat on my stool. I never thought of it that way. So a dog really was a true friend. “You’re right,” I said. “Let me buy you a drink?”

“Before you do, you’ve got to know, when I imagine a dog, I see one designed by Giacometti and then I see one designed by god. Both are assigned to a man. A dog is intended to be desired and designated as a friend to be loved. Instead they’re forced to fight, forced to kill, forced to breed.”

“That’s not always true,” I said, but knew it was true, and I didn’t like to think about it.

“We’ve messed up the world and the lives of many dogs too.” The big man went back to The End of the bar and I watched him for a while.

I drank five more beers and kept my mouth shut while thinking about the lives of dogs. I noticed the big guy had grown hair all over his head. Why, even his tattoos were covered with thick black hair. I looked out the door and the full moon had risen.

I looked back in time to see he now had a beard and his mouth started to turn into a snout. “Give him a drink,” I told the bartender. He gave him a beer and poured it into a bowl. I watched in horror as he lapped the bowl clean with his tongue without ever touching it with his hands. I wasn’t surprised when I looked and saw his hands had become paws.

“Bartender, give me a shot of Jack Daniels to clear my head. I’m seeing a man turning into a dog.”

“Pay Rufus no mind. It’s that time of the month.” He gave me a beer on the house.

“Just a cotton picking minute, you mean to say this guy,” I pointed to the now hairy guy, “turns into a dog every month?”

“Only when the moon is full. If you notice, everyone but you has left.” He swept his arm and for the first time I noticed, every bar stool was empty.

“Why did they leave?”

“Nobody wants to be his friend when he changes like that. In fact you may stay, but I’ve got to go upstairs.” He went from behind the bar to the door leading upstairs.

Once he went through it, I heard locks snapping shut. It was just me, and a two hundred pound dog sitting in the bar now. I looked into the dogs round brown eyes and I felt love. I walked down the bar and ran my hand over his hairy head in a friendly pat. He lie on the bar and shook his leg as a signal for me to pat his hairy back. I did. A doggy smile lit his face.

He jumped up and licked my face. I finally found a friend. I scratched his neck and he rubbed up against me. Then he sniffed my hand in a friendly manner, then my crotch and butt. Before I knew it, he had me bent over a barstool and was humping away. No wonder he didn’t have any friends.

Japan’s sins

Special Japanese military units conducted experiments on civilians and POWs in China. One of the most infamous was Unit 731 under Shirō Ishii.Unit 731 was established by order of Hirohito himself. Victims were subjected to experiments including but not limited to vivisection and amputations without anesthesia and testing of biological weapons. Anesthesia was not used because it was believed to affect results.[49]

To determine the treatment of frostbite, prisoners were taken outside in freezing weather and left with exposed arms, periodically drenched with water until frozen solid. The arm was later amputated; the doctor would repeat the process on the victim’s upper arm to the shoulder. After both arms were gone, the doctors moved on to the legs until only a head and torso remained. The victim was then used for plague and pathogens experiments.[50]

Kindergarten Was Okay

Kindergarten was okay, but by the time I was in 1st grade I felt antipathy towards me from my teacher and my classmates. As a defensive mechanism I convinced myself I didn’t like them and didn’t need them. I became self centered and only loved myself. My family was just there to support me, not to share anything with.

Nobody liked me and I didn’t like anybody, so it worked out fine for me, until I broke the law by refusing to go to school. Sentenced to a year for that awful crime, I felt it was unjust. When I got released, I committed another crime. I got Drunk. Sentenced to serve another year, I knew I was right by hating everyone else and became a misanthrope.

When I got out I had to keep a job to earn enough to survive. I sought seclusion and came to the conclusion that life was an illusion, but that was a delusion, a misconception on my part. Insanity was an easy choice, but even with disordered reasoning I didn’t talk to myself, but while hallucinating I did speak to people I met inhabiting my solitary life. I found them much more amiable than those I met in real life.

