Invisible life force. Unseen to the human eye, except in winter. Foggy breath exits my hesitant nostrils and mouth as my legs go numb and nose gets cold. Shivering snowflakes fall in a rhythmic pattern. Barbed wire frozen to the core. Blue lips, alone in the dark. Human self-made wind life force. Through tunnels and fans. Through my lungs. It hurt a first. Atrophied pulmonary devices pumping oxygen at greater volumes than before. The first time I meditated. It was like I didn’t know my own lungs’ capacity. The air pressing against hesitant cilia, damaged by a few years of welcome smoke. Taste of foreign dust. A muscle I forgot how to use. Hurt to swell. Swell to hurt. I forgot how the body is a temple, a kingdom. It should be treated as such. On a plane, then balcony. Starting my first simple steps of meditation, except every time is the first time, you know?
Family vacation trip to New Hampshire a few summers back. Climbing heights and breathing in that fresh, evening mountain air. It was unlike everything I had ever experienced. The air was clear and sweet. Passed through my lungs and bloodstream faster than ever before, with such fervor I inhaled. The next week in Cape Cod, breathing in that evening shoreline off Hyannis. Made you want to be a Kennedy. Simpler times made more complicated by choice.
Feeling the breath flowing through me in downward dog and when it gets harder I breathe deeper and louder and with intent. I do not care what anyone thinks, because if anyone pays me mind that person is doing themselves a disservice by not focusing on their own breath.
Microchip harmony creates pleasant result. Little cities live inside computer towers and laptops. Disc to drive to installer. I’ve done this a hundred times before, if not more. I had my first computer at 3-years-old; After shoving popsicle sticks into the (internal) floppy drive on my dad’s Mac. He decided maybe it would be best if I got my own to mess up. I had and played so many games on it, cultivating a love and understanding of computers that would last for years; A love that is still burning.
Bernstein Bears and Little Critter and Arthur Interactive reading computers games. Magic School Bus, Musical Instruments, Geography, Carmen Sandiego. The joy and hours spent learning and having fun. Bright, Lisa Frank, Emotional rainbow streaks mark my childhood in these moments. And let’s not forget the hellish torture when the computer was taken away as punishment; when I misbehaved. You can’t do much once Dad takes the power cord away and you don’t even know where to begin looking for it, nevermind not being tall enough to even go looking for it in certain places.
I remember graduating to more real PC games like Backyard Baseball, The Sims, and Roller Coaster Tycoon; Elite Force! I even had a Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone game. The dryness in my mouth after forgoing food and drink for hours on end. Not wanting to end the joy and excitement. Serotonin rush after school or on the weekend.
I wonder if those games did me any good. I like to think I learned. But I suppose it’s hard to quantify. Hand on the mouse, clicking away. Wanting to know what a didgeridoo sounded like. Or wanting to click on Little Critter’s hot dog on the beach to see it fall in the sand. Putt Putt too! All the Humongous Entertainment games – Spy Fox and Pajama Sam. That demo of Fatty Bear that I was way to old for, but liked playing anyway. Going to CompUSA or COMPAQ off Route 46 to buy these games. It was always a thrill. And they would come in these large boxes, way too big to hold these small games.
Ancient Egypt. Sand. Pharaoh’s Rule. All memories draped in a gold hue. Cleopatra. Papyrus. Moses. Blue is a common color. Hieroglyphics. The Art of Storytelling. Large, towering 3-dimensional, triangular structures. I have not done the research, but why could this have not been built by mankind? Why does it have to fall to Aliens? The human race has transcended, overcome, and has surprised most of all him/herself (or themselves). If I put myself in the time machine and take myself back, wrapped in cool, white cloth and a golden headband around my head, golden bangles around my wrists, I can feel the heat of the ancient desert sun baking my body. No sunglasses, lotion, or baseball caps. I wonder what the ancient Egyptians used for sunscreen…I see the horizon swimming ahead of me, heat so severe, it does not appear in a straight line. As I walk toward the center of town, I smell lunch wafting through the streets. Children run and play, oblivious to the heat. I hear their laughter. The pyramids are these peoples’ skyline. This is their Manhattan. This is what the see from high up, or far way in the distance. No electric lights to guide the way, but torches. Taking off my sandals in the evening, I get a washbasin and work at removing the sand and dirt from my toes. I go to bed wrapped in a white linen sheet. A cool breeze coming in from the window. Somewhere enters the scene of fresh jasmine and lavender.
