Saturday, April 20, 2019

What Is Here?


A Stone In The Circle
Chapter Three
What Is Here?

 

               I think about it and I stop my walk.  I note that I should remember that.  My heart beating is an involuntary muscle movement.  My pyloric sphincter expands and contracts in an involuntary muscle movement to transfer my partially digested food from my stomach to my small intestine.   My lungs bellow to breath in an involuntary muscle movement.

               But I remembered when I enjoyed a breath and my mind told my chest to breathe again, to savor that enjoyment.  I took that breath in a voluntary motion.  I now questioned myself, “Was my walking, before I thought about it and stopped walking, an involuntary muscle movement?”  So, was my not walking when I thought about it a voluntary muscle non movement?  That brought to mind that if I look around myself and set a goal and move my feet to walk to that goal, I interpret that walking as a voluntary motion.  Is my walking without thinking about it an involuntary muscle movement? 

               There appears to have been many occurrences of myself thinking about a direction or a goal and a part of my body, with reacting muscles, trying to obtain those goals.  I believe there have been so many of those occurrences that I do not notice the thinking anymore.  That tells me that so many things I believe I do involuntarily I really do voluntarily.  Does that mean that if I believe something, I do not think?

               Just like, I am.  I am here.  I know I am here, but do I really know where here is?  Definitely no.  So how can I know that I am here?  And I feel safe because other animate objects are so far away.  But that is what I think.  And it is not really what I think, it is what I believe!  So, I believed that there was no body near me.  No being in front of me.  No creatures around me.  I cannot say that that is what I thought.  Thinking was not involved.  No one around me is what I believed.  And now I am starting to think about it and I see things!

               I review my situation.  I am here, so that says there is both a me and a here.  That is not much to go on yet.  I see.  To me that means my eyes tell my brain that there are things in front of me.  That “in front of” implies that there is both a near and a far.  If something means something to me that implies that I think.  How about that!  It appears that I am thinking about this whole situation!  So here is both near and far.  I stomp my foot and cannot break through the ground.  That means to me that I am separate from what is around me.  Something in my mind tells me that things are both alive and not alive.  The brown sifty things.  The clumps of hard to soft not moving things, generally grey to brown to some pink and some white things.  They are not alive!  They are sand and soil and rock.  I notice things.  I am alive.  They are not alive.  They do not notice me!  I breath and I move and I steady myself.  Those green things, some with brown things, some with yellow things.  They move, in an anchored way.  They stand.   They crumble.  I react.  They do not react.  They are plants.  Above me, there are patches of related colors moving in a united, modifiable series of directions.  They are chemicals.  They are not alive like me.  They are not alive like plants.  They are like and not like rock and soil and sand and boulder.  They are clouds and they are many types.  I hear.  At first, I only thought that what I heard was me.  But then I noticed I was not the only thing.  But then I noticed that sound is not just mine.  Sure, I breath, I kick, I yell.  But the air that does not directly come from me makes sound too.  The rocks that fall and roll make sounds like when I stomp. 

               And above me I hear the whooshes, the swishes, and the caws and squawks and screes.  Some are melodious.  Some are chaotic.  Some are responses to others.  Some are directional.  They may contain chemicals but they are not just chemical.  They are not plants.  They grow and die and move both intentionally and unintentionally.  If they move intentionally then they must think about it.  It changes my feelings.  They think and I think.  Then I think that if I kick the ground I can dig into the ground.  If I kick the plant then I can kill the plant, or at least hurt it.  The plant or the ground cannot kick me.  But those things that are not plants and are not lifeless chemical solutions can think about things.  Right now, when I think about things, I end up kicking them.  If those things in the sky above, I tell myself to call them birds, if those birds were closer to me, whoever would think first would kick the other one.  Or, at least, that is what I think. 

               And then I look.  And then I hear.  And then I sense.  As in I sense heat, I sense cool, I sense smooth, I sense rough, I sense angles, I sense curves.  “Hey”, I try to get my attention, “if parts of your body sense something and your brain thinks about what you sensed and then you decide, you decide to react or not to react, you decide how to react, you decide what to attempt to sense for to assist the formulation of how you will react.  You Are Sentient!”  Therefore, I exist, I am somewhere, I notice what is near me, I notice what might be near me, I describe to myself what could be far away from me, I calculate one plus one, I move to avoid, I speak to be noticed, I hear to think.  I do all that to react.  Maybe if something is observing and deciding and reacting or not reacting, that thing could be sentient too!

               I convert my thinking to ideas that I am not alone.  I am not just surrounded by rocks.  I am not just surrounded by soil.  Hey, not fully thinking self, soil is not just an outcome of a chemical reaction.  Plants and animals, especially animals, form soil.  If soil is around me animals must be around me.    Plants I can currently put into the lesser active thought areas of my mind.  Animals is the general grouping that I need input for to make applicable decisions about my reactions to.

