Saturday, January 09, 2016

Surprises in the Tunnel

There were some surprises this week.  That's for sure.  Things revealed as we excavated the future.  
That's how I'm thinking of it now.  Last week, I wrote a bit about the road we're all on.  How the road only exists in the past, something we see when we look over our shoulder.  When we look ahead, we're staring into a blank wall.  A block of obsidian that stretches to infinity before us.  We can look into only a fraction into its depths, the equivalent of the next moment in time.  We hammer a chunk from the wall with each passing second, revealing what we couldn't see before and showing us another jagged face of future ahead of us.  
With this metaphor, the road becomes a tunnel.  We can see the light of our beginning far behind us.  We can see how it wound and dipped its way around the obstacles we encounter, or maybe cut straight through them.  
I have a week's worth of tunnel behind me since the last time we posted.  Some unexpected artifacts, left by the denizens of tomorrow, have fallen from the face I've been excavating like some prospector in time, or an archeologist of civilization to be.  Things I didn't expect.  
I was told by a writer friend of mine that she has decided to stop writing fiction.  This was a surprise.  It sounded like a decision made some time ago, now settled.  This wasn't recent news from the way she wrote about it in her email.  It was done.  Finished.  She had already moved on.  Her tunnel had encountered something and she veered in a different direction.  That way.  
She'll still be writing but in a non-fiction sort of way.  We'll still be friends, but more like two members of related tribes.  Different clans that split at the pass during their migrations.  She went into the valley to hunt game.  I am still laboring to climb over the range and find the Enchanted City I was told beyond it.  
I haven't replied to her message yet.  "Ok.  I see," is too clipped and short.  A diatribe extorting her to reconsider and rejoin me on the quest seems useless.  She is not one to make such decisions lightly.  If she reads this, she should no that my silence is due to uncertainty more than neglect.  Good luck in reaching whatever depths your tunnel takes you.  Guess I'm going at this more alone than before.
Chisel, chisel, hammer, hammer, hammer.  
I've been a bit taken aback by the news about North Korea.  Their "hydrogen bomb" test just sort of popped out of the rock face.  It was like a dangerous fissure that could collapse and bring the mountain down on top of us.  Meetings were called for.  Sanctions were demanded.  Hammer-hammer-hammer, whack-whack-whack.  
What took me aback the most wasn't the test itself.  We know this pariah country has these devices, along with missiles to launch them and submarines to carry those missiles.  What surprises me the most is how little excitement it seems to be generating.  It's become part of the background of things.  Terrorists attack.  Oil prices fall.  North Korea sets off one of its nukes.  We shrug.  We go on.  
I'm thinking that they probably ran out of money to pay for food for their people.  So rather than reform their government and economy to one where people might actually be able to survive and thrive, they set off a bomb.  Other countries meet.  We call upon them to stop.  Aid is sent in exchange for promises they have no intention of keeping.  They start building the bomb for the next test once the aid money runs out.  
I watch the fissure closely for poisonous gases to erupt out.  I dig my way forward, wondering what else will appear.  
This was a funny one.  A guy I know, a guy from Tehran, sells things on eBay.  He's done this for years.  I've seen him collect boxes to ship the things he sells.  He goes around, both on line and in person, to find things he things he can sell then ships them off to the people he finds to buy them.  
I have a baseball with the signatures of the 1988 World Series winning Dodgers on it sitting prominently on my desk he gave me.  It's not their real signatures.  It looks like something they sold at the stadium the following year, with copies of the player's handwriting on it.  I like it though.  He got it in a box of stuff he bought at an auction and didn't think he could sell it.  He gave it to me because he knew I was a fan.  
What startled me to learn was how much stuff he sells.  A lot!  I mean...  I'd love to give the figure, but I'm thinking now to refrain...  Let's just say that it isn't play money, right?  A person could live on that amount.  
Now I know that's not his profit, he paid for the stuff he sells, plus more for shipping, his eBay account I'm sure, things like that.  But I had always passed it off as a hobby.  A little thing.  The tiny chip or stone sticking out of the wall of the tunnel is leading edge of a huge boulder.  Wow.  
It makes me wonder about what I should be doing.  All of this does.  These surprising things.  About world events.  About the feeling that my clans numbers are shrinking.  About not being as energetic in pursuing my goals as this guy from Tehran is in selling the stuff he finds.  
There's no conclusion as of yet.  No understanding.  Just the discovery of things I didn't know were there.  A lot more to come, I'm sure.  
But I do know that it's all connected someone how.  To me, if nothing else.  Everything that happens is connected to me.  Just as everything that happens is connected to you, person besides myself reading this.  We just have to figure out where the veins run through the rock of time we are chiseling our way through.
Hammer, hammer, chisel, chisel.  Digging my way along.  


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