Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Theme Thursday: Water

darkness...
a crease of light folds it open from the middle...
pouring in bright waves...
water and rocks seem a whole lot closer now...
how did i get here...

It began with a creek. It wound a semicircle around our grandparents land, holding the cliffs on the opposite bank at bay. The creek was a place that our adventures began, exploring the imposing rock, the bamboo forest, rabbit hutches, the tunnel where the water disappeared from view. Traversing the liquid divide, ranging inches deep to several feet, was a feet in and of itself.

This particular day, arriving at the far bank, we began to climb the craggy rocks. Fingers fought for holds among the cracks, while toes sought perch to push upon. How little the rolling water looked from atop our precipice, thirty feet below. Catching our breath, our eyes wandered to the vines dangling from the out thrust trees.

"Let's swing out on the vines." was all it took. Fools following fools, like lemmings off the cliffs of life. Out into the open air we swung, tempting the laws of gravity to pull us back. Out and back again, we went further and further, like these always do.

It was not a crack, more like the sound of a rushing release, fingers of vine scrambling for purchase along the tree. The world spinning as I begin a dive toward oblivion. There is no way the shallows will stop what is coming, head first, dashed upon the rocks, a sledge hammer to a watermelon. and then...time...stops, my body jerks...

darkness...
a crease of light fold it open from the middle...
pouring in bright waves...
water and rocks seem a whole lot closer now...

A tightness in my leg, another vine wrapped around it, catching me amidst the plunge. Saved from fools folly and becoming one with the rocks and the water. Scrambling to my rescue, up righting me into a more controlled decent. 

Back across the  snaking steam, resting on the bank, watching life drift by. Experience is not always the best teacher. Experience is across the starting line, your foot already in the deep...

water...

darkness...
a crease of light folds it open from the middle...
pouring in bright waves...
water and rocks seem a whole lot closer now...
how did i get here?

38 comments:

willow said...

Really beautiful, Brian. I like the repetitive darkness piece. This reminds me of my kids growing up playing in the river behind WM. I wonder how many times they came close to danger, without my knowledge.

Dakota Bear said...

It reminds me of the dumb(adventurous) things we did as kids around ponds of water in the woods. It was fun while we were doing it. I always hoped my kids wouldn't do dumb things.

I like the stanzas about darkness.

Ronda Laveen said...

Made me think about all the crazy things we jumped off of, out of, and into. Like you said..."fools leading fools, like lemmings off the cliffs of life." So well put. Glad your watermelon stayed intact but seems that many memories got stuck in there.

Tom said...

scary! Sometimes i wonder how anyone survives to audulthood.

Marianna said...

Well you know what they say Brian..."Experience is a hard teacher. She gives the test first and the lesson afterwards"

Great post! Thank you :)
Peace and love
xoxo

Candie Bracci said...

Wow,really well written,well descibed!
Great post Brian.I love the way you write.

Mrsupole said...

I was scared for you for a moment there. So glad that you were saved. When we were kids we got thrown into the pond and told to swim or die. Then in high school they "taught" us how to swim. I would never be able to swing across a creek, I have fear of heights and can barely swing in a swing. So yes I had fear for you.

Thank you for sharing this experience.

God bless.

Poetikat said...

I loved that line: "Like lemmings off the cliffs of life" - that can be applied to so many things, can't it? We do follow the crowd and usually live to regret it.
I was held captive the whole way through and really liked the interjection of the refrain.

Kat

Squirrel said...

I remember creeks as a kid, this really took me back to being "dared" to do things.

Wings said...

Incredible. Thank you for sharing that.

JGH said...

Nothing like exploring a creek as a kid - but a good reminder of the dangers - glad you made it to the rocks.

The Clever Pup said...

Really great, Brian. I could hear it, smell it, feel it.

Like the original bungee jumper. Wondeful bit of prose.

reyjr said...

come to think of it, ive never swung on a vine and into a lake ever. :p

The Silver Fox said...

I was never much of a crowd-follower. The stupid things I did -- and of course I did plenty -- were usually my own idea.

A well-told tale... which is why I worried how it would end, although you obviously survived, or else, how could you write it now?

Brian Miller said...

@silverfox - lol. had a few of those ideas myself. yeah got lucky that time around. had several close ones as a young man...

@reyjr - while lots of fun, i recommend not trying the way i did in this story...

@clever pup - bungee jumping nature style...glad someone was looking out for me that day.

