“Dad, what do you do behind there?”
“There, the curtain”
“Yes, I am there a lot, I know.”
“And always, always working. What for?”
“For us? Then why can’t I see?”
“It is not ready.”
“Will it ever be ready?”
“Yes I know, it always takes me a long time, too long.”
“I have never seen anything you’ve done.”
“I don’t believe this is true.”
“No it isn’t. Actually, I could show you, but I don’t know that you are ready.”
“I am, I am!”
“We all think that before we see it – and then we see it and we are not prepared.”
“What do I have to do to be ready?”
“You must practice.”
“How could I possibly do that?”
“Do you remember the story I told about the fairy?”
“That fairy doesn’t exist, that was a lie.”
“That was a story, but that too was practice.”
“Well, I can’t tell you, you must just practice – but maybe you are already prepared, nothing surprises me anymore.”
“Ok, this sounds like hog wash.”
“Fair, but it is not. It is practice.”
“Just show me what’s behind the curtain!”
He withdrew the curtain.
“Whoa… What is that?”
“This is a galaxy.”
“Yes, I know that too – but you built it?”
“But you didn’t build it – that would make you God.”
“I am not God. There is a God, but She did not build this. It is far too crude.”
“I don’t know what that means, but I still don’t believe you. You built a galaxy?”
“It’s not real.”
“No. You can’t just build a real galaxy.”
“Do you want to visit it.”
“This is no joke. You must think about this. Do you really want to leave our galaxy and visit this one. You must be strong in your conviction.”
“Is it dangerous?”
“Yes!? Why did you do that?”
“Because I had no choice – it is real.”
“Ugh. None of this makes sense. How can this be real and be a new galaxy you made?”
“Like the morning star is the evening star…”
“Again, I have no idea what you’re saying, but if this galaxy is our galaxy, then you did not make it.”
“Stop using big words! One day I will know all these big words and know what you are saying!”
“I must remember that, it is true.”
“If it is our galaxy, why did you have to build it?”
“Because I hope it is a better than the old one.”
“So are you going to let me visit your galaxy? Cause if it is our galaxy, then I am not scared.”
“No. Now I know you need more practice.”
“Ugh! Let me go!”
The girl took a big leap into the galaxy.
You are but a girl, by thoughts besieged
from hopes and fears which by turn breathe,
your breaths for you, as you devine,
a passage through this galaxy of mine.
You took a trip, innocent enough,
but you could not see just how rough,
the going would be, all alone,
without a map, a prayer, or a poem.
Who will say what scripture to read?
It is but from the hand that feeds,
and if this accident should so decide,
keep the mind open to other guides.
Let this be but one my dear,
though it will not stop the fear.
The fear you must conquer before it abates,
there is only through, let’s hope that’s your fate.
And so I give my perhaps strange advice,
that a heaven may come and you get your slice.
The world is complex, that’s not my fault,
but my guidance simple, so take it with salt.
The lives we lead are not always our own,
the tide does come and rattles the bone.
Should you make it, I’d be proud,
for there are dangers behind the shroud.
As you see them, they will come;
rampage and riots and drugs bar none,
murder, disease, hatred and gore,
noise and noise and too much war.
And to keep your head, that is a quest,
despite gestalt, slander, and jest.
Learn who you are, and don’t forget,
or doing other’s bidding is your bet.
There is in this galaxy a struggle anon,
so that what is good shall never be gone,
of rationalists and empiricists, of left and right,
of liberals and conservatives, who always fight.
If I should, and I guess I must dare,
to say it is a fight over methods is fair.
And it will forever be hard to concede,
that a life was lived and only for the deed.
And for this reason, should you endure –
after the great fight, should you prove pure –
there will be for you an opportunity to take;
and we will allow you a galaxy to make.
She came back.
“Would you wish to live there?”
She was still stunned.
“Most choose one galaxy in which to create their own galaxies”
“I have seen your galaxy…”
“I know it is a bit rough, but there was a lot we had to account for.”
“I have seen your galaxy and it is crazy… Can I wait for something better?”
He sighed. Put his chin on his fist. Thought and thought and said… “Yes”
And so the girl waited… until the next option was available.
She approached it in wonder, but not without trepidation.
And here, she wrote stories of her own.
“Just listening to your recording. It appears you are white.”
“Yes… Is that in my recording?”
“I gathered that from some things. Not to mention your skin color.”
“Yes, my skin is white.”
“Yes. Yes it is. Now tell me, how does a white boy know the blues?”
“Like anyone I’ve had life’s comeupin’s.”
“Nobody talks like that anymore… where are you from?”
“Wisconsin, but we have black people too.”
“Oh is that how black people talk?”
“They used to. I read it in Faulkner and Twain. They are always gettin’ their comeupin’s.”
“Ok anyhow. Did you ever work a chain gang? Or flea a coon hunt? Or overcome an addiction? Or get your heart stomped on by a woman? Or do any bluesy thing in your life?”
“That’s not really what the blues are about sir. They are about facing trials and obstacles that don’t relent. They are about that forlorn sentiment that accompanies relinquishing hope to a life of daily bludgeoning by unseen forces.”
“And you know this, this sentiment?
“Well, yes sir. I do a lot of reading on the internet. And putting aside the awful lack of general prosaic literacy, the writing tends to nurture the utmost depravity by means of insinuating my ignorance, and this leads me to indulge in a superficial vice which diverts my general frustration.”
“like the sensual delights of the female figure.”
“Yes, but a little… anyway yes.”
“This ain’t the blues son. You gonna sing about that? This is plain old lack of confidence.”
“What makes you think this?”
“Ok. I find this a terrible judgment of my character from my otherwise homely appearance.”
“You ain’t so ugly son. Just wimpy is all.”
“Yes, I have a bit of a feeble constitution.”
“Wimpy. Just wimpy. You got to sit up straight and try to put some meat on those bones.”
“And how can you sing the blues with those wimpy pipes? Give me a little raspy Satchmo will ya?”
“Technically Mr. Armstrong was a jazz musician. But here it goes…”
“How do you know? You are not African American either. You’re whiter than me.”
“Ugh, now it’s a racial thing…”
“I know the blues son. Plenty of white artists know the blues too. Now I have a jet waiting, but if you want to send in an audition recording my staff in the foothills will look it over.”
“Tell me now sir, what will it take?”
“To make it? The grace of God.”
And with that, my life took a religious turn.