Like a robot I went to work and existed in a sea of humanity that I hated and wanted to become a hermit and find a cave to live in. How would I survive if I did that? Getting food would be a problem. I didn’t know how to hunt or farm. How would I heat the cave and bathe. I didn’t have a choice I thought, but to exist in the hell I found myself in was unbearable being surrounded by stinking humans. One day I read about Pelican Bay Prison where they kept the prisoners locked up in solitary 23 hours a day.

I applied for a cell, but was turned down because I had committed no crime. I got drunk in the hope I’d get sent away, but all I got was a fine this time. My boss was a real jerk, always trying to be friends with me. I’d kill him. Then I’d be sent to jail and get a solitary cell of my own where I’d be served three meals a day through a slot in my door and never have to say hello.

I humanely killed my boss with hammer blows to the head and told the judge I was guilty and should be locked away from society and other prisoners or I’d do it again. My wish was granted, he sent me to Pelican Bay where I lived in a 6×9 foot cell and spoke with my friends while I hallucinated most of the day and always told them farewell at the end of the day.

Being locked away with all my needs taken care of makes me think that life is great and I pray every day that I never get out.

 

 

 

Walk In Soul

Walk In Soul

It was only yesterday when I fell into rapids that smashed me against jagged rocks. I thought it would be the day I’d die. My past life flashed through my mind and I shriveled up inside when I saw how rotten I’d been, and all the people I’d hurt, I thought it would have been better if I’d never been born. It would be a good thing if I died today. As soon as I had that thought the rapids ended and I walked to shore.

I survived but wished I hadn’t. When night came a lunar glow brightened the sky, and by the beams of moonlight I saw Indians dancing around a woman standing next to a campfire just below where I had landed.

Were they going to burn her at the stake? I stealthily made my way to the rocks around where they danced. If I could save a life, I might make amends for some of the bad things I’d done. I saw a medicine man mixing sweet smelling herbs and sage to drive out evil spirits and to banish them to a realm where they only existed in dreams, visions, or poetry.

He threw a handful of his mixture into the fire and it exploded like a stick of dynamite. The flames engulfed the woman. I picked the blanket from the ground the medicine man had been sitting on and ran to wrap it around the woman to put out the flames that were so hot I had to step back. I felt like a coward for not rescuing her, but when I looked into the fire I saw her luxuriating in the flames the way a woman would in a hot bath. She covered herself with burning embers and sighed in satisfaction.

A few days ago I was about to die of thirst and had a hallucination. I wondered if what I saw now was one. She turned her head and her burning eyes settled on me. She stood with flames sprouting from her hair, eyes and mouth. Standing in the center of the fire, she stretched her arms out, beckoning me.

I tried to turn away, but she had immobilized me. My feet began to move and I stepped toward the fire. “No, no.” I shouted, but my feet wouldn’t listen to me. They slowly carried me toward her waiting arms while the natives danced and beat their drums.

She held her hands up for me to stop and I couldn’t move a muscle. A shaman smudged my unmoving body with burning herbs to drive out any evil spirits I had possessing me. When he finished, the burning woman stretched her arms out in a welcoming sign. I couldn’t move, but something inside of me surged through my skin and took the form of a spirit. It floated toward the fire and I felt empty inside until a flame erupted from her and floated from the fire, burned through my skin and settled inside of me. My skin wasn’t damaged by the spirit leaving or the one entering me.

As soon as the spirit that left me entered the burning woman, she glowed brightly and floated to the sky. I believed I witnessed a star being born because she grew brighter and brighter as she passed by the moon and got as far as Jupiter before I lost sight of her.

My feet came unglued and I ran until I found a place to hide. For the first time in my life I felt at peace and enjoyed looking at the moon and stars. I searched for the star I saw born and wondered if the one flickering was it, but there were so many in the beautiful night sky, I couldn’t be sure.

I had such an urge to love everything that Mother Nature had made that I wouldn’t slap the mosquito drinking my blood or the ant crawling on my foot. I climbed from the canyon and for three days refused to eat any of nature’s creations. I came to a village where naked children ran in the streets. Stumbling from lodge to lodge I found the shaman. I explained how I’d been changed and didn’t think it right to take any life so I could survive.

