Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Musing : On a Long Night's Journey into Day

Oftentimes flying in formation looks as though everything is under control and safe. Appearances can be deceiving.  A great gathering saw some leaving, some going, while others were already gone. Some were filled with anticipation and some writing songs about what they experienced. This is Mecca for troubadours who were searching for great grace on God’s stage only found a honky tonk as consolation for their gifts. They were departing almost satisfied. The deluge that washed away hopes and dreams had become just a great watermark on broken hearts.

Wearied vacationers delighted in memories captured in smart phones. One too many Opry nights, Broadway club karaoke’s, and constant dining on bar b q’d Predators with retired Titans had filled them up. Yet the once forever homebodies finally grabbed all the cash from underneath their mattresses and anticipated a great Aloha celebration of their first escape from these Crockett hills into the islands of the sun.

Prodded and probed the herd was religiously obedient. The reflection of the setting sun on the Berry Field windows proclaimed an end and a beginning. Worried wrinkled suited warriors of promised abundant commerce contrived efforts to close last minute sales and file overdue reports using every technology at hand. Commenced sheep-skinned Commodores readied to be catapulted to conquer anything in their next phase as their parents’ depleted bank accounts saw no future in plastics.

Snorting young Turkish tigers pace their cage never being one’s who could be in one place for long. There are lambs to slaughter in the temple and bull markets to conquer. Starched faded desert fatigued Rangers knew the true love of a brother and use any distraction to comfort them in their own reality. A simple Corona and Patron, another and then another for one solitudinal soldier. He was already halfway home. A complacent accidental pilgrim once filled with worry let go and offered this hero in waiting his meal. “No thank you, sir”

Sometimes rain is a just perfect to wash away the grime and sins of a journey. Sometimes the rain builds into storms changing plans for everyone. Birds naturally intuit the prospect of uncontrollable wind and rain accented with charged bolts and immediately secure shelter ceasing their flight plans. It takes humans with their state of the art technology a little longer to catch up with nature.

One hour soon became two, two became three, three to four and four became five. The words and ideas of that pilgrim’s good book were not making a connection either and the mp3 faded leaving him to practice breathing. “Eventually” he thought. He hoped. Déjà vu for the half million mile frequent flyer. He was stuck inside of Nashville with the Jersey blues again. The second chance dance had not quite transformed the history of impatience and anxiety. The major disappointment for he and his new laconic warrior companion was that sign that read “Bar closed.”

Sharing a power source for their gadgets the two were being charged up as the Coronas completed their passage.  In a state of half alertness and dazedness the respectful Spartan - in - Training requested the pilgrim to be a sentinel for his baggage when the voice of the travel gods began to echo news.

Finally the echoing messages became crystal clear for the diverse nomads – 

(Nature 1– Flying Machines  -0)

and the most dreaded message of all
 “will the following passengers see a gate agent.”

Great expectations for something wonderful waiting at the end of this leg of the journeys began to evaporate. Children wailed, big puffing pinstripers pointedly predicted punitive measures as a way of making note of their perceived self-importance, consoling moms said “Maybe another day” and good Christians proclaimed that the vacation denied was not meant to be.

The pilgrim admittedly frustrated sighed. His unlikely impromptu companion was heart broken, as his fiance' would be at work by the time he would arrive home. Time could not stand still as this would be a short layover on his continued passage. The duffel bag that contained his complete world thrown over his shoulder he turned to the pilgrim saying 
“ Thanks. I am soon off to Afghanistan again and remember me… ”

“I will not forget, be safe ” the pilgrim shouted reaching out with one thumb up.

Fourteen hours slowly passed, four am, usually the time when the pilgrim would wake in gratitude to the new day, now in a garden state of complete exhaustion he finally unlocked the door to his home. All journeys are not the same but eventually they all come to an end.  In the darkness of the pre-dawn hour he opened the fridge grabbed the last Corona opened it, lifted it …in gratitude and hope

“Salut…. and safe journey soldier!”



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