Where I Stand

I stand on ground which is deceptive. I can’t tell whether it is firm and hard and will support my searching feet, or whether it is soft and filled with pockets of air, or water or sand. The truth is that I am sinking. I am grasping for the tree branches but they are so tantalisingly out of reach.

You though, you are knee deep in the sand, or mud or what kind of sludge that it is you are in, and you can’t see it, your eyes are fixed on the wonderful illusion above your head. But you are in a worse place than me.

I am sinking I can see it now. But I am running, and I am leaping around on the loose leave litter above that abyss beneath. I am jumping around as deftly and as lightly as I can, though I will admit that there appears to be no rectangle or shape on which to land and rest. No, I am in as poor a predicament as you are, because i can see that I can’t keep jumping and leaping like this forever. In fact I look like a lunatic doing this don’t I.

I will admit that I am jealous of you in your sinking slime. You can’t even see your situation and that makes me feel superior to you. But one thing that I will admit as a small irritation to me, is your happiness, your roots, and your simple pleasure where you are.

I am leaping about like a frantic animal trapped on a hot-plate. But you stuck there sinking deeper and deeper all the time are actually being given all that your heart could ever wish for.

I hope to find a beautiful tree with jutting and solid roots. A leafy beech tree illuminated to the brightest green by the Sun, and with roots, not just roots which go straight down, but Jutting Roots. Roots that splay and sprawl like arms hugging the ground, embracing the Earth. At the moment yes, I am leaping in the air, fighting gravity, fighting the deceptive and dark whatever it is beneath my feet, but I am also looking, I am searching for a place to make a stand, away from deep water and away from sand, away from the stuff that you are standing and sinking into.

You can’t look down can you. I admire your resilience and your tenacity in where you stand. But I will not stand with you. No, I cannot. I must not. I will not. I can’t be where you are even if it means that I am unable to be with you, intimately the way you want me to. But you don’t want me intimately the way I would like, you only want to get me stuck where you are too.

I think you know what is beneath you. I think you are aware of it on a subconscious level. And that is the reason you want me down there with you. But I will not be destroyed by your tactics. I will not be tied underwater with no escape.

You are actually OK. You are actually on hard ground, on rocky granite, nothing can touch you. This is what you believe, this is what you think to be true. You think this because of all of those other countless millions who are knee deep with you. And the fact that you are slightly happier than they are, as you see it give you reason to believe that you are actually on your way up in the world.

Am I stupid for jumping around like a wild cat. You think so don’t you. But as I told you, I am unhappy because of your apparent happiness. I am running, walking, leaping, doing anything but being still. I cannot stay down there. I am under pressure. I feel a constriction in my lungs, in my heart in the arteries which surround my heart and I can’t tell what it is. All I know is that if I did stay still down there with you, I would surely asphyxiate even before I lost my footing.

Enough about you now. Enough about your artificial happiness. I am still standing on deceptive ground. In truth I don’t know what’s down there. I can’t honestly say that there is anything at all, except that I know there are cracks that go right down. Beneath the leafs there are bugs, beneath the bugs there is something, something I don’t know what, but something, or lack of something, instability, it’s not really ground down there, I am sure I saw ripples, ripples in the dark, like water in the dark, only thicker, maybe oil, maybe it was thick black oil, but it was like water too, moving down there in the darkness.

Yes, I must keep a look out for my tree. My tree, I have seen before, I know it is there, and I will find it. It is the biggest, most abundant, fresh, oxygen filled, Sun drenched, clean, cold, rain-filled rock in that plain of sand and dry parched deception of which you are a part. My tree is truly magnificent, shady, cool, solid, solid like an oak ship in a stormy sea. Solid and shielding of the North wind on the South side, and of rain from the top, and of wind with its branches. Those jutting roots are what I am looking for, those jutting roots. Roots that I will press my tired feet onto, to stand upon, and then to sit, to lean and to lie upon with my arms on its branches and my head against its heart.

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One response

23 08 2010
Magnus

That was amazing – what a rush!

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