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I Have To Do Something New Today…

March 17th, 2013 No comments

Because if I don’t I won’t be able to continue. It’s not that I’m talking about a creative tension here it’s just that I’m saying that maybe the mind needs a new neural route today or it might short-circuit, overheat and not function properly and that would not be good.

I can trace this to something as simple as a walk; mundane as they can be. I say to myself that maybe I will go on another walk today and a good choice may be to head back down to the ravine again where there is a rapidly flowing river that massages the ear with a melodic trickle. So I stuff my pockets and begin to picture the ascent up the root-filled hills that creates a good burn for the legs. And I can already see in my mind that the usual route will create an agonizing monotony that wants to make me shake up dice in a cup behind the bars of a jailor’s cage.

I reach the top of the hill anyway and cast my gaze along the vast edges of the valley. The trees are still leafless. The air cold and crisp and the wind cold enough to the sting the face of your skin with a bitter nip. It cools the head though and nothing may be more important than keeping a cool head. So I stand there with not another soul around and I say to myself that I cannot do that same route again because in my mind, if I do, I will not be able to continue and the mud-filled tracks ahead of me are a welcome sight.

So I look onward, straight ahead with the steel manufacturing plants in the distance and fences on the right to enclose horses and divide land. I look down at the ground, at my shoes, let out a deep breath and say to myself that it is worth it to forge a new path today and go somewhere I haven’t gone and give my mind the stimulation it needs even if it’s not the usual route and may not be the safest.

There’s private property all around. Chimneys puffing aromatic smoke into the air after a long week of work. Still no one in sight. The hum of the freeway is a constant reminder of a global city that doesn’t sleep for anyone. The closer I get the more distinct the whizzes of the motorists cutting through the air. I’m honing in on civilization again. A couple more hills and a few more bends and I’ll be at the coffee shop. It’s a popular one and people come and go by the minute.

I walk inside. It’s warm. An elderly woman takes my order hands me the coffee with a light pastry and I turn around to fixate my eyes to the handle of the door to pull open and go back outside to wander the streets. Take a swig of coffee and see a young gentleman parked in his black Ford sedan. He analyzing the scene; sizing me up. His one buddy is on the sidewalk at 10 o’clock putting out the butt of a cigarette with his foot. At 3 o’clock is the third part of their trio. I roll my shoulders back once as a warning. The gentleman at 3 o’clock puts his head down, turns his back and heads back inside to his plaza. The young man in the black coat exits the warmth and safety of his car and follows me up the street for 5 minutes until he shimmies off to a variety store. Wise choice. I’m in no mood for it.

I’ve seen this scene before. It’s not good. 3 young gentlemen forming a triangular pattern outside a coffee shop in a safe community. Trouble is on the way and things may decline even more before they get better. Worshipping porcelain is a foregone conclusion and dining is overrated. It won’t be much longer now until I have to rest before I make my way back up that god damn escarpment. It’s a long haul but all the images in the world will get me there and they are the people that have brought joy into my life and I thank them internally every day for it as such memories cannot be replaced and they are the strength that propel me forward when moving forward is the last thing I want to do but I do it anyway.

And so I did something new today. I chose a different way. I diffused myself and overcame the monotony that breeds insanity. I made some simple steps with a simple formula to awake my spirit to ledger these words from my stomach to convince myself that today I need to do something new…no matter how simple, how small or how insignificant. It’s the only way I move forward. It’s the only way we move forward. And I will pretend that you were up there with me and the sound of your voice was beside my ear.

Matthew R. Polkinghorne

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