               And I emerge from my applications active brain to what I was tempted to call the real world, until I informed myself that I really am emerging into the summary of the data collected from my various points of acknowledged observances.

               First, I am in an avalanche.  Rocks.  Boulders.  Dust storms.  Swirl me, bump me, knock me over.  Then, it is the wind.  No, a gush.  No, a gust.  No, a tornado.  Tearing up sod and soil and pushing me around.  No, it was the rain.  Damp and humid and spewed splattered drops.  A monsoon with amoebas clinging, probing, encircling, stockading.  No!  I was Wrong!  It is a war.  A swarm of ants.  A sea of cockroaches, mice, opossums, feral dogs, wolves, Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

               After a forced breath.  I realize that those are things.  Things I reacted to like shards and scrapes and spalls.  I am hit by plumes, forced by the wind like a wall, with trees and spires and outcroppings in varied directions from my reddened eyes. 

               My mind reminds me that along with walking I kick.  Along with holding I punch.  Along with breathing I bite.  And with standing my ground I tackle.  And if I am sentient.  If I do these things because I am sentient.  And I am not alone.  What I finally see.  What I finally take in.  What is within walking distance, within a runners’ sprint, within a hill climb, within a jagged dash are other living moving reacting things.  If they can react, they can be sentient too!

              

               I tell myself to realize that just because I let myself live does not mean they will.  And they have will.  And they have words:

               “Look there.”
               “Stay away.”
               “Protect yourself.”
               “Some kind a nut.”
               “Call the cops.”
               “The army.”
               “Move along now.”
               “Nothing to see here.”
               “Hey, buddy.”
               “Are you okay?”
               “You need some water?”
               “Sit up.”
               “Hold still.”
               “That’s better.”
               “What’s your name?”

 

               I don’t run anymore.  I see.  I don’t see me but I don’t see rocks and birds.  They appear like me.  I feel threatened by some.  I feel questioned by others.  So, there is a miasma.  Then I think about it.  And I remember myself.  And I view parts of me on the beings around, interacting, ignoring, commanding, and existing with me.  If I start viewing them by building their descriptions from what I observed in the past they must be viewing me through a similar activity.  Some faces look friendly.  Some look mean.  Some look like they just could not care.  What they say to me follows the same filtration.  I am encouraged by the ones that produce sounds like words I noted as friendly in the past.  I am defensive with back up aggression to the beings that emit vocalizations similar to what I heard in past situations where I was hurt or forced or emotionally degraded.  I most easily accept beings whose actions are not surfacely discernable to myself.  If I don’t know what you are doing, I don’t care.  As this mode of observation continues my mind realizes more and more details of first the group, and then the individual outward appearances.  Skin color, hair, voice tone, clothing, height and other purely material showiness gives me identifiable groups.  Then with some work I acknowledge identifiable individual beings.  Then with even more work identifiable families.

               What am I capable of?  I put some thought into that.  I also put some thought into what I perceive.  What I perceive around me.  The more I look the more detail I admit. The more I admit, the more similar they are to me.

 

               They Welcome Me
               They Corral Me
               They Talk To Me
               They Yell At Me
               They Pet Me
               They Punch Me
               They Embrace Me
               They Wrestle Me

               I am energized.  They are energetic.  There is energy everywhere. 

 
 
               So, “What am I capable of?”  At first, I hid.  Then I destroyed.  If I could not destroy, I hurt.  If I couldn’t hurt, I helped.  If I can’t help, I could not care less.  I kicked the plants, I kicked the ground, I kicked the stones.  These beings could kick me.  At this point in time I did not know this situation enough to have other options available.  The only way, at this point in time, that I could help is that I do not attempt to hurt.  I wondered if all these beings understood that I am helping them by not treating them as boulders or plants?  I am still alive so they must be doing nothing to me either!  Or am I doing nothing to them because I cannot care about them?

               The energy.  I stepped.  I walked.  I ran.  I ran to escape.  I jumped.  Things exploded.  They flung me.  And I fell into my depression on the hill.  I rolled down.  I hit, kicked, turmoiled the rocks and sand and grist.  And now I barely see.  All around me glows.  All around me, and by around I do mean round as in my circle.  My circle within my circle.  That is round.  That is all around.  Sequence.  Circle.  The circle of life.  The circle all must obey.  And my only thought: “That number of Electrons.”

 

One Sodium Halite
Two Magnesium Dolomite
Three Aluminum Bauxite
Four Silicon Quartz
Five Phosphorous Apatite
Six Sulfur Galena
Seven Chlorine Pyromorphite
Eight Argon Feldspar

 

               Those rocks.  Tumbled by my fall.  The needs of the electrons.  I can’t leave an empty circle.  I am between on and off.  I am between here and there.  I grab them and place them in.  I do not know where, but they are in the places in the circle.

