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We Live In An Age Lacking In Refinement.

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    We Live In An Age Lacking In Refinement.

    This isn't a short story or a poem. In any event I'm gonna post it here.

    We Live In An Age Lacking In Refinement ...

    ... a coarse age, the age of cosmic harmony long, long gone and seldom remembered now. So last night I decided how I would like to spend the rest of my life. It came to me while I was lying in bed just before I fell asleep … or perhaps I was asleep & it was all a dream.

    I want to disappear … vanish. Sounds rather strange doesn’t it? When I say vanish I don’t mean like “whoosh!” in a puff of smoke, but rather: “We’re afraid Jamie’s whereabouts is unknown at this time.” That kind of “disappear.”

    I know I’m the one who firmly believes in the old French saying: “It is impossible to overdo luxury.” But the longer I stay among the glass & steel cliffs of the inner city, the more I lose my sense of wonder. The big city has become a “sea of shadows” where people are often untroubled by anything as inconvenient as scruples.

    I’ve always wanted to live in an inaccessible place but I realize that is just a pipe dream. So I am going to find a small, quiet country town off the beaten track, a place that when it’s dark, the stars shine so bright they’re like fire from heaven. Some place where when you turn off the lights to go to sleep you can’t see your hand in front of your face. And when you hear a noise outside in the small hours, instead of reaching for the panic button on your remote, you turn over and go back to sleep because you know it’s only some wild critter snuffling around.

    A town where when it rains, the sweet breath of the wind brings you the scent of the countryside instead of steaming tarmac & fetid drains blocked by plastic bags. Where strangers will pick you up at the roadside on a dark stormy evening, share their supper with you & insist you spend the night, and then drive you to the bus station after breakfast the next morning.

    Perhaps a town where the only cell phone reception is up on a hill ten miles away so that people have to stand in one place while talking on a regular telephone. Where satellite dishes are only seen on the local radio station building & TV reception is so poor nobody even bothers to watch it. A little town whose radio station still broadcasts stories that kids listen to and who use their imagination to fill in the gaps. And the smallest structure in town is the jail & the largest the public library where I can find out everything I need to know without once clicking on a “search” icon.

    I’d like to spend some time working with my hands for a change, something I have never done nor ever needed to do in my life. Maybe wear blue dungarees and do odd jobs, working for as long as I wanted, but always doing something for somebody in need or less fortunate than me. Perhaps dig a hole for them, help out at a store, wash a dog, mow a lawn, rake up leaves or better still, write them a poem! Maybe teach someone’s kids to appreciate the written word. And when I was called in for lunch, I’d wash my hands & face under an old fashioned hand pump operated by some or other earthling. They could maybe repay me by cooking me a meal, giving me some fresh vegetables or a chicken that I could take home and cook myself.

    Home? Hopefully it would be a small cottage or log cabin or maybe even a tent to begin with and I’d like to live just outside town among some trees near a lake. Then on the days I wasn’t helping folk, I could take my journal & a pen and walk in the woods or beside the lake. Seeing … not just looking … hearing … not just listening & writing about the heart beat of the countryside. Perhaps fish or just snooze in the shade, where the anesthetic scent of wild flowers & berries would assail my senses, making me so weary that I would feel the weight of each of my eyelids closing my eyes in peaceful slumber. In the evenings after supper I’d write until midnight & later, sipping wine that tasted like the tears of the full moon shining in the clear sky.

    Saturday morning I’d walk into town and order one of Ma Bennett’s special breakfasts of fried eggs over easy, crisp farm bacon, sausage, and fried tomato, mushroom, toast and steaming black coffee, the aroma alone worth the price of the meal. Then on Saturday night there’d be a square dance in the town hall, with music provided by a band whose members go by the names of: “Charles Cannon, Don Delight, Scootles, Tattoo Eddie, Amy Arena & Booful.”

    Just maybe, perhaps at one of these dances I’d ask a young woman to dance with me. And she’d have wide set eyes of hyacinth blue & an alabaster smooth petal-like complexion. She’d tell me her name was Emma-Lee & that she was a soldier’s daughter. That he husband had perished in Afghanistan three years ago and that she had a four year old daughter & lived on her parent’s farm.

    We’d walk outside breathing deeply of the magnolia scented night air and she’d teach me words new to my ears, like “combine-harvester, alfalfa & silage.” Later we’d sit on a rustic white painted bench in the moonlight holding hands, the world so quiet that the sound of our heartbeat deafened us. And I’d ask her if I could see her again and she’d whisper: “Yes … please.”

    Sigh ... Perhaps it was only a dream.
    "The embers of our past lives lie smouldering within us awaiting the winds of remembrance to fan them in flames of reality." Dax.
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