Youth said “Dreams Never Die.” Twenty years passed then Recession kicked in. New Realities were born. Twelve hour workdays became the norm.
Like a drowning man Dreams surfaced again and again only to plummet down to the watery deep. All the while knocking at 1% door watching them through one-sided window laugh, play, drink and party with no thought for the ‘Morrow’. We the unseen only imagining free time for our dreams.
Dreams that must wait until Social Security beckons if death does not reach us first. Fore bread, water, warm clothes and a place to live cry louder. Goodnight Sweet Dreams. May you one day resurrect to a New Dawn.
Surrounded by a plethora of people who seemed to surface like bloated corpses after spring thaw. Worker bees we are all meaningless specks of dust being recklessly scattered by blustery winds. Modern day Robber Barons throw battle weary soldiers back into the battle while they sit sipping tea in Ivory Towers. Thirty-seven years a professional, now placating rot breath Sabbath suits long in tooth, visions of Mammy dancing in their heads. Limestone Liver spotted wrinkled bone bags befoul the air with endless demands. Dontcha know Miz Daisy learned to drive herself and the Help all went to the French Rivera.
I am Hagar cast out of my prosperous household, denied by the Master and Mistress I once served. Thrown out of my protectors’ house my Dream-child and I await Our Avenging Angel of Salvation.
My Dreams now dead buried under work obligations, mountains of rules and regulations that I seem to constantly violate just by being. No miracles exist for me. Only years of mindless drudgery ahead. Millennial Overseers govern my every move with their remote control mind games. Freedom lies dormant within my imagination. My brain has been put out to pasture because intelligence is not needed or wanted and creativity has become a sin. Automaton Me clad in nondescript dull uniform easily replaceable by the next set of hungry hands yearning for the pence dispensed from the rich mans table. Hey!! Who’s next up on the Auction Block?!! Come lock step into the Plantation Mausoleum filled with objects which are valued more than drones who guard them. We be Aliens in our own Land. Serfs never reaping a hard earned Harvest.
Yet soon a New Day will Dawn, Dreams will bear fruit and Visions be reborn.
I couldn’t build a proper tree house. Too high up and anyway I’m afraid of heights, so instead I built this little fort of sorts as a place to gather my thoughts after a hectic day. Made my best efforts with whatever materials the forest floor offered up as building materials. There were enough twigs and branches to construct more ground level tree houses or make my current enclosure larger but I chose to save some for kindling for warmth against the chill night air and the rest I kept stacked as a type of cord-wood in a womb like nook Mother Nature had carved into a tree that had been struck by lightening. Eventually I decided to construct another Tipii twig abode to store my few belongings I had gradually began to sneak away from The Family Residence.
These Tree/Tepee/Tipii/Twig aka T3 structures became my holy sanctuaries and safe havens I return to again and again to re-connect with Mother Earth and nature. Too small to stand upright clicking my heels together three times was not an option so I was forced to remain seated. With some degree of discomfort I could lay down in a fetal position while I imagined myself re-entering an alternate womb to be reborn into better circumstances. Mine were a tepee shelters without the buffalo skin covering all exposed bones and framework.
Sometimes I’d hug my knees and rhythmically rock back and forth while repeating what I thought were calming mantras, occasionally wishing that the earth would open up and swallow me whole transporting me some place free from pain, misery and cruelty. Like a shaman I chanted using my homemade rituals attempting to silence the drumbeat of voices incessantly chattering inside my head versus the declarations of the Family. They created a dissonance tear in the time frame continuum of my thoughts.
You see our house, The Family Home if you could call it that is a ramshackle structure; a hodgepodge mixture of stone, wood and stucco additions and afterthoughts as different parts of the building were constructed at different times upon the whims the directors and caretakers.
