Funny how the inherently wealthy white drone has the strangely ironic privilege of feeling aware, conscious and morbidly accomplished through a connection to the existence of socio-political human difficulty by jumping like a flea, so eager to land in whichever underdeveloped/third world country to observe its content. All while knowing he can return untarnished to his home sweet home and preach his vindications of world truths.
Is that a large jar of buds?
A Russian Babushka doll is an interesting thing. It shows how there is always something more or something new hidden inside what we apparently see.
It reminded me of the rings inside the trunk of a tree. I remember the first time I saw a tree being cut down. I was a toddler and was staying at my friend’s house for a sleepover. During the day my friend, his father and I went for a walk into the woods. The woods were deep. The woods were humid and dark and gloomy. There was fog and the trees poked through it like they were toothpicks piercing through a bed of wadding. My friend’s father selected a tree from the forest. He approached it slowly and touched it. His dry and calluced fingers lightly brushed the tree’s bark. Once he finished, he gave three pushes into the tree with his feet anchored to the ground helping him exert a direct force on the tree’s base. The tree shook but had a springy resistance. He then spoke: ”Well, this is the one boys…” We chattered and didn’t pay attention to what he said. He turned towards us and raised his voice: ”Hey, would you two shut the hell up I’m about to kill a living being here!” We both immediately swung our heads over, made direct eye contact with him and waited in silence. He started the chainsaw. The motor’s screeching sound destroyed the silence that had made the forest peaceful. As he cut through the tree, it bled. Wood shavings spat out the trunk from the incision made by the saw’s ripping chain. Wet chips of wood flew all over the lush green forest floor. Plant leaves became covered with saw dust and the surrounding flowers got violently slapped by the machine-gun-like spray.
The tree fell. It fell to the ground and left its insides out. Its insides were open to us. We took our fingers out of our ears and walked over to look at the section of the tree stump that was left gazing up at the sky. It was still living but was dying as the sap humidified the surface of the wooden cut. We saw the rings inside the tree. A ring inside a ring, inside a ring, inside more rings… The largest ring was the tree’s age and each smaller ring was the tree’s history. We looked to the center of the tree stump to find the smallest ring. It was very small. All these rings were hidden inside the tree. The largest ring was covered with bark. We knew nothing about this tree’s past until we cut it, killed it and looked inside its body to see the circles of its life. If we would have never cut it, we would have never seen what is was and only what it is.
Ever since that day passed, I stopped loving trees the way I had loved them before. I started loving living beings in a different way. I had to learn to love by letting go. I learnt that loving something was not keeping it. Even if something had disappeared or someone had left, I could continue to love. The tree was like the Russian Babushka doll. I had to let go of the illusion and let go of the hidden linings I thought I could imagine. Letting go of an illusion that love was what kept the tree alive and closer to me was difficult. But knowing that love was free was rewarding.
The first time I met the word ”no”, I ran. I ran as fast as I could to make sure it would not catch me and look into my eyes. When I was a little kid I would dream of space ships, superheroes, flying and tree houses. But I would never think about no. No was not a part of my genetic make up and was the shortest path to deception. No terminated whatever was happening and changed what was to happen next. No stopped me in my tracks and shortened my journey through the universe with my imaginary friend. My Starfighter immediately landed and I was thrown out of the cockpit onto the ground, face first.
As I got older and learned to do many things on my own without my parents I could sometimes feel no’s presence before he manifested himself. While running through the forest, walking across a bridge over the creek, standing in the tall grass of the meadow I could sometimes see him hidden in the bushes. Even when I would wonder alone in my dream world, away from everyone, no would follow me sometimes. But before he could show his face and throw himself in front of me to look into my eyes, I began deceiving him. I discovered that, during some of my excursions into the dream world he followed me constantly, always keeping me in his sight. However, there were moments when I saw that I could move faster than him by making a quick turn, off the path I was following. Even though the alternate path I then took brought me to a different destination, I had escaped no.
When I moved away from home things changed but in a way remained the same. I became an expert a building complex dreams that made for longer journeys. The journeys were very interesting and exercised my mind in ways I never thought possible. I discovered there were many others like me. I met people who also had a no that followed them and talked about his face and how they were affected by him. Like me, everyone dreaded the times when a no could stop them and look into their eyes for a moment. A very short moment is all it took and you lost yourself to him. Everyone’s no had the same unshakable gaze. No’s intent was always stronger than yours even though you grew smarter than him.
Soon these other imaginative people became my friends. We had something in common. We all had very imaginative dream worlds that help us in our realities. We would tell spellbinding stories to each other about the many different ways we had outrun no. After hearing all these stories, I realized something that I will never forget. There was only one no. There was only one of him and so many of us. No was always there, going from one person to the next and tracking them down. As soon as a person could trick him, he would just move to another person to see if they would dare look at him for a moment.
But, there were also more distant sounding stories that would be told. Some would tell us about those who had looked no in the eye many times. They said that those who intentionally looked at him were never seen in the dream world again. But no one really knows if that’s true. People used to say: ”He left the dream world after he saw Mr. No…”
We always knew our realities were there in front of us. But everyone deemed it better that we were the ones who should decide when to enter reality without the so called ‘help’ of no. In any case, some dare devils faced him. It has been said that, even after facing him, some people still have a link to our dream world and can alternate between dream and reality without hesitation. This is amazing. Imagine having no problem with voluntarily facing no. Imagine using your own free will from the dream world to actually face him with your own motive! Imagine calling for him. Telling him you’re not afraid to be stopped in your tracks. Then, even when you sense him and see him, you don’t falter and your dream stays alive.
Still today, it seems strange how we run from no. At the same time, even if we run from him, he finds new prey. Every time we get away, he can simply turn around and look for one of our own friends. By running from him, we just leave him free to hunt others before he comes back to hunt us. Even though we still run from him, even though I would love to have reality and dream at the same time I still won’t face Mr. No. Isn’t it a shame? I could have all that I want. I could have everything everyone has ever dreamed of as a reality, if only I could face Mr. No.