Pyramids – half a diamond. Desert glacier. Secret tomb.
I am reminded of fruit cocktail; All those radiant, fluorescent colors standing out. The zinging orange of the peach, the pale green of the pear, the bright Santa Claus red of the maraschino cherry. All these fruits drained of their syrup and placed delicately inside a glass cocktail glass. This aesthetically-pleasing mixture is a work of ready-made art. Spearing the fork on the pear and it tastes so sweet. Better than it could have tasted in reality. This fruit salad is like some strange, surrealist dream. This mixture is heterogenous.
I make my protein shakes with a variety of ingredients. I usually start with vegan / plant-based vanilla protein powder and unsweetened vanilla almond milk. I then will add a tablespoon of raw cacao, a tablespoon of flax seeds, a teaspoon (or two) of chia seeds, a splash of vanilla, and a dollop of maple syrup. Sometimes if I’m feeling risky, I’ll add in a handful of spinach, but this does not occur often. Ice is always the last ingredient; for thickness and coldness. I secure the lid and press the buttons on the blender (for Frozen Dessert, which it pretty much is). Once it gets going, it loudly chops up the ice, obliterating all the other ingredients in its wake. When it’s done this now homogenous mixture gets a foam at the top that I enjoy. I usually make these in the summer months, where a meal replacement like this can be deliciously refreshing. It tastes chocolatey, nutty, and sweet. The glass feels cold in my hands.
As a child playing with wet sand on the beach or in the sandbox. The joy of it, but the frustration when you couldn’t get it out of your hands or clothes. No matter how many times you tried. Taking a straw and giving your iced tea a stir after adding honey or sugar. Will the cold dissolve it? Or is it a lost cause?
La scrivania. Oaken, wooden, mahogany. Heavy, gorgeous woodworking. Smells fresh like it was just carved and painted. I run my hands over the rings and wonder how some genius got this beautiful piece of furniture to succumb to this shape. It is a deep brown color. It is large and expansive. It is rich and smooth to the touch. This desk will be my launching point or pad, it will be my diving board, it will be my dock where I will set sail every time I write. I desire a desk like this. In a big room, by a window. Over looking the ocean or rolling fields, or something equally awe inspiring; A safe place where I can perch and watch and drift off.
This desk was once a tree, but it is so well designed, I do not think it was made with other en masse. This was a personal project for a specific woodworker. I can see him in the forest now, with his walking stick breathing in fresh air and looking around to see which tree dares call to him. When he finds it, it is large. He puts his hand on the rough bark, gets close, and takes a whiff. A master of his craft, he knows it’s a good one. He circles it a few times, making sure is no damage or termites. He sees none. He then marks the tree with a big black ‘X’ and doubles back to get his car. Soon, he is there with his friends, fellow-woodworkers in arms. And they are in the process of safely cutting this tree down. It smells like fresh wood. They are wearing masks, as splinters split off everywhere. Thumps and crashes as large branches come down. They load up the truck with everything. There is equipment there to help them lift what they cannot carry. The man is pleased as he leaves the forest with more than enough of what he needs. He will make a desk. He sees the undrawn blueprints in his head already. He is excited, high on adrenaline and wood shavings. This is what gets his heart thumping in his chest. This is what gets him excited about life. This is his craft, his calling. He pulls his pickup outside his shop and starts unloading. He gets out his equipment. Turns on some music, and gets to work. Humming and cutting.