It’s Always Up There”

by BR Chitwood

desert_sunset-big

How often do you look up there?  That big old sky that presents all itspatterns? The clear lucent blue with old Sol hanging around? A few wisps of clouds that enhance the palette of your mind? A thick set of dark impending cumuli that carries lots of moisture, with perhaps a patch of blue just off to the west? A clear dreamer’s night of a million plus stars? How often do you look up there?

Quite often for me… You see, I’m one of those restless and rudderless romantics that cannot somehow find that magical glue that pastes me to one place. So I look up there quite often and ponder not only God’s great handiwork but the course of history and mortal confusion and doubt. Mostly, it’s my own mortal confusion and doubt, but, certainly, I would be totally blind not to see it all around me. The people of the world, peasant-types, power brokers, movers and shakers, all of us send out our queries to the universe in moments of that mortal confusion and doubt. Individual, global, it matters not, we fight our wars within these fragile bodies created during that nine-month miracle in time when we become who and what it is we are meant to be. Some of us with doubt and confusion speak in different tongues, make a wrong translation, push a wrong button, and cause a war. Some of us have been passed the torch of hate from generation to generation, will seemingly ever know only one way to relieve their confusion and doubt. Some of us, even amid our doubt and confusion, will create a masterpiece map for living in freedom with liberty and justice for all. And, some of us add to our confusion and doubt, forget the lessons of history which in the relative span of mortal time were only yesterday.

Somehow, I’ve managed to somehow understand that we all cannot come together in peace and understanding in my mortal lifetime. The efforts of good intentioned people have really become just silly simple games played among those who pursue their selfish political agendas. An accord is reached only to be broken. An ally becomes an enemy. An enemy becomes an ally… All silly power games that silly power men and women play.

When I look up there, in that sky that gives us sometime hope, sometime fear, I only ponder my simple existence and must come to some conclusion as to why I am here on this rotating sphere. The only reckoning that I can make is that no simple big bang caused all of this mortal confusion and doubt. When I look up into that sky of many faces there is but one conclusion, one truth that for me makes all the sense in this world. It is the truth that has been passed down to us from the beginning of our time, on cave walls, on papyrus, in the bible, the truth that has been maligned, reorganized, and otherwise discounted for centuries, the truth that has become debatable sport among some elites and scholars. It is the truth that a Supreme Being, God, controls all of our destinies. Otherwise, why do I and so many have our faith? Why would we contrive so much to make something so?

Our God gives us so many examples to how our mortal moments could and should be spent. He gives us so many paths our lives could take, to provide help for those who need, to forever act as peacemakers, to quell the urges of the dark essence that would possess us… Our God gives us free will to act out our choices. And, what makes God’s plan so wonderful is that we get to do it over and over again until we get it right. In His time, our mortal months and years are but fleeting seconds. There is death on the mortal plain, but you must believe, you must have faith, that you will never forego God’s ultimate plan. At some point along God’s timeline, no matter how many mortal lives it might take, you will reach that magical light of eternity.

It’s always up there. When I look up and penetrate the blue and dark of sky, that is what I see, out beyond the far dimensions of space… Family, Hope, Love, Peace, Eternity.

And, sometimes, I sing and write about it…

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Felix and Fred -Putting Up A Fence

(Image by vipul uthaiah)

Felix and Fred

-Putting Up a Fence-

 “C’mon, don’t give me that crapola! You know that I don’t buy into your atheist beliefs. You’re a close-minded ‘know-it-all’.”

“Hey, you started the conversation.”

“How do you get there, ‘me’, starting the conversation?”

“You asked me what I thought about ‘climate change’…”

“And?”

“And, you used the word, God, in your question.”

“I said, ‘For God’s sake’, how can these young progressives be so stupid as to put ‘climate change’ as the number one problem facing the country?”

“Right, and I said, ‘God has nothing to do with it. There is no God. So, you got pissed and called me names.”

“Look, Fred, let’s get something straight here. We’ve had this lively chat before, and I keep telling you, ‘keep the atheist crap to yourself’, but somehow you always get the conversation over into the domain of metaphysics and intellectual inquiry, trying your damndest to charm me with your intellect, to turn me in a direction I’m not about to go… So, once, and for all the ‘next times’, I believe in a higher intelligence, a Deity, a God, not that ‘big bang’ you bring into just about every conversation we have. Now, you’re entitled to believe whatever you wish to believe, but, I say, but, when I make it clear to you where I stand on an issue, don’t keep bringing up your so-called belief of life being ‘nothingness’, that generic man gets only one chance at this thing we call life, implying we who do believe in God are all idiots.”

“Felix, your argument has no credibility, but…”

“Why, you arse-hole, my argument has no credibility? What? The Sun rises and sets. The tides move with the Moon. A baby is born in very precise stages, alive in a woman’s womb, sustained by the miracle of a woman’s bodily make-up, brought into a world where he or she or they can achieve remarkable feats, or, simply live a life, good or bad, until death claims them. Faith gives Life meaning, a purpose, to create, to explore the depths of knowledge, to live in hope of something ‘beyond’ the earthly realm. The mystery of death beguiles and haunts the thinking man in search of his soul’s quest…oh, but, not you. You don’t doubt, you know ‘with avid certainty’ that darkness awaits at the end of our breathing… You know, because I’ve told you before, Fred, we could have perhaps lively and fun conversations about life and death if you could admit to Agnosticism. But, no, not you. You’re really bright, but I wish you had some honest humility. Ah, I’ve had my say. Let’s finish this fence and stop talking for a while, Fred. Okay with you?”