I was forced to share this mishmash cottage with twelve other inmates, bordered on this expanse of woods providing me a refuge from leaky roofs, busted walls, peeling wallpaper, lukewarm baths, moldy musty scented showers, not to mention all the yelling, screaming, arguments, fights, thefts of food and personal belongings and constant disagreements of a house too small to accommodate the number of people residing within its creaky ramparts. The Family nicknamed it the Hotel California. You know the place where you check in but never check out. The nails across chalkboard voices of The Family were constant knife thrusts to my brain making daily life a constant battle that did not end even has the diurnal gave up residence to the nocturnal for they all snored, wheezed and gasped through the night abyss. The utter desolation of the place crept into your bones and took root nourished by hopelessness.
The Family’s house sits on an oddly place piece of land, our house gives way to forest which in turn after several miles gives way to craggy, rocky shores of a steep cliff, where if one sits perfectly still you can hear the violent waves crashing against rough jagged rock formations that looked as though they were designed by the devil himself. It is said that in olden times there used to be many shipwrecks where sailors were either impaled on the razor sharp Stalagmites. Sometimes you can even hear the shrieks, moans, cries and groans of the unfortunate wretches mixed in with the howling winds. The few who weren’t dashed to pieces by the razor sharp jagged rock formations tried to climb up to safety but were thwarted by the steep incline.
So I periodically retreated to my exoskeleton asylums as a sentry medium between earth and sky. I can never turn my mind off completely but within my secret hiding place the voices were kept to a low roar and bid to change direction and pace.
The last straw that broke the camels back came when my moronic addled brained cell-mate Pearl kept throwing her nasty, dirty towels, underwear and flip-flops over to my side of the room. When I returned from the canteen or our common dining area there were moldy wet towels plastered to the floor like throw rugs that accosted the dividing line between our two living areas. Pearl was known as the filthiest female in our wing tossing food and drink to and fro fully expecting that a squad of personal maids and sweepers were following in her wake. One night after I returned from my many woodland sojourns I decided that I had, had enough and soaked all her grimy towels in gasoline and lighter fluid obtained from an unlocked supply closet near the motor pool. Pearl had a tendency to drink like sailor on shore leave and sleep just as soundly so she never had an inkling as I piled the towels around her bed, built a kindling fort for good measure and added effect, led a fuse from a doorway to an open window, climbed out and lit said fuse.
The Kindling delivered me from The Family’s vocalizations. I tried to warn them before. I tried to silence the voices through escape, but it was not working so I had to try another plan. The crackles and pops of my campfire seem to be in sync with the screams and cries for rescue from the patients locked inside their rooms but eventually those voices will die out also, and then sleep. Blessed sleep.
The Massacre of the Innocents is found at Matthew 2:16–18, Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
Her very essence is gone. Her core destroyed. Madonna Badger’s face is etched in grief and sorrow. Hers is a piercing cry I’ve heard before coming from the seat of a grieving soul. Her sorrow doubled in the multiple loss of her parents and children in a fire on Christmas Day.
Yes I’ve heard that those mournful wails before within the walls of New Jerusalem Baptist church coming from the mother of Kevin Miller. Kevin was killed while on his way to get a snack from McDonald’s. A reward from his Mom for making the Honor Roll at school. Kevin another innocent victim of gang violence in the year 2009.
Kevin Miller, 13, a godly boy, holy, righteous, an upstanding youth
A good student, modest in dress and manner
A junior usher at New Jerusalem Baptist Church
Cut down before he even had a chance to live his life
Kevin’s mother and grandmother were at service the Sunday before his funeral. Such a wail, a cry of grief went out from his heartbroken mother that it reached the depths of my soul and I’m sure rest of the congregation. I did not attend Kevin Miller or the Badger children’s funerals but as a woman I can feel that pain, as their tears make a pathway to hoping as the grief stricken Orpheus to make a trail for Eurydice’s lost children to follow.
But alas there is no way back for little souls pure of heart now at play in the garden of Paradise. Women and men everywhere embrace their small souls and your heart Madonna Badger with our hearts and prayers.
Yet like Kevin Miller’s Mom and Madonna Badger I ask Why?