Early Morning Passage
By BR Chitwood
It happens often of late, an age thing, certainly, and my mind keeps clinging to flashing thoughts cryptic and opaque. The bed is cozy enough, not tossing me around. The moments are more like a puzzle I am trying to figure out, not alarming, a pleasant experience that one could consider enjoyable.
These moments were in fact a different bedtime routine, not anxious thoughts that kept me tossing and turning.
These thoughts were benignly too erudite for me…it was as though my wife had slipped into my nighttime milk some sort of relaxant mixture. I paused to glance at her peaceful sleep and paused momentarily to consider my luck to have her in my life. An intelligent lady who saw life more cheerfully and was asleep within two minutes of her head touching the pillow…take my word: she’s a remarkable lady.
Our lovely bedroom gave clarity through its windows of our range of mountains to our south, distant lights flickering from near-by houses, and an occasional coyote and unseen night-feeders hunting for prey. The twinkling lights of Phoenix down in the valley to the North I could not see, but I knew they were there.
The night was different, and I could not decipher its meaning for me. Usually, my sleep did not come until I had exercised my brain with all the thoughts that needed not at all to come. Tonight, though, was different, and my mind was tenaciously trying to figure out what these sleepless moments were trying to tell me…
After an hour or so, I rose, slipped on my shorts and shirt and went to my ‘Lazy boy’ and my laptop. Maybe I could figure out this bedtime conundrum by tapping on the keys, maybe even write something of worth. It was simply one of those ‘nights’ that would not ‘go quietly’. The strange thing was that my mind was accepting almost gleefully this interruption to sleep – so often, other nights were proverbial pains.
In my Lazy-Boy I queried the ghosts, the caretakers of the night, even, my God, ‘What is happening to me’? I have had my troubled and sleepless nights, but this night is most niggling in its nice presentation, and, darn, I’m rather enjoying it.
There came the moment when I thought sleep was about to come. I yawned, sipped from my water, levered my chair back to a near prone position, reached to turn out the light…
The light turned itself off, and I looked around me. The houses all around were no longer flickering. I reached for the lamp switch but pulled my hand back quickly as a sharp near electrical pulse shot through me.
I opened my mouth to call out to my wife but no words came. Dazzled, dazed with the anomaly, I reached for the glass of water on the end table. There was nothing on the end table. As I looked south through the big windows, the void of darkness was complete. The sky gave no stars, no moon…no house light flickers, no passing car lights, total, blackness.
I expected to be bewildered, but I was not. A sudden lethargy hit me, an acknowledgement, and acquiescence, but, of what? My body felt light and weightless.
Just outside the big window I saw a vague light with a slight orange glow. It grew larger as I watched until it became an imperfect form. Then it enveloped me gently, softly. I noiselessly like a liquid substance went to the carpet and became again a ‘body’ – a dead body…
Outside the windows a now larger orange form rose from the ground into a chute of light. I was in death given awareness of our ascent upward. As we rose the light widened, became brighter until I felt an exquisite peace, both alien and somehow known to me.
In the Chute of Light there came a clarity so far-reaching.
I saw my wife as she found my body in front of the Lazy-Boy. The end table light was on as her sad gasps brought her to the floor with me, and her arms enwrapped me, softly held me, whispered her love for me and that she would join me soon.
I was allowed a brief ‘soul meeting’ with my wife, only seconds in earthly time, but she knew in earth seconds the continuity of soul-spirit life beyond the mortal boundaries.
Obviously, you don’t have to believe any part of my exemplum, but it somehow gives me a cleansing sense.
One lives and determines his/her belief system. While by no stretch, certainly, have I lived a truly wholesome and spiritual life, I do cry in events of sadness and bad choices, and go to my mind’s dungeon cell when I get too far astray.
I simply cannot believe in darkness.
For all we partake of in this life, there must be light in the end.
If no light, no darkness, no awareness in the end, why did we stomp our feet so hard, fall in love, fall out, in again, and, again, libate til we could answer the questions the odd ‘psychs’ could not, always weaving each vagabond mile with a romantic curse still fighting with what bit of sanity we carried with us in those moments.
An ‘oyster’, our world! Eat of it, love it, take your turns hating it, play your roles with gusto. Don’t die early! Get all you can get from each orbit you are allowed, and don’t be too harsh with the ‘age game’ – it’s got some neat ways to get out of doing the things you don’t wish to do.
Then, the wrinkles will come, ‘Arthur’ will likely arrive, loved ones will be lost, our wars were fought for causes still yet gray and black, deaths of many, heroes to remind us of our follies…
Hey, go party, ‘kick it up’! Heck, I could be coming back in better form to an unrecognizable world, just, please, no apes in charge! Women, okay! BUT, only, if pliable…and, generous.
My good wife, I didn’t deserve. I love her, and she’s got most of this all figured out…she’s got lots of personalities in her un-cramped world (well, I cramp it a bit!) She’s a little girl and an intellectual wonder. She loves ‘family’ and friends. She is the most genuine person I’ve known in life.
I’ve got to end this…I could end up writing another book for the people who don’t like what I write…at least, that’s what the figures show.
Next, time, I’ll get it right!
Oh, don’t get the wrong idea! I’ve still got some writing to do…
BR Chitwood – October 5, 2020
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