“Yeah, sure, it’s okay with me, but, hell, Felix, we all have beliefs. I’m sorry I make you so angry, but I’m just speaking from my mind, not my heart.”

“That’s cute, Fred, that little ‘transference thing’ you just did, but don’t be using one of ‘our’ words in this conversation.”

‘Our words’, Felix? Oh, and which word is that, my enlightened friend?”

“The word is hell, Fred. Don’t use it, because you’re violating your belief system. Hell when used by atheists must mean that, in their most private moments, they think of Heaven and Hell! How’s that, my egotistical friend? Now, hand me another cinder block for the fence. We’re almost at the end. A few more yards will do it.”

“Are we okay, Felix? I mean, we still friends? I never know when you go on your rants”

“Rants, huh? I guess you’re talking about my superior logic… Yeah, of course, Fred. We’re still friends. Who else would listen to your brain farts? You make me mad with your mind-set, but we’ve been around too many corners to turn around now. We couldn’t find our way back home. You see, my God was feeding me my lines just now. Who was feeding you your lines?”

“The little guy in my brain.”

“Guess that’ll have to do.”

“We’ve been friends and next-door neighbors for years now, Felix. You figure this fence is a symbol for our disagreements?”

“Hell, no. I just don’t like watching you chase your lovely wife all around the back yard in your birthday suit. That ‘picture’ is not exactly pretty for you, but I’ve fallen in love with your wife.”

“That’s just mean, Felix, even though I’m smiling. That kind of thinking won’t get you to heaven.”

“You’ll never know. Now, hand me the the cinder block, arse-hole.”

Billy Ray Chitwood – March 3, 2019

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The Old Red Barn

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The Old Red Barn

Years ago, driving on a two-lane highway from Decatur, Illinois to Springfield, Illinois, I found myself stuck behind a semi-truck. After several attempts to pass the truck failed, my patience was on the thin side. (So, I’m a ‘mover’ in life! Not necessarily a ‘shaker’.)

Impatience can lead to bad decisions!

On a long inclined straight-away I decided to make my pass, jammed the accelerator to the floor and went into the oncoming lane. Abreast of the Semi, I saw a fast-moving car coming into view over the distant rise. It was coming straight at me. The semi-truck seemed to pick up speed, and I remember thinking at the time the driver was being spiteful. I slammed on the brake, screeched, got back behind the Semi but going too fast to slow down. So, I was either to hit the truck’s rear-end or go off the road…I took the latter choice, went off onto a grassy knoll and slid sideways past the Semi, looked into the shocked driver’s eyes, and came to a stop by an old barbwire/wood post fence.

I turned off the ignition and sat stupefied, my whole body quaking from within my sweaty skin. Nerves scrambled, I looked across a green field of daisies and saw an old red barn…

Suddenly, déj vu moments came: “My God! I’ve been here before!” Aloud, I mumbled to myself. That red barn, this land, has something to do with my life, not in its current human form, but, maybe, as a cow grazing in this green field of daisies…

These bits of thought brought deeper cognition: was it God’s plan that we entities were to keep incarnating until we reached some quintessential level of growth? Live our lives in other  forms, perhaps, a bird, barn owl, cat, coyote, dog, rabbit, squirrel, an ape, a bear, different human forms? Was it God’s plan that, at some point in these incarnations, we would reach a level of purity at which point we would become part of the great light and glow with happiness forever?

I sat there and wondered how scientists would assess such thoughts? Surely, they would laugh and dismiss such notions as nonsense, silly aberrations of the mind that go against fundamental scientific inquiry. But, there, at that rotting fence post and barbwire, I sat and argued within myself: Wait, God gave me a mind to think my thoughts! Can I not be rational in an irrational world? Or, is it that I am irrational in a rational world? ‘Cogito ergo sum’! I think, therefore I am! Certainly, in this body I’m allowed to follow the course of my linking thoughts to the limited ability of my intelligence quotient.

I even remember laughing at myself as my body and mind came back more to the ‘real world’ in which I was living: cars passing on a hightway; business meeting to attend; a banquet to attend, et al.

Of course, I knew this near-death interruption of normalcy was likely a factor in this instance of mind skittering, but it was all so very real to me at that time, the strong sense of some force pulling me back in time. Those moments of neuronic madness spread before me my early life of family displacement, mobility, and emotional confusion, and I sat, only peripherily noticing the passing cars and its occupants staring at the strange car and driver. I’m sure it was but a momentary distraction for the passing cars and occupants, likely thinking someone just pulled off the highway for a nap.

For me, though, the incident brought so many questions and metaphysical thoughts. I sat there behind the wheel for thirty minutes feeling relief from what could have been a highway ‘death pass’ accident, trying to equate my near death to moments that spoke to me so clearly.

Billy Ray Chitwood – April 23, 2018

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