@jgh - creeks are adventures waiting to happen for kids (and adults...lol)

@wings - ty

@squirrel - lived through the dare stage, luckily...lol

@poetikat - yes we do get a lemming streak in us every once in a while...

@mrsu - i had fear for me several times growing up as well. guess it teaches us along the way but if we find someone that has been where we are trying to get, it seems a whole lot better way to learn.

@candi - ty

@marianna - too true

@tom - i have wondered that myself at times and now i get to watch my boys and pry they live through it. my parents revenge through my kids i guess...

@roinda - lots of seeds in the watermelon to be explored it seems...

@dakota - dumb(adventurous) seems to be a theme for childhood, at least it was for me..

@willow - and one day they will write a blog or whatever the tech of the day is and you will get to read it and just shake your head. lol.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

thanks for living though those dare devil times!!

had some flashbacks in my own crazy youth reading you story!

Cuppa Jo said...

Ah, youth!

Tom said he sometimes wonders how anyone makes it to adulthood. I always wonder that, or more specifically, I wonder how boys make it to manhood, because the odds are stacked against them.

We didn't have creeks like this when I was growing up. They were the kind with cement banks and small trickles of water. So even though it was scary, you have an experience I couldn't have had so I'm a little envious. Still as a girl, I probably wouldn't have endangered myself, unless we were talking trees and just trees.

Brian Miller said...

@mouse - sometimes those flashbacks help us re-live or appreciate our youthful-ness. happy tt!

@cuppa jo - have we done trees for tt, would look forward to your stories. ah, lament your lack of creeks. youth is such fun! why do we ever let go? where is our neverland!

tut-tut said...

What a very evocative prose poem. You really captured what it was like, and I felt I was there with you.

Can you imagine doing all those things now? Or allowing our kids to do so?? We used to jump from the top of a barn into the hay below, regardless of pitchforks and the like.

Michael Rawluk said...

I didn't think you were going to survive your adventure but I guess you must have because you wrote it :-)
I learned to swim in a fast flowing creek swimming against the current. Didn't think about what would happen if I got swept away.

Brad said...

wow nice post!

Brad said...

this was Tara's post? Amazing she would have more followers than you.

Sandra Leigh said...

Life is one dangerous, great adventure, isn't it, Brian?

Brian Miller said...

@brad - see yesterdays post for Tara.

@sandra - yes it is, it will bite you if you don't watch it. lol.

@michael - wow thats not sink of swim, thats swim or end up in the next county.

@tut tut - i don't know if i want to know all that my boys do. sure they will not fall far from the tree.

lettuce said...

i love the refrain to this

Dot-Com said...

Scary, but I guess we all do things that aren't very clever from time to time :-)

Kris said...

Fools following fools? Sounds like my work!

Kitty said...

I guess I'm not the only one who did silly things in my youth!

Colette Amelia said...

Don't let your boys know this...they might want to try the trick themselves...oh my you gave your poor mother a grey or two I see!

C.M. Jackson said...

well done---your choice of phrasing and structure made the experience real--I could feel the vine tightening and the nearness ice cold water!

c

California Girl said...

that is gorgeous and full of imagery. really special!

Baino said...

You write so eloquently Brian. I was falling with you there. It is true though that many back injuries or even paraplegia is caused by mad young things jumping into shallow waters. I have a friend who did the same thing when a tyre swing over a shallow pond broke. He'll be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. A lucky escape, beautifully retold.

Anonymous said...

Holy cow... I hadn't thought about that in forever. You're right, there was no definitive snap.... just an unfurling. Boy it was funny though. HA.

I can't wait for the blog about the Miller Earps & a burning Cadillac. I digress.

-DF

DineometerDeb said...

Reminds of my childhood foolishness--standing on the seat of my bicycle, climbing on billboard signs.... sigh. Secretly, I am sort of proud of those accomplishments though.

Books,Coffee,etc.... said...

Hi! Brian Miller,
I have to "echo" what the other commenters said, what an adventure, childhood
folly, but yet, what a very descriptive, interesting post to read.
Thank-you, for sharing!
Deedee ;-D

Jaime said...

nice story. i think my parents would have killed me if i did something like that. :)

tony said...

Oh, those early memories are always so vivid that they stay with us forever.Life The Teacher!

Mama K said...

Yikes! Scary! But it was good for making memories wasn't it? (-: I am glad I do not know all the things my kids have tried. And I'm glad you lived to tell about this adventure of yours.