The cloud looked like a rabbit. Not an Easter rabbit with oversized ears and pastel eyes. No, this one looked like a rabbit just sitting there in the grass, but the grass was a beautiful aquamarine sky. It looked peaceful. Happy and very content with what it was doing in the atmosphere. My wife said something and I looked at her and responded. When I looked back into the sky the rabbit had transformed into a horse from one of those old Remington paintings. You know, the kind with the cowboy sitting on the wild stallion trying to break it? One arm tossed back over his head, the other hanging on to the reins with all its strength. The horses back was arched and its legs were kicking out at odd angles. You could tell he was pissed he had an unexpected visitor on him.
How did I miss the transformation? How long had I looked away? I tried to re-visualize the rabbit again, but I couldn’t. Maybe it got scared when the cowboy and horse showed up and hopped off into a white, vapor filled bush. Or, maybe it was just a trick of light from the sun on the clouds making my mind interpret things so that I could identify with them. I don’t know. I just wish I’d seen the change.
Which is about the time two Navy jets screamed across the sky in front of the horse and cowboy. The sound of my wife’s voice and the voices on the radio were drowned out by the jets traveling at ludicrous speeds. I smiled. Tracked the jets and when the disappeared from my sight I looked again at the ever changing cloud. I could tell it was trying to change into something but I couldn’t distinguish what. Maybe it was like the cartoon character Meatwad on television. It could only change into a couple of things before it eventually turned back into its natural state of indistinguishable nothingness.
We were traveling down the interstate. We were going above the posted speed limit and yet, we were still being passed like we were standing still in a parking lot. Commuters from all walks of life were heading to and from Virginia Beach on missions only known to them. Their self-imposed importance of their mission made them feel as if they needed to get ahead of everyone else on the road and that if they could just get past the car in front of them, then all would be well in their world.
I was in no hurry. I don’t think my wife was either. We were ahead of schedule, had just eaten not two hours earlier and had received good news from one doctor and were on our way to another doctor. We had hopes of good news being delivered as well.
There was an odd peace and tranquility that surrounded us. Something which I’m not used to. Why should I be? I’ve grown accustomed to being worried about everything and knowing that the proverbial other shoe always drops right on my head. Yet all those worries and concerns seemed as far from my life as the moon is from the earth. I mean, I could still see the problems in my mind, I knew they were there, but I just couldn’t give two shits about why they were there and when they’d make their inevitable tidal tug and make my stress levels to rise again.
I associated with that peaceful rabbit in the sky. The rabbit that had disappeared into oblivion and leaving in its wake a bunking bronco who desperately did not want to be broken.
Which I guess is how I normally feel. Like the bronco. And all the stresses in my life are on my back trying to break my will and make me complacent in this life. Make me tame. Make me easily ridable and a good work horse. Or, maybe I needed to be like the wild hare. Just happy to exist in a world and when danger appears, scamper away and hide until the coast is clear.
But there is a problem with being a wild hare. They get eaten by predatory birds and four legged animals. They get hunted by man and eaten. Occasionally they get stuffed and mounted on some hunter’s mantle. Or worse, they get turned into a lamp or a coat or a sweater.
The same goes for the horse. If the bronco doesn’t get busted, it gets put down and becomes dog food and glue. If it breaks, then it becomes a slave to the rider. A complacent work horse. That seems to be the way of wild creatures. Wolves, bears, whales, elephants and other creatures of nature I admire.
They get plucked out of their natural habitat, stuffed into a zoo, or a hold of a ship and become food or clothing. Or they get tamed and end up in some sort of circus. Displayed and exhibited for all the world to admire. But what are the people admiring? The beast? Or the beast’s tamer?
No one applauds the tiger who takes down an elk in the wild. But when a tiger tamer cracks his whip and the tiger stands up on its two legs and waves towards the crowd with an empty and broken look in its eyes. The audience screams, cheers and claps that the tamer was able to teach this majestic beast this trick.
The last time I saw this sort of action, I believe I died a little inside. I rolled a rare tear down my cheek and I pitied the poor animal and hoped that one day I would read that the animal had turned on its trainer and eaten his head. I know that hoping for this sort of natural action from the animal would mean the end of the animal. But I just can’t believe that anyone or anything would be happy performing for thousands of people every night just to receive a meal. Especially if by doing so, you end up giving up all the traits and beauty that make you the amazing creature you once were.
This philosophy applies to humans as well. I know wild people, I know broken people, I know trainers and manipulators. I’ve seen broken people, I’ve seen trained people and I’ve seen independent, strong and virtuous people end up blubbering idiots. All due to life and the strife it has in store for all of us. I know, depressing.
Some folks end up forging the chains of their captivity out of their own actions, others seem to have it thrust upon them. While others, well, they thrive by being wild, being animalistic and seem to have a knowledge of self that I envy. Which can be very scary.
However; on those rare occasions when I have the nerve to look myself in the eyes in the mirror, I see I am all of those things. I’m a wild man, a trainer, a broken hulk of a human and someone just biding his time so that he can break lose the chains of captivity and run naked into the full moon light and howl and rage against life.
How many different forms can one person take? Am I like the cloud? Only two representations of communication? Or do I have inside me the ability to be like the chameleon and change with my surroundings at the drop of a hat? Can I survive for another day, week, month, or even a year?
I suppose the answer is yes. Yes, I can. We all can, hell, we all have. Because if you’re reading this, then you have experienced all of these transformations and deep inside of you, you are just biding your time so that you can break free and become the individual you hide from the world.
I hope you have a great week and get a chance to look at the clouds this week. Maybe they’ll speak to you as they’ve spoken to me.
One last thing and then I’ll sign off. This is my 300th blog post. I’d like to thank you all for taking your time to read my mindless ramblings and I hope that you’ll be around for another 300 more. That is, if I have another 300 more in me.