Monday, April 19, 2010

Magpie Tales: Paradox

when i was a boy, before the world became small and complicated in its intricate details, there was a field we would travel to regularly, my cousin and i, that would transport us back in time. it really was a remarkable discovery, one day, as we traipsed through the woods behind his house, looking for our next grand adventure.

a color like gold shimmered through the crooked branches, immediately catching our eyes, reeling us in like fish on a hook. as the leaves crunched beneath our feet, we dashed the last hundred yards, slip sliding along the ridge, drawing up short to stand in awe.

the air felt different, a low level buzz hanging there, leaving you feeling like you were holding in live wire between your teeth. some would say it was cicadas singing, but it could only be the mass converters hidden from our sight. they had even erected a rusty barbed wire fence around the field, which meant it must be something worth discovering, not just sunlight capturing the golden grains at just the right angle to produce such a twinkle.

no, climbing through that fence we became magellan, lewis & clark, or the crew of the enterprise on some distant planet. we made sure not to wear red, as the guy that wore red invariably got dissolved by the gelatinous monster or was disintegrated in an errant laser beam.

we were careful in our discovery not wanted to accidentally erase a long distant relative and thus find ourselves trapped in the paradox of time never to return home for supper, especially if it was an afternoon my aunt was fixing fried chicken. you would not want to miss that. time travel is messy like that, you can have the best intentions in changing the circumstances, but then life just would not be the same when you got around to returning to the present.

we spent many afternoons there, mapping the perimeter of the past. An old abandoned shack, half falling apart, grey boards hanging loose on their aged orange nails, became our base of operations, though we never left anything there as someone might discover our intrusion and follow us back to peep in our windows at night.

its been many years since i returned that way to the past. these days i run my finger over the steaming locomotive, etched in the back of my grandfathers pocket watch, that sits in the bowl by my bed. it doesn't tell time anymore, springs having sprung, but in each caress it tells time alright for me.

i still don't wear red when i travel through time, and i avoid making waves, so i don't errantly muck with the present or accidentally get stuck there. i would not change a thing, but sometimes it's fun just to visit.

This is a Magpie Tale.

103 comments:

järnebrand said...

What a lovely post...! I am glad you both didn't wear red... It would have been too bad if you missed dinner... :) Kids have great imagination, don't they? The world just seemed so much more exciting as a kid...
Love, and take care/ Jo.

järnebrand said...

Also, I am the first one to comment on this - yay... :)

Daniel said...

I love the feel of this one. Sometimes your posts seem to just take me away from where I am. My mind overflows with images and I am transported away. Don't give up on adventure, oh, and be careful what you wear.

Tracy said...

Ah, the adventures of the young when the world was so big and the only thing you had to remember was not to wear red! I did a lot of exploring with my cousin as a kid, too. We still get together and go on great expeditions (to us) whenever we get the chance. Have a terrific week, Brian!

Eva Gallant said...

all things are magical though our kid vision; as adults we tend to develop some kind of filter that blocks that magic!

sheri... said...

you, my friend, have just given me a precious glimpse into the journey that my grandsons are on... exposing their quests through eyes that this grandma just can't see with, no matter how i try! you are a jewel!

kkrige said...

Aww, but I love red. Damnit, the first to get zapped again. Oh well, better luck next journey ;)

Mrsupole said...

Well you know how I feel about time travel, but now I know not to ever let them wear red.

Great story and I really am glad that you got to