January 24, 2011 – Song 81

Discussing with the lovely Fatima tonight the completely unnecessary fight that erupted around us the last time we saw each other I was reminded of something a very wise friend of mine said about all of us being in a sort of tribe.

And although we can be somewhat accurately described as a group of “successful fuck ups” there are many other words that also come to mind. One of them is the word “peaceful”.

The gold road’s sure a long road
Winds on through the hills for fifteen days
The pack on my back is aching
The straps seem to cut me like a knife

I’m no clown I won’t back down
I don’t need you to tell me what’s going down

Every once a while a book will get in my way. It always seems to happen randomly and when I least expect it, but possibly when I need it the most. And usually, I can remember exactly where I was in life when it happened.

But I have no idea where this book came from. I don’t remember the first time I read it, where I was or how old I was. I don’t know who gave it to me or if I just sort of found it myself.

It’s as if it was just always there.

Years ago I had this really vivid dream that I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t fall back to sleep. I fight it for awhile, but eventually I give in and get up. I find myself in front of my bookcase looking at all of my books. I feel like I am looking for a particular book, one I have read many times before, because in that moment I know that all I want to do is read something comforting. A story that I already know and already love. I’m too tired for anything else. I run my hand down my shelf, touching the spines of my books. And then my hand stops. Here it is, the perfect book. I pull it out and take it to the table.

Just holding this book makes me feel good. It’s like the book knows how much I love it and it shines that right back at me. I sit down and flip through it, randomly stopping here and there to muse over the scenes I find. I know them so well I could almost recite them word for word. I decide then and there that I am going to reread it, from the very start, in it’s entirety, for the one gillionth time. No matter how silly that sort of seems.

I pause for a second and then open the cover so I can begin again, at the very beginning.

It’s then that my whole world falls apart. Somehow, someway, I have never once seen the first chapter. In my dream I am so confused…I can’t figure out how this can this be. I flip around the book again, opening and closing it. I even decide, in my dream, that I must be dreaming. But no matter what I do to wake myself up, it’s obvious to me, that I am totally awake, and yet there it is, as real as me, the first unread chapter.

The weirdest part, is that sitting there, I know that it’s always been there. Right there, where it’s always been.

I am the one who just never noticed. Song 81.

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