               And I see again.  And I think again.  And I am again.  And I ask:

               “How are things?”

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Where Is Here?


A Stone In The Circle
Chapter Two
Where Is Here?

 

               I tell myself that my eyes are open.  I accept that I have thoughts about what I perceive.  I also accept that I have thoughts about how I perceive.  I accept that I perceive that there could be multiples of each.  To me, I currently think that what I “know” is at least partially based on the precept affected by how I perceive, let alone by the possible multiples of what I perceive.

               Given all of that, a big decision being arbitrated by my mind at this period in time is “Where am I?  What am I?  Who am I?”  Now that may sound like multiple questions, but it is not.  In its way it is just one.

               So, if it is true that my eyes are open, then I want to put some effort into interpreting the lights and darks and shades and colors of the particles funneled by my lenses into what was submitted to my mind as a wording of what is in front of me.  However, if my eyes are not open, then I will just make up a description of my current environment instead of making up an interpretation of what I think I see of my environment.  It is just a one layered difference of a multilayer perceptron of saccadic readings.

               Things move in the direction of what I feel comfortable as being called left and right.  With the entire view moving I do focus somewhat more clearly on two paralleled centers (the optical center of the left eye and the optical center of the right eye) in the area that I feel is forward, with less focus, less clearing as distance spreads outward, especially outer left and outer right. Somewhere in my memory I bring up the difference of this movement from the movement observed of an object in front of me, the object moving left and right, not me turning my head left and right accepting visions of this world.  In that such a case the object usually is less focusable and sometimes viewed as multiple fading pictures moving in an arced or waved path from my steady focal point.  To put this thought into words that I do not fully comprehend how I came to this conclusion: My head is moving in a left to right and back again motion viewing my horizon along with paying somewhat attention to my peripheral vision.  I tell myself that this is my head moving because if it was something viewed in front of me moving, then I would have more difficulty keeping visual details focused, while that object would fall back into being interpreted as black and white or dark and light individual pictures displayed in overlapping sequence across my line of sight.

               I start feeling a slight definition of self.  I slightly feel this self as centered and inward, or towards “me” from those visuals that I am viewing.  I also somewhat notice a barrier: that sensing, heat and cool sensed physicality as a bubble in which I distantly consider “myself” as the occupier of its center.  Then, if I wait a “quieting” second, whatever a second is, I notice sounds.  I hear buzzes and swishes in various degrees from near quiet to “normally” loud.  Again, those outside attributes which I somehow think of as calling sound are originating from that same area as that outward horizon, along with those heats and colds and firm stoppages of movements.  Whatever I am, I am me.

               For now, I will accept that there is me.  I seem to think that there is me, kneeling with hands steadying that pyramid of my limbs on the lower side raising to my steadied head in towards the upward reaches above this firmament of what I call ground.  I look around and I see a circle with steadily spaced stones.  I am inside that circle.  That circle is sequentially, parallel, inside another circle.  And green growths, plants as opposed to animals, define the wall of that outer circle.  Past that wall there appears to be a steady claiming of small plant life, stopping at an upper rim.  I view some light from that upper rim.  Transporting that light is what I think of as sky.  That sky is mainly blue possessing various shadings along with some white to grey physical patches (as opposed to just clear tinted nothingness).

               I stand.  And coming from that same source as “my eyes are open” and “I am me” and “there is an outer world”, I am impressed with the thought, “Remember what I see now.  Remember where I am.  Two things to remember.  Two things to not tell anybody.”

               I cautiously look above that rim.  There is a continuation of green, small vegetation blanketing outward from that ground bulge I found myself in.  When I view towards the horizon, I notice random linear like objects anchored in the ground and sticking upwards.  Most of those observables are vegetable related, however a few are not.  I would call those others rocks and boulders and chunks of change resistant dirt building blocks.

               In one quick look it appears a steady green covering with the occasional stick or stack.  If I allow myself a brief period of time to compare a few of the individualistic particles of vision I tell myself that I see different plants possessing different shades of green and the occasional statement of other colors.  They move in the wind.  Look at me, I now notice wind!  And, outside of the rock intrusions, intermixed in the flooring are different soils.

               A bit, off, into the distance I notice a remembrance of my not to be divulged circle boundaries.  It looks like two or three.  They are not specific lineage but are interpreted by my mind as inaccurate arcs and wavings maintaining general directivity.  One winds and goes that way. One curves to avoid outcroppings and goes the other way.  The third genetically attempts a from there to there attitude.  They provide for me an emotional feeling that I can tell where I am with regards to where different parts of them are.  I will call them paths because I have the idea if I know where I am and I know where something is out there, various paths may enable me to go to where I want to go.  They do intersect with each other on occasion.  Parts of them have a yellowish tint.  Some patches I call brown.  There are also the blacks and the greys.  

