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“I had no idea. I had NO idea.”

by Once

I envy some of the people who post here, in that they can spill out their hearts so easily…I am not that way, I am very reserved and am only capable of writing effectively when things are at their worst, when I am overcome with despair, sadness or great depression.  I wonder why that is.  Thoughts merge into words when I’m emotional, sad.  I write here, and my words are carefully edited, to sound as coherent as possible.  I can’t speak the way I write, for the most part.  I tend to ramble and repeat things I already said, going off on tangents, censoring myself because I feel the need to hide who I am, what I am.

I was fortunate enough, many years ago, to visit Californias central coast region and see the giant redwood trees.  Already, as I type these words, the emotions are returning.  Awe.  Undeniable, raw, natural awe.  I miss that experience, the smells of a forest of such rich lush life, ferns and vines, thick undergrowth blossoming under a shaded canopy of trees that have been standing for three, four, five, six, seven hundred years, maybe longer, towering two and three hundred feet into the air.  The sun is blocked out in some areas, if you’ve experienced a total eclipse of the sun, you know that feeling of shade that is not quite right…it’s still shade, but its source is just so…bizarre.  Julia Hill, in a lecture on her claim to fame, the Luna tree sit, describes the scene as a “cathedral.”  Yes.  That’s an apt word.  A cathedral of natures making.  To stand in this cathedral, amongst these giants, is to gain new perspective on time.  That a tree so magnificent and strong will simply stand where it grew, until the day it is felled, without moving or complaining…it is so fucking awesome.  I want to go back, free from the constraints of all this crap, of money and jobs, and obligation, and simply bask in the splendor of creation that man couldn’t in his wildest dreams create.  Our buildings, our infrastructure, our aircraft are all wonderful things, but these trees… words don’t do them justice.  Words simply don’t suffice.  It should be a rite of passage, an experience everyone enjoys before they die.  If you’ve seen Soylent Green, there’s a scene when the old man has made his peace and reports for euthanasia.  He is washed and dressed, and lies in a bed before a huge screen.  A movie begins playing, depicting the Earth of his younger days, flourishing with life, and animals, running water and natural beauty, and as he watches, reliving the memories of the time before man turned earth into the dying planet it now is, his friend Thorn speaks to him through the intercom…Thorn is probably thirty or forty years younger than the old man, and he simply says “…I had no idea” as he gazes at the screen the old man is watching.  “I had no idea.”  Thorn grew up in a world dying as the result of overpopulation, and could only stand in awe at the images in front of him.  Deer drinking from rivers, rain falling from billowing white clouds, green grass, trees…life.  “I had no idea.”

I am not sleeping yet again tonight.  I crave sleep, and it eludes me.  I am frustrated.

So I dream of the past, when the trees surrounded me, and oh the life, verdant, rich, lush surrounded the trees that surrounded me.  This is tonights memory.  Watching as the rolling hills of California slowly transform into this magnificent range of overpowering trees that have stood the test of time, in a region that is protected from our saws and our industry.  There’s a section of highway called the Avenue of The Giants.

Just words.  Four simple words, when combined with the sight of these magnificent trees, have the power to change you, to shake you, to take away your breath.  Giants.  No need to fear these giants, they mean you no harm, they are ours, they are yours, they simply are.

She sat in the tree for two years and several months, and she thought.  She did not touch the earth once during this time, and she learned and she grew.  A self described environmentalist whacko, she did what noone else has done, and she was “Butterfly”, and to this day, if I were lucky enough to cross paths with her, I’d be tempted to kiss her feet.  She’s no longer Butterfly, having moved on, but her time in Luna will always be part of her, her story will always be part of me, because I admire what she did, why she did it.   A world of wires and phones and technology, of meaningless chatter and useless gimmicks, and she defied it all to save one tree, one single tree, and it still stands.   I can’t say I love her, there is a part of me, the boy that never grew up, that has a crush on her, and that is far from love.  Far from it.  As dysfunctional as I am, incapable of loving myself to dream that I could love anyone else, yet if I saw her in danger I’d act, because she sat in a tree.  Her words in all their mystery touch part of me that I cannot locate, they send me to the cathedral she described, and therein is peace, and perfection, and splendor.  They mocked her, they ridiculed her and tested her, and like the tree she sat in she weathered the storm, took all their shit and set it aside, all for what will one day be a lost cause as the planet will have its way and Luna will die and fall, but here’s the point – it hasn’t fallen yet, and it would’ve, had it not been for her.

