Saturday, October 01, 2005

On a Clear Night You Can See

I’ve been overwhelmed with living through an ordinary day. A decision is weighing hard on me. I find myself not knowing what to do about the simplest things. Spectacular ideas get thrown out as less than lacking. I’m in a state of disrepair, and my heart has taken roost up in my head. It makes for crowded thinking when I need my thoughts to clear. I need my wits about me to see the road ahead. I feel blind.

Still I keep walking. I keep walking. Though I can’t see where I’m going.

It’s hard to believe that some can call me visionary. When at this moment I can’t see beyond this very second. It’s like the game we used to play. Walk to the corner. Flip a penny. It decides—do we go left or do we go right? This isn’t worry, or confusion, or even something one would think of as frustration. It’s nothing of the sort. In fact, it’s sort of nothing.

I read somewhere, sometime that when you must make a decision, you will have all the information that you will need to make it. Fine. In the meantime, here I am waiting in oblivion until both information and decision bless me with their presence, so that I can get on with my life.

Like an overused guitar string, I await the crisis that will release me.

Usually I’m a
Weimaraner puppy, chasing over nothing for the mere joy of living—sometimes to the point of wearing myself out. I can break your vase and fetch a stick, but no one trained me just to sit and wait for my whole future to take its time to come to me.

So I keep walking.

I could always see, but have I ever known where I was going? That could be the mystery of my life—knowing where I’m going. The road map is so deep inside. I can only find it when I’m dreaming.

I dream of everything. I dream of things that have never been—things my soul has never seen. I dream of voices in my head that speak of stories not yet told. I dream of tales in which the good guys finally get to win, and the happily-ever-afters really happen. Sometimes they occur before the story even starts, and then they happen all over again when the story ends. When I dream I never look; I never worry where I’m going.

I cannot dream through my days, so I keep walking.

I practice listening in case I might overhear just where it is I’m going. Until that day, I have to trust my feet to know. My feet know what they’re doing, but they won’t do it until I let go. When I surrender my control, they take me where I need to be.

I should have known they’d take me to the sky. I felt whole immediately. I can see. I know the universe is working. My mischief is restored, and I want to tell the world that Barbra Streisand has nothing up on me. On a clear day, she might have seen forever.

But on a clear night I can see forever . . . and a day.

I think that photo says it perfectly.
—me strauss Letting me be


Anonymous said...

Very poetic and smoothly flowing piece, Liz. Does wonders in conveying that uncertainty we are all certain to experience at some point in our lives. Excellent.

PS: just remember to keep the deal between The Faceless One and The 65th Crayon ;-)

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Thank you Eric,
To play with words as you did. It certainly does speak to certain kind of uncertainty.

As for the 65th Crayon--talk to him not to me.


Anonymous said...

Making decisions: doubt, unease, ambivalence, uncertainty...

When faced with such a situation, I always remember these words:

"Never ever doubt, what no one is sure about."
Willie Wonka

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Thank you Ned and Willie Wonka,
for those words of wisdom.

I need as many as I can get these days. I'll keep them close and refer to them often.

Anonymous said...




"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Your smile is so eloquent. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

You've captured it exactly, the feeling of which way to turn. But always, there is the hope that in the daylight things will seem clearer and we will find we are not really lost, only waylaid for a time.

When this happens to me I always feel as though a chasm has opened at my feet. Then I'm left with only one thing to do. Close my eyes and leap. :o)

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Hi Easy,
You know that this is a big decision for me. So many songs are playing in my head and the music isn't on.

Thank you for hearing the words I'm not saying. I hope that I won't have to be taking a leap of faith, such things scare me. But who knows. That might be exactly what happens. We'll know more later this week.

Anonymous said...

Liz, I'm trying out the new name you gave me.

Your prose is so lyrical. And your ideas so familiar, not only universal, but familiar to me.

At age 10, I used to look at the moon during the day, when it gives up its three dimensionality more easiy. I'd think, "This is magical, that this rock floats in the sky!" And it comforted me to know the immensity and inevitable ticking of the cosmos brings me with it, no matter where it goes, no matter where I am.

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Welcome, my friend,
How lovely your comment and your memory. Yes, I remember the wonder that would stop me in the middle of a game of baseball to look at the moon in a daylight sky.

Thank you for giving your memory to me so that I could have one of mine.


Anonymous said...

Stream of galaxy reaching for the stars. I like the flow of thought from one idea to the next. Great image here: "Like an overused guitar string I await the crisis that will release me." But what I really like about this piece is how it creates that sense of yearning to reach out beyond ourselves.

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Thank you, Scot,
I must admit. You came to mind when I was editing that line about the guitar string. I thought you might like it, as I do.

Yearning, yes, indeed that is what it was about. Not hard to create what already is. You are as perceptive as ever. No wonder you write so well.


Anonymous said...

This post reminded me of a poem I wrote way back in high school Liz. I hope you don’t mind me sharing it here. It seems fitting. It’s full of youthful naiveté, but what poet isn’t at any age.

Iowa Ecstasy

I set out on the porch after the sun goes down. I look at the stars and my mind begins to float… it’s so quiet out here.

My imagination burst into wild joy. I am unconscious to the world… it’s as though I were engulfed in a sea of darkness.

The crickets scream all around me… as I look at the stars they are asking me to come along with them.

I am alone in that world of silence and wonder… it’s as though I were in the palms of God… such a warm feeling.

I travel beyond boundaries never before traveled. The sweet breeze of love at my back, the winds of freedom slap my face.

My soul escapes to kneel at the throne of God. My heart sours to the outer limits of all mankind. This is absolute freedom.

It’s 10:30 already? Gotta go to bed, school tomorrow… the stars are so bright this evening! It’s such a nice night.

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

I think it's a warm compliment that something I wrote could take you back to something you wrote in high school. That's lovely and the ending is sweet.

Thank you for adding it to the discussion. You've helped to make this become more of a community.