               I take a breath.  I feel a few slight warmths accumulating on different body parts and a few losses of random warmths where local breezes meandered across my right arm or the back of my neck.  While losing thoughts about that breath, I step non thinkingly along, onto one of those “paths.”  I step now in an automated fashion, possessing the thought that I have a destination, but not really putting much value to it.

               The green viewables around me sway.  When attention is brought to my cheek, I feel a slight touch, with both its momentary impression and its slight heat possession, of the surrounding atmosphere.  When I just now looked above, I had to tell myself to agree to the fact that I saw movement.  What could be moving up there?  There are many of those whats and they are not all in unison.  When I focus, I see those moving shapes and their colors.  Some are related.  There are various sizes too.  And there is something else I am allowing myself to state that is there.  It is not sight.  Some sites are in the beginning of being established.  It is not a blockage feeling or a heat feeling.  That I have acknowledged enough so far that I can acknowledge it again.  But what is it?  It is sound.  Related to those colored individual but varied designs moving at determined but not knowledgeably, to me, patterns above me I appreciate this newly observed dimension of sound.

               I breathe without thinking, but when I think about a particular breath, I can appreciate several of these new things that I can now observe.  I walk without thinking and I do not fall down.  I look, and chose, as to whether I am looking without thinking or thinking about what I am looking at.  I just took another, joyful, intentional breath.  I can think without thinking!  Or, at least, I think so.

               Another thought just injected itself into my mind.  This thought was paired with that previous “Two things to not tell anybody” thought.  I thought that, before much time and distance goes on, I should look back and see/set in my mind where that circle within a circle is.  And then I looked.  And I looked hard.  And I now hope I could find it.  If I did not know it was there, I would not know it was there.  All I can see from here is a slight green hill.  There is no path.  There is no circle.  There is just outward, common, green.  A multi-hued sky above, a mixed green, brown, grey below, heading off to the horizon.  Some bumps and past swirled toppings. A few independently swirling things above.  And if I allowed myself, I notice whooshes and shhhs and clicks and awes moving past my ears that I can occasionally allow in.  Even hidden back further in my mind are the temperature differentiations and brushes from soft to pin pricks to jabs back again to soothing flows across my fingers, my legs, the back of my neck, and arms.

               So, I subconsciously notice me.  That establishes the ability for me to know that there are other solids to liquids to gases things continuing in all directions from me.  I made the conscious choice to look back and attempt to tell myself I remember or know how to get back to where I started this visitation from.  There is me.  There is where I came from.  I told myself not too long ago there where objects moving with their own energy supplies in the directions, they want instead of have to, moving far above me.  I tell myself it has to be far because my mind finds no memorable details with which to recall any specific object in those “flying” groups.  I also hear things.  These things may be originating from my own physical interaction with what is around me.  These things I hear may also be part of a natural, non living physical reaction of various parts of my current environment with itself.  Heat makes things expand.  Air movement parallels other air movements building and redirecting several secondary outcomes of those airs moving.  If there are other things alive around me.  Vegetable and not vegetable.  And they possess the tools to express themselves in ways my ears can acknowledge then I believe I hear those things far above me and those vegetables nearer and on the ground around me. 

               Redundantly I am me.  Rocks and plants are on the ground around me.  Animals and chemicals are moving randomly and intentionally at far distances above me.  I feel safe, relatively, with this sighting.  I would not intentionally hurt me.  Things nearby are chemical and not knowledgeably attacking me.  Air is close in definition to ground and is not intentionally existing to hurt me.  Plants could not care less whether I was there or not, in other words plants also do not act against me.  But, frighteningly, I hear sounds. I cannot just notice myself, and weeds, and far away things.  Near me.  Here.  There!  And also, there!  There are moving, action enabled, living, possibly thinking things.  And not necessarily just things such as worms underground or birds in a bush (where did I hear birds from?  Oh yeah, above my head.  If there are/could be birds there are/could be other living, animated things.)  There are things moving, purposeful, and noticing, and possibly understanding what is in front of them things!.  And I force myself to admit that these things, at least some of them, could have similar capabilities that I have.  I force myself to question:

               “What am I capable of?”

Saturday, April 6, 2019

A Stone In The Circle


A Stone In The Circle
Chapter One
What Do I Perceive?

 
               I parked my car and stepped into the field.  The road is to my back.  I hear voices to my right.  I turn left.  Not slow but steady, I go.  I cannot run.  I feel no impulse to run.  I can or cannot do something because of my feelings.  My ankles have been broken in the past.  I feel pain when I move them with speed.    In my heart there is no urge to change my position quickly.  There is a dual purpose, that is why I “cannot” run.  Instead, I step.  I step from the field to the trees. 

