CICADA SUMMER & THE FALL

In Eternity … “Looking over his grandfather’s field, a young boy stands beneath the bordering cottonwoods, their rustling accompanied by the metallic thrum of Cicadas – that always reminded of the sound made by the spinning of his father’s ratchet wrench – he feels the late day summer sunset, just disappearing behind the horizon, warming his face.”

W

hen asked a question, do we not say “therein lies a tale” or promise the proverbial

“film at eleven,” for to exist is to be the subject of a story, Reality, experience is always in the form of stories. I am the story that I tell, one episode within that collaborative story we call the World. I am nothing more than a narrator of my story in a World centered around me, and within this thought lies the beginning of my fall.

I A

had become blinded by the human tendency to see everything as a story. This is our fall,

or at least my fall. and my Fall was complete when my talent to see stories in the World becomes a blindness that sees the World only through stories. ugust, two years ago, the urban sounds surrounding me moved into the

background and suddenly my sensorium, my sensory world, became filled by the mechanical ratcheting thrum of the Cicadas. A few days latter, in a moment, it was the late late summer papery rustling of the Cottonwood leaves that somehow conspired to fill my world, bringing with them other memories … “Looking over his grandfather’s field, a young boy stands beneath the bordering cottonwoods, their rustling accompanied by the metallic thrum of Cicadas – that always reminded of the sound made by the spinning of his father’s ratchet wrench – he feels the late day summer sunset, just disappearing behind the horizon, warming his face.” … just this tableau, without story, quite meaningless, but somehow full of meaning. I felt as if I had been magically transported back to the eternal days of my

youth, to the late summer ending the seemingly infinite days of Summer Vacation, just before school resumes, when the story story starts again.

A

ll was well and would have remained well had I been willing to continue basking in

the late evening sun accompanied by the rustling of the Cottonwoods and the thrum of the Cicadas … but, for me, these memories of sense, these short snippets without a story, became a metaphorical story for the end of life, Summer’s end, a harbinger of Fall, when nature starts shutting down to prepare for the beautiful barren days of winter.

T
S

his metaphor began to permeate my world and in silent counterpoint to the events sur-

rounding me, I began to believe that I heard the thrum of Cicadas, the rustling of the Cottonwoods and felt the heat of the waning sun warming my face … just beyond the mundane events of an all too mundane life. The infinite days of Summer Vacation, of life, it seemed, was drawing to a close and it was time to return to … to what? uch was my frame of mind then, that it was hard not to see the “infinite days of Summer

Vacation” as a metaphor for life – is life really as serious as we like to pretend? – and so my mind began to imagine that I was beginning to experience the fact of my mortality, that in the Cicadas, Cottonwoods and Setting Sun were the intimation of the approaching winter, death.

To be continued …
© B. W, Reed June 29, 2011

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