“All of creation has life,” He said, “rocks, trees, mountains, and everything that is visible lives, is part of creation and has life which must be respected. The Great Spirit put everything here for a purpose and it’s okay to eat if you honor your food.

“Do you mean like a Christian saying grace?” I asked.

“No,” he said. “We thank our food before we eat it, not a God for providing it.”

I understood what he meant because I felt so differently about the world than I did before I saw a star being born. I looked into the shaman’s eyes and they grew bright with knowledge.

“Your soul was ready to go home, so you’ve been giving a new one to guide you the rest of your life,” he said.

“You mean I swapped my soul?”

“White man call it a ‘Walk in’”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Good Day to Die


A Good Day to Die

As I hiked through the Arizona desert looking for gold or other treasures my water and food ran out. As far as I could see the scrub stretched to the horizon. I trudged on and on until I saw a city lit up in the night directly in front of me. I broke out in a run, but the faster I ran, the further away the lights seemed to be. Was it a hallucination that filled my eyes? Exhausted I fell to the ground. My mouth was as dry as the desert sand.

Even if it was a real city in sight, without the strength to stand, I thought I’d die of thirst before I managed to crawl there. I closed my eyes and dreamed of a faucet in the sky that let cool running water drip onto my face. My tongue went between my lips like an animal leaving its den, and licked moisture from my face. I believed my imagination helped to make sand taste like water until I opened my eyes and saw an old Indian, I mean, an old Native American scooping out and squeezing the pulp of a prickly pear cactus over my face. He pushed the pulp in front of my face. I sucked it until it was as dry as the sand. He gave me more pulp and I sucked on it until I felt alive.

“Thank you,” I said.

He smiled and disappeared. Was he a mirage? Did I remember that prickly pear cactus had fruit I could extract water from? I had no answer other than I was alive and could make it to the city lights. My stomach cramped and I had a bout of diarrhea caused by the oxalic acid contained in the cactus I had eaten.

What my eyes had seen as a city turned out to be a small village, probably hundreds of years old where Hopi clowns were dancing around. My stomach hurt. I curled up and lay on the ground. Four young men carried me to a modest and soft spoken man. He wore a white lab coat with a stethoscope stuffed in one pocket. While examining me he avoided eye contact and spoke in the third person like any medicine man would. A woman, who acted as nurse wore a floor-length velvet skirt and was adorned with silver and turquoise jewelry, with her hair wrapped in a bun, she pranced in circles around me chanting and beating a drum.

“To chase the bad spirits away,” the doctor said when he saw the confusion on my face. He gave me some dried peyote and told me to chew on it until my pain went away. Before long I went into a dreamlike state and saw the land I had traversed from the eyes of another. I saw the Grand Canyon and its raging river crashing on rocks.

I acquired a spirit guide who took me down the canyon to the river’s edge where a canoe waited for me. Tired and in a trance, I listened to my spirit guide say, “Nobody ever falls out of their canoe.”

In my dream state, I got in the canoe and my guide pushed me into the fast flowing water that in my altered state, I saw in slow motion. I cruised along with ease until rapids approached, and like it had a mind of its own, the river sent me where I chose not to go.

My flimsy boat was pushed against rocks and the current flipped it over as though it was a twig. I bounced off rocks that lined the river bottom and spun round and round by the surging current that seemed intent on sucking me under. Instead of fear, adrenaline rushed to my brain and pleasure excited and allowed me to be thankful that I was still alive. I thanked the river for dumping me, but I held onto my overturned boat as it and I surged with the raging river.

I’ve seen this occur in movies before. The hero never died and neither would I. Me and my boat floated past the rapids and reached the rocky shore. I turned the canoe right side up and rowed on down the river, and hoped it would dump me again as I saw water smashed forcefully against jagged rocks and I thought  today may be the day I’d die, but I smiled because, it was a good day.