               Those sounds I hear.  The sounds I acknowledge.  They are from what we know.  I hear a creaking of a door.  I hear a child laugh at someone’s pain.  I hear the tapping of an impatient foot.  I hear a heating system and a rush of water clearing a pipe.  I know, I acknowledge, I allow myself to hear those noises. I do not hear that snake whose chest scales grip and push the ground beneath the multi-used tunneled parting of the grass and weed undergrowth.  That is how they move.  Across the ground, around the post, precise, fast, controlled.  That is why their legs are vestigial.  I might mistake the snake for an occasional rustle because its movement reminded me of papers shuffling. 

               I do not hear the reach of a green vine nestled in the bark of an elm.  That vine has dark green leaves that are in their steady place.  Once they opened there, opened into the light, they do not expand.  But that underlying, directing, reaching vine, itself.  That vine is in the shade, the dark.  It is under that leaf, hidden from the sunlight.  It made its way through the cracks of the elm bark. 

               Sunlight stops a plant from growing.  Yes, it does.  That dark green of its leaf is facing the sun.  It is gaining what it wants.  It is catching, absorbing the life light.  Why should it change its size?  It is working.  The vine underneath it.  That vine in the dark.  That is where the growth occurs.  That is where the want is.  That vine, those reaches along the base of the elm root, grows because of that dark.  This growth found the part of the elm trunk that received the most, the steady, the daylight.  The dark green leaf opened because of that light.  That dark green leaf was pushed because the vine was not in the light.  Light green grows from the dark.  Dark green steadies.  Dark green absorbs. 

               Energy, photons join the steady structured dark green leaf.  The light green underside, the underside that fulfills the atmosphere with released oxygen, oxygen released to join the wisps and curls you feel, the air, released also from the carbon atoms so growth can occur.  Carbon is not released from the vine so it can grow.  Oxygen is released from the leaf so I can inhale, breathe, and grow. 

               The underside of that leaf grows while its above side does not.  What happens then?  The light grey colored underside expands while the dark green top does not, causing the peripheral edges of that leaf to curl under.  More dark green exposed to the sun’s mid-day light.  Attached to that underside of that growing, warmth gathering leaf is it’s supporting pale green vine.  The vine in the dark.  The dark that makes it grow.  Some more non dark green growth pushing the non growing dark green leaf topping higher, directed towards the light of the east to west moving sun.  That is why plants move.  That is why leaves look for the sun. 

               That is why leaves face the sun.  Leaves turn towards the sun.  How does a field of sunflowers turn all of its faces during one day to look at that sun?  Its stalk that is in the light does not grow.  The side of its stalk that is not in the light does grow.   It grows enough that it moves.  It follows the sun.  And I do not hear that growth, that turning, that reaching because I do not know that stalks, vines, shoots, leaves do that.  My mind does not acknowledge their sounds available to my ears because I cannot compare and claim to know the sound of a growing, life seeking plant.

               I do not hear the sound of the eroding of stones from the hill I had walked.  Those stones being blown by wind and hit with dust.  I mistake at times, not often, those slight continuous wavering “shhhhhhhhhh” whisperings going past my ears in the background to my current path, but I do not realize that sound, so I do not hear, realize that it is those quartz dots and feldspar bits flung by that wind brushing, whipping, cracking the clumps and slates and pebbles and rocks.  I do not hear it because I do not picture and connect in my mind a slight breeze whose accompanying gravity with the kinetics of particle movements are the reality, and not the reminded sound of a curtain shake such as when my bedroom window is open.  The slight rustles I think I hear, which I mistake those real outdoor sounds for.

               I step continuously from some trees to many trees.  It is shade, it is dark.  Trees above and trees in all directions of my sight.  There, under limb and leave blanket, the untamed grass ground coverings change to sprouts and clumps with open dirt and tread upon rocks.  I cross many curves in an area’s stream. 

               I see light.  I resist gravity.  I step upward.  It is a hill.  Steady knee striding forward I go.  And I enter an open six and a half foot almost circular area with hardened sand pocked silt that no roots dare cross. 

               Rocks of individualist colors three inch by six-inch rough packets mimic that outer plant circle, a foot and a half radius shorter than that outer boundary.  I am standing there.  I am in the center of a twenty foot radius depression.  I can imagine it as a popped pimple.  I had to walk up a hill to get here.  Grass and weeds and limbs and shoots.  Those limbs are elms and oaks, not Harvey nor Ellen.

               I look centered.  I look at that circle within that circle.  Eight rocks, in a circle.  Equally spaced so there is no beginning to end.  To understand I must make a beginning.  To think I realize I must make an end.  I step to the middle of that circle.

               I am weird.  I know that.  Look at all that talk I went through about not knowing what I am hearing and intentionally mistaking a snake slither for some letters slipping into a mail box.  Plant sounds are all around me and I cannot perform a simple addition of one plus one to give me the two of a world-wide every second real thing just because I do not have a comparison to something us humans do and falsely claim that actual life is this made up human thing.   I am weird also that I carry a Brunt Compass so I can know what direction I am looking at instead of getting on google from my overpriced game playing phone. 

