Wednesday, July 04, 2012


In days of old I would venture out to Fair Grove to Smitty's place on this holiday and shoot mortars like a madman. Smitty, Teem, Danny, Nate, Don ... the cast of characters sometimes shifted from year to year, but the event remained the same. A little food and a lot of explosives. God, good times.

Life intruded on our fun time and the Fair Grove fireworks display is no more. The fact came to mind this morning as I thought about change and its awesome power to stagger.

I always assumed we'd have the Fourth at Fair Grove; I think everyone in our circle thought the same thing. Knowing that it's gone forever is hard to take; once you believe something is a permanent part of life, it's almost impossible to remember existence before the rise and fall.

I can't really conjourn up life before the stroke — I mean, I recall events with excellent clarity, but the feeling of being bulletproof is gone, replaced with a growing awareness that I have entered Act 3 of my life and I'd better get to writing one helluva climax to this play. It's a much different landscape than the one I traveled for Act 2 — hell, Act 3 is a barren land right now, populated only by ghosts of the past and strangers I've yet to meet. As is true with the fireworks at Fair Grove, much of my life before May 5 is dead, like the disappearing dreams of yesterday.

I do not wish this to be true. But I can only control the choices in my power; if someone else decides they can't be in the same room with me because I have no appeal, no attraction, and being around me makes them queasy ... well, the knife plunges from stomach to spine but there is nothing to do except swallow hard and try to figure out a way to keep my dignity mostly intact. It's fine. I'm fine. A little amazed, perhaps, but fine.

Change and its awesome power to stagger: the key for me is to stay on my feet. I may feel like my lights have been punched out — I may feel like I'm wobbling on legs of jelly — but I can't allow myself to fall onto the ring's canvas deck.  I can't lose hold of my holy grail. The peace I hold in my hands may seem sturdy, but it'll be in pieces if I don't push ahead.

I must not lose hope, even when faced with such a seemingly hopeless situation. My only solution is to live Act 3 with great flourish and no fear — a badass bacchanal to cover the ruins of things I always thought would be permanent.

Like the prisoner in the Allegory of the Cave in Plato's The Republic, I am ignorant of what I thought I knew. I won't show my ignorance, or admit the meaningful nature of all that I've lost: You're the sun and you shine on me.

I feel free.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

rondavis, I fully expect an invite to the badass bacchanal. Is It clothing optional?