Friday, February 06, 2009


There you were, a slightly something nothingness to pat the blonde crown of my head. Even in my sleep, I see you, and the characters that were a part of the story that held you suspended like a shiny red balloon set among a bouquet of little white ones. Imagine the heights you might explore entirely on your own if you were to be cut free of the bouquet, tethered as it is to that small lead weight ensconced in a plastic smiley face to make its purpose seem friendlier. As a balloon, bound to the other balloons, your sole purpose is to delight and amuse, and yet I’d wager that you dream of something loftier. I’ll not say that I think one is truly better than the other. The fate of the balloon that rises unhindered towards the golden sun… well it is doomed to POP! While on the other hand, the balloon that remained tethered to it’s bland brethren will eke a few delighted exclamations from one observer or another, and eventually it will begin to shrivel and droop like a withered flower at the end of a flaccid stem until it is just a wrinkly little flap of rubber. Either outcome is somewhat dismal, and still I think I’d like to soar before the end, and well, perhaps that is what I am doing.
That may be the reason that I catch a glimpse of the lot of you in a dream now and then, when a gentle zephyr blows me near the carnival grounds and I see your bulbous heads bobbing up and down in time to the floppy footed step of some horrible clown. What does it mean, soft breeze that you sometimes afford me a glimpse of the bunch I left behind, and especially that red balloon, which surely I admired once as much as any other white balloon might? What does it mean that I sometimes wish for the red balloon to escape a slow demise and soar with the birds of prey above the world and above the clouds? The moment that my own tether was cut, I left the red balloon and its pearly entourage behind, and their fate is their own as mine is my own. How then can I imagine that I know anything of their existence, as I am no longer one of their ilk?
I could not expect them to think of my flight as a worthy way to spend the days until the roller coaster comes shooting out of the final curve and the ride is over, because they choose the tether and the lead weight and I the unclouded sky. I imagine, or perhaps I was once told, that they hope to lift that weight one day as a whole, through an act of magic, via a measure of defiance against the holy laws of nature. One day they will all make an effort which will be unaccountable, given that as time passes they loose strength and buoyancy rather than gain it, and yet, through a special effort made collectively by each individual, they will rise. Or so they hope. It is difficult to get so many air heads aligned to work for a common purpose and then to further make an effort which only they themselves, individually, can hope to invoke.
As long as the bunch is big enough it will always be easier to say, "Well, we would rise if only Bobo would lift his share of the weight." And "The reason we aren’t getting enough lift is because Balin is leaking." And by thus placing attention on all the other balloons in their company, they fail to place the necessary attention on themselves, they fail to apply as individuals the supernatural attention that makes possible the impossible.
Or so I imagine. What can be the reason that my imagination, my dreams, my mind bends back towards you now and again? In my dreams alone all balloons are reconciled and accepting of each other’s fate. Like the animals of the Wind In The Willows, in my dreams we all know that there is no use commenting on the sudden appearance or disappearance of another animal. We are glad when we are together, and remorseless in parting, and ever accepting that otters must swim and moles burrow and sparrows fly. There will be times when we take the path together, and times when our destiny demands that we part, and that is all that there is to it.
Or so I imagine.
So I have dreamed.

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