               I stand in the middle.  I find magnetic North.  I kneel on my right leg and look forward.  Ahead, directly North is a rock.  My head turns right, in the direction of East and there is another rock.  There is one between these two.  I stand again.  All the rocks, all those eight rocks are equally spaced around this circle.  I can order these now.  I can feel false understanding now.  The North rock is my number one.  Forty-five degrees and I have number two.  East is number three.  South is number five.  West is number seven. 

               And again I kneel.  And again I look.  Rock number one is Halite.  Rock number two is Bauxite.  Number three is that lead ore, Galena.  Number four is Feldspar.  Number five is Pyromorphite.  Number six is Apatite.  West, number seven, is Quartz.  Northwest is Dolomite.  Eight rocks, and I know a chemical that is a known component of these rocks.  Halite is Sodium.  Bauxite is Aluminum.  Galena is Sulfur.  Feldspar, a major source of Argon.  Pyromorphite has chlorine.  Apatite contains Phosphorus.  Quartz carries, what else, Silicon.  And good old common Dolomite and its Magnesium that nature used to change it from Limestone.

               As I said, I am weird.  Here I am thinking eight rocks, eight minerals, eight elements.  And my weirdness tells me eight electrons.  The number of electrons in those elements’ outer shells.  What stood out was Sodium and my mind echoed Argon.  Sodium has one outer electron.  Eight electrons are steady.  One electron wants seven more.  Two electrons want six more.  Three electrons, well, you do the mathematics.  I have eight rocks, eight elements, one is Sodium, eight is steady, Argon is steady, eight electrons in its outer shell.  An inert gas, a Nobel Gas. 

 

The rest came quickly:

1             North                   Halite                   Sodium                 One Electron
2             North East          Bauxite                Aluminum            Three Electrons
3             East                      Galena                 Sulfur                    Six Electrons
4             South East          Feldspar               Argon                   Eight Electrons
5             South                    Pyromorphite     Chlorine               Seven Electrons
6             South West         Apatite                 Phosphorous      Five Electrons
7             West                     Quartz                  Silicon                  Four Electrons
8             North West         Dolomite             Magnesium         Two Electrons                  

 

               I know these rocks.  I feel their energy.  Eight rocks for the eight elements for the eight places from unstable to stable.  From Sodium to Argon.  These rocks remind me of life.  Life is vast.  Life is varied.  I grew up with a brother.  My neighbor grew up without a brother.  I speak English.  The pizza delivery guy speaks Hindi.  My hobby is photography.  The guy three blocks over plays golf.  The older I get the more differences I notice in the people, in the neighborhood, in the world.  Difference is existence.  And I had a thought.  These eight elements.  How many combinations can I make with eight elements?  If we were younger.  If we were more stupid.  If we thought the only elements were Earth, Wind, and Fire.  How many combinations can you make with that?  It is more than three.  That is three times two times one.  That is six.  But here, in this circle within a circle, hidden from the natural world, hidden from the human world.  Here there are eight rocks with eight elements with eight numbers of electrons in their outer shells.  That is eight times seven times six times five times four times three times two times one.  Forty thousand three hundred and twenty combinations.  And my little hidden corner on the earth is just one. 

               So, I was kneeling there.  And I was thinking.  And I decided to try something.  Quartz is one of my favorite crystals.  Quartz has color.  It has smooth, growing sides.  Its crystals are twinned.  They cannot exist without it.  But you have to look for it.  You are on a beach in Florida and you are enjoying the sun and are about to swim in that buoyant, awakening, I am glad I am here water.  What is under my feet?  Quartz.  I also like fossils.  Plants, and animals, life existed for longer than my brain can comprehend.  And just because a breathing, growing, living thing had died.  It is not like that thing never existed.  We can still know a community.  A man with a chisel is not the only thing that can shape a stone.  I do feel that seeing Chief Crazy Horse does good honor.  All of life needs to be honored.  Limestone has honored living things long before man put tools to stone.  And the world changes.  Many fossils started in Calcium Carbonate and the environment altered them to Dolomite.  It is still a good honor.

               So I reached to the West and grabbed the Quartz.  While holding it, my other hand connected to the dolomite.  I pulled.  I held them.  I saw them.  I switched them.  And they were part of the circle within the circle again.  And I was encompassed with the dichotomy of heat and ice.  Dark and stark light.  Solid and freefall.  Noise that is silence.
               Where am I?  Where in the forty-thousand-three-hundred-nineteen am I?     

