you have to get it or you will fail 4th grade

Tumble, tumble, tumble. Once, many years ago, my parents enrolled me in gymnastics for a brief time. They felt that shared guilt or responsibility or expectation to sign up their children for activities, and of course suffered the disappointment of realizing after the check had cleared that this was not the calling. Maybe there is a greater purpose to which each of us are called, but there is a more a less a fast food menu option of cheap, easy meals. Soccer and piano and scouts are extra value. Occasionally, they mix things up with animal husbandry or forensics or Up With People.

All I remember from gymnastics was the stretching and the odd smells of the vinyl mats and very controlled tumbling while watching as more practiced children in proper attire did back flips. Today at the grocery store, the cashier had not illuminated the AISLE OPEN light, so I asked, and she apologized, saying she had meant to but was so busy helping customers, and I wanted to say, It's not a problem, but then my mind's interior design consultant stepped in and suggested, It's okay, because it's so much more simple and elegant and this is why you shouldn't change course midstream, so I wound up saying, "IT'S NOT OKAY."

The nights are finally cold and the days are still warm, meaning you are bubbly in the evening and groggy in the morn. September is the champagne of seasons. We pop the cork and it is cheap and cloying and it reminds us of when we were young and alive. Now we are mostly just living. We are crossing the threshold that marks the change in temporal attitude. We once said, 'I believe the children are the future.' We now understand that the children are the past. They are licking their fingers and taking the torches from us with unsteady hands, rolling their eyes, dropping them into buckets and lighting the way with wee LEDs.

I mislike having to stay cryptic, but hope is not necessarily change. There are not the typhonic mood swings from happy to sad of youth, but it doesn't mean I don't still dream and regret. For the longest time, I worried I had an addictive personality, but after years of not giving into the most overwhelming urge to say what I am one drink away from saying, I know now that either there are quite simply not enough drinks in the world or I do retain some measure of control. But the threat of tumbling is still there.

You can never stand in the same river twice. Someone said that 2,500 years ago, can you imagine? I do. It is one of the most compelling reasons to hike into the woods. To walk away from everything we've built here in the future and be able to connect with the very same human longing that existed in the age of fire. It is two and half millenia old, and still half the age of the oldest tree. Can you imagine? I do. It keeps me up some nights, wondering if some future child of our children might take those seeds into the universe, scarcely prepared to answer when their children ask, 'What's a river?'

But there will always be tumbling.


But will there always be Tumblr?
matt said…
In the middle of the night, I go walking in my sleep. Through the jungle of doubt, to a river so deep.

Because Billy Joel's essentially two and a half millenia old. Also, because I didn't start the fire, and you didn't start the fire, but with this smoke, it sure seems like it was always burning.

Hi, Brandon.
Brandon said…
Eden, there will always be Tumblr. And Myspace and Livejournal and Vox and.. OH MY GOD WHO WAS SUPPOSED WATCH OUT FOR VOX.

matt, you should move uptown, girl.
eclectic said…
The take-away for me here, is next year bring more whiskey to test your theory.

As for Matt, get a piano, man.

Janet said…
Sleep tight the river'll outlive our wash.
Brandon said…
shari, whiskey is no theory, it is law.

janet, you write the most wonderfully enigmatic comments.

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