waking up

2011.11.17

On the validity of superstition:
(11/11/11)

I stand, staring up into the tree watching shriveled leaves fall to the snowy ground. Longing not to be so impatient or superstitious, I check my phone for the time. 10:53. The lamps in the park remind me of gas streetlamps in a memory of a far away dream. They seem to flicker and sputter as the blustery night blows leaves and snow past their globes.

A gust catches my jacket, rippling the fabric and sending cold fingers up my chest. The tree is beautiful, though it looks as if it has had a hard time. Someone has cut several branches off, and as the bark grew up around the old nubs of flesh, the wood rotted away leaving a large hollow in the center of the tree, revealed only by the shadows cast by a lamp across the path as they dance through the small gap.

I’m alone. Not feeling entirely human, I watch a small group of people loudly stumble their drunken way across the park, tossing snow and breaking a small dry branch from a tree. I can’t tell which of us is out of place.

11:01. Thinking of superstition and other human constructs, I begin to wonder why I’m here. I feel silly, even though I never quite believed that something would happen at this specific time just because the numbers match up a little. It doesn’t matter, anyway. Human constructs only apply to our minds, and though they may change nature, It will not change for us when we believe it will. 11/11/11 11:11:11? Really? Besides, if I were using proper military time, it would have been this morning, 12 hours ago. A dream, though. I believe in dreams. That was vivid, that felt real. The horse hung and the world ended. The bottomless pit, the blind old man died. Then I woke up. Superstition may drive me tonight, or perhaps it is fellowship.

I make the call, but no one answers. Just like this morning. I didn’t expect any more. If I felt silly, how much more would she for these superstitions? But isn’t there some worth in belief alone? I know that the theory of attraction, however nice it sounds, is hogwash. You can’t make something happen just by wanting it badly enough. Anyone who thinks quantum physics leads to that conclusion believes in a wonderful fantasy, nothing more. But part of Schrodinger’s lesson wasn’t that the cat was dead, it was that by even checking, you would affect the outcome. Any measurement, no matter how discrete or far removed from the thing being measured, affects the results. Perhaps the same is true of any observation, and of any superstition. Superstition may be erroneously self-confirming, but perhaps I must accept that my superstitions will change me and decide what I will let them change.

The dream was so familiar. I have never been to this coast, never seen this building or even this ocean. I’m not entirely sure where it is, but somewhere deep I know I built this lighthouse, this tower with my own hands. I know that this is in Europe, and that my ancestors lived here. They lived in fear of the very thing I saw coming, the very thing that passed me by and let me alone because I was not afraid as it ended the world. I was not asleep. This world may have been in my head, but it was also in the past and the future. It was more perfectly vivid and more fully experienced than anything when I had been awake. I was awake now. Not before. Now.

I’m going to wake up. 11:10. It’s too bad they don’t turn the lights off in the park. The moon is so beautiful surrounded by the wispy clouds like this. The wind is so strange, blowing in circles, whooshing and bellowing silently. Only the gentle tugs of my jacket, the coolness on my face, and the sound of the leaves circling blustery tracks across the imprints of footsteps in the field tell me that the wind exists.

Something is approaching, and it feels like dread, only lighter. Happiness is never being okay again. A cool flame, a spark, and compassion. My eyes sting. I know its cold, but I have trouble feeling it. Running shoes shouldn’t have been the best idea, but I can’t tell that my feet are screaming. Numbness is receding, and it hurts. I didn’t realize how numb I was until it started to go away. Mother is hurting me, but nature never cares about life, death, or pain. All it cares for is the cycles. Or maybe I am hurting myself. I am the cold. Or the wind. I hear a whooshing sound approaching. It is like the wind, but the noise isn’t real. I hit myself hard, reality and numbness dissolving into pure perception.

11:11:01
10
9
8
7 thinking
6

4
3 seeing, I missed
2 something

half a moment

I’m awake.