Saturday, March 30, 2019

I Am Needed


               When I was a child my parents were always on my case.  “Day after day I gotta tell you to pick up your toys.”  “Week after week I gotta tell you to clean up your room.”  “Month after month I gotta tell you to take a bath.”

               Aw, come on now.  I play with the damn toy.  Tomorrow I’ll play with it again.  Why should I pick it up if I’m just going to pick it up again?  Clean up my damn room!  I put those pants there for a reason.  If I ever needed them again, they would right be there in plain sight.  Sure, when my underwear and sox and candy bar wrappers cover those pants, they won’t be in plain sight anymore, but, if you cannot see them why should I go through all that trouble to fold them and put them away?  You wouldn’t even be able to tell if they were there!  I know I can’t tell.  And I don’t even know how to fold anyway.  Take a bath!  Take a bath?!  What, is one missing?  I can’t tell if I need a bath.  If I can’t tell then you can’t tell either.

               And then those stupid kids on the block.  “Catch that ball!”  “Throw that ball!”  “Hit that ball!”  I could care less.  I’m always the last one picked for the team so why should I try to do any of that stuff.  And with football it is just a bigger ball.  And I don’t want anyone running into me.  When I was younger, I was so small they would just run me over.  I didn’t want to have to put up with that until I was older and big enough to run the younger ones over.  And now don’t get me started about hockey.  First, I’d have to take the time to tape up my stick.  Then, I’d have to go out in the cold.  And do you really expect me to learn how to skate?

               School was even worse.  The bell rings and some big Dumbo teacher is asking if I am here.  What does she think?  I wouldn’t even bother to answer.  “Sit at your desk!” “Line up along the wall!”  “What is one plus one?”  “Diagram this sentence!”  Lady, I diagramed you alright and you sent me to the principal with my diagram.  That was the best way to get an education.  Word spread among the teachers and then the schools.  They learned.  If they failed me then they had to put up with me again the next year.  So, they just passed me.  They didn’t even waste time grading my tests or looking at my homework anymore, if I even did any homework.  My high school learned from my grade school that I am educated enough.  They just let me come and go as I pleased.  The less they asked me questions in class, the less they saw me in class, the less they’d be laughed at by me bending over and pulling down my pants in class.

               I was stupid in school and would not even try to work with other students.  I just didn’t care.  So, I had bad grades.  Scribbling was good enough for me.  My teacher would ask me, “The answer to number four is ‘The League Of Nations.’  I can’t read your chicken scratches.  What did you write?”  I said, “Whadda Ya think.  What you said.  That ‘leg of whatever.’”  Hell, as a kid I couldn’t even learn how to ride a bike and now I’m supposed to memorize what some jerks from some other countries did before I was born.  Gimmea break.

               I got through grade school.  I got through high school.  Did you think my parents were going to waste all that money on me going to college?  I couldn’t have cared less and they couldn’t have either.  And then my parents began telling me to get a job. “Go out. Find some work.  You lazy bum.”  And I did go out.  I did it my way.  I got hired and fired.  Hired and fired.  What’s the use?  

               Then, there, finally, was work.  It turned out that my uncle owed my father because Daddy saw Uncle Ron out at a bar with his new secretary.  That was when Ronny Boy was supposed to be at some office safety seminar.  Daddy didn’t tell Aunt Lucy.  Mom was getting mad at Daddy for being at the bar, again, as usual.  “And who were you with?!”  Daddy didn’t answer that time.  Instead he said, “I went to that lounge for us.  I knew Ron would be there.  And who he would be with.  And what he was doing.  I told him I won’t tell if he did something for me.   And then he said that Jeff can have a job on the loading dock.  He’ll pay Jeff minimum wage.  Then Jeff can move outta the house.  We can finally be rid of him.”  Mom liked that.  She didn’t even notice the lipstick on Daddy’s collar, this time.  By the way, I am Jeff.

               So, I moved out to my own place.  I went to work each day.  I had to.  They have a time clock.  They don’t have a loading dock though.  I’d just find a place to sit and read my comic books.  I got myself a cell phone I can play games on.  And now I don’t need to pick up those damn toys anymore.  That phone is always in my pocket.  I’d take a bath once a month, the same time I’d wash my clothes, if I remembered.  It helps to keep those jerks away at work.  “Get me some notebooks.” “Mop that floor.”  “Bring this note down to the factory.”  After a while they noticed that I smell and started staying away from me.  Before that started, before they knew that I’m the smell, I would tell them “My uncle Ron owns this business so you can’t tell me what to do.”  

               This went on for a while.  People ignored me in the apartment building, too.  As long as I paid my rent that landlord ignored me.  No one knew me on the block.  I could go anywhere and not talk to nobody.  Not that I would go anywhere.  I watch TV.  I eat.  I work.  Or at least I claim that I do.  I just play games.  And sleep.  Sometimes all at the same time. 