They are our decks, and our furniture, we have carved out their bases to let cars drive through them.  What trivial idiots we are, in such desperate need of objects and entertainment so as to overlook these gifts.  The price of money is death.  The cost of cash is chaos.  The object of progress is destruction, entropy on an industrial scale.  All things die and fade away, but somehow, humanity seems to have the corner of the market when it comes to rushing things.  We make little sense.  We make little progress, bits and pieces, and for less than sensible reasons.  We’ve lost harmony, no, we’ve lost sight of harmony.

I’m rambling.  It’s late, and tonight will be another night of no sleep.

I have the means to walk away from my current life, buy a good used rv, and go to these trees and live among them for an extended period of time, taking in the majesty and grandeur of specimens no human hand could mimic, wouldn’t dare to try for fear of being made to look foolish.  We could try, and we would fail.  These trees…they are unique, they are genuine, they are freaks of nature, they are beautiful.  They are a reminder of what we are not.  They are stalwart mammoths, unmoving but to sway in the wind, to bend in the howling winter storms, to glide in summers warm breezes, standing watch over the ground far,far below.  I have the means.  And yet I won’t.  That is sad.  Truly sad, that I am too attached and too afraid to make the change, to walk away from the useless detritus of this pathetic civilization and go to California, with an achin’ in my heart…

One day.  One day.  One day.

Today is March 2.  Today, my little boy would have turned 9.  I miss the little furry fucker.  I miss him so much.

These are tonights late night thoughts, tonights regrets, tonights dreams, my howls at an unreachable moon.  Why, I scream, why?  And, as with all other moons, and all other screams and howls, there is no fucking answer, only the trees, and the winds and the storms, and of course, the change.  The incessant pestering change that will take all of us, from Luna to the smallest grain of sand, the inescapable change, the entropy that ultimately will claim the universe.  Or not.

This is beauty.  We’ve walked right past it in our quest for…objects, for entertainment, for simple fun and pleasure, and it’s not our fault, it’s all we can do.  Its all we know.  How sad.

Wherever you are, little buddy, know I will always, ALWAYS love you.  You changed me.  On my way to my own demise, you stepped in and you changed me.  See ya.



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TheOpenRoad 3/2/2021 - 10:00 am

I hope you managed to sleep. Even if you were rambling, it makes sense. I’m sorry about Luna. I’m sorry you’re sad.

What was your cat called?

TheOpenRoad 3/2/2021 - 12:41 pm

Do it. Buy the used rv. Go to California.

Once 3/2/2021 - 1:11 pm

My cats name was Hooks. It sure sounds tempting to buy the rv, you know, but …but…but…always an excuse. I can’t right now, as much as I’d like to, but one of these days, when some other obligations are out of the way…thanks for the support, TheOpenRoad. Great user name, do you travel?

eternaldarkness 3/3/2021 - 10:00 pm

aww, when did Hooks take his leave?

Yes, i 2nd the rv’ing to CA. Sounds fun, beautiful. I actually wanted to RV across the US too (except I can’t really drive so there’s that) O_o

Also, you should write a book or something. Hey, you can go RVing and write a book about your adventures, complete with photos! 😛

TheOpenRoad 3/4/2021 - 4:22 am

Well I hope you manage to do it soon, and that it makes you happy.

I don’t travel so much as drift. Picked out the username when I wanted something similar to you.

There are two kinds of cats I’ve ever met. The first has got jarringly human names, and the second has got the most amusing words for names. I guess Hooks falls into the second category. Is there a story behind the name?

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