               I’d hear people talking though.  You hear it enough and you remember it sometimes.  Like when my neighbors were talking to each other mentioning something about people not paying their rent and then they are missing from their apartments.  They also mentioned these people from down the block who are missing.  I’d see police lights flashing and hear the sirens.  These were people no one cared about either.  The one time the guy next door talked to me he asked, “When are you going to be missing?”

               I just ignored him and went back into my room.  But this was odd.  And it got me to thinking.  Yes, me thinking is odd!  It got me to thinking, “When will I be kidnaped?”  And it got me to thinking “Am I the kidnapper?  Am I the one kidnapping these others?”  See how well I think?  It’s a good thing I don’t need to do that.

               And then it happened!  Aliens!  I got farmed!  I got farmed by a civilization that breathes in the carbon.  That carbon transported to them by my exhaled carbon dioxide.  My carbon is carried through their arteries surfing on that ammonia carrying those needed pieces of carbon.  Graphite.  Diamonds.  Coal.   

               After their various organs extract those carbon particles their filtered remaining ammonia cycles back to their lungs to be interspersed again with their reaped carbon molecules, carbon sheets, diamond crystals and micro sized carbon strings.

               Sodium chloride, potassium chloride, hydrogen chloride:  The Food Of Life.  Chlorine is the energy these beings consume.  Salt and Acid, that is their foods so they can live.  They poop out sodium and potassium and they fart oxygen.  And when they fart, they run because that oxygen, those atoms reaching, yearning, demanding.  Each oxygen atom demands two electrons.  Those electrons are taken from the carbons.  That oxygen, to them, is breathe taking.  It does, really, take their breath away by electron bonding with their lung needed carbon.  And when your breath is taken away, you die.

               They are from another planet.  It wasn’t quite a ship or a flying saucer that they came in.  Although one did look like there a silo.  We were the crop they picked and they used their Tractor Beam to stow us on board.  On board their vessel called the SS John Deer.  John, as in Sir John Harington, the inventor of the flushing toilet.  And I really do mean John as we all went potty.  Welcome aboard.

               At the end of that ride, that ride that had us all feeling nervous and perspiring, they must have seen that we were soaking wet.  That must be why, when we landed, that they took us to their Water Treatment Facility.  We were the crops that they gave their craps to.  Just like one of our farmers spreading cow manure in his fields of lima beans. 

               But in this Water Treatment Facility, I feel special.  This is a great place.  It is now my community.  And it really is upper class.  It is an Effluent Community.  Talk about your La De Das.  I started feeling so at home in this Facultative Lagoon.  My guts were just bursting with encouragement.  And those bursts have to go somewhere.  For the first time in my life I fought my way to the top.  Boy, I soon found myself at the top of this heap.  The top of this heap of fightoplankton, or is that phytoplankton.

               Yes, they farmed me.  Just like they dug up Fred, from down the block.  Alice, in the apartment building, from the floor above me, was harvested too.  And there was Jim, Jim who worked at my uncle’s factory.  He too was picked.  Just like I, I was uprooted.  So there we all went, piled high, into those aliens’ combine.  Fred, Jim, Alice, and I were planted, demanded, required, and patted down to keep them aliens alive.  We earthlings breathe in their alien farts, our oxygen.  Their farts are piped into our mouths, piped down our throats, into our brachia, all to fill our lungs.  A second pipe also goes down our mouths.  It goes into our stomachs, it eliminates their unwanted, our delicious, our wanted, mixtures, their sewages of nitrogen, potassium, and magnesium.  And, our noses are hosed.  Those hoses are their reapers, their pickers, their threshing machines.  That hose hunts and gathers our exhales.  That hose gives them their life, their breath, our carbon dioxide.

               I think back.  My dad said I was a loser.  My mom called me useless.  My grade school principal shook his head in disgust and he did not want to waste his valuable fifth grade teacher’s time with her putting forth any efforts to get me to spell “simile” as she smiled snidely.  I wasn’t worth it.  But I really am worth it.  I am valuable.  I really am required.  I am needed by these guys for them to stay alive.

               I am happy with this situation.  The others, Fred, Jim, and so on, however, are not happy.  Not happy that they were kidnapped.  Not happy that they now recycle these aliens’ waste.  They are not happy and they are mad at me for being happy.  For the first time in my life I am truly happy.  I know that I am worthy.  And they are worthy too! 

               But they do not realize their self-worth.  Alice, en masked.  Alice in tubes.  Alice who for once I could see as my partner in life.  Me partnering with anybody?  That sure was a big change.  But Alice does not make any cents out of that.  And that Alice just looks at me with her “I would be so much better off dead” look.  She spits out, “You are stupid!  Don’t you know what’s happening to us?!”

               And I say to her steadily, “You are just like my father.  My mother.  My teachers.  You are just like the whole world.  Our whole world.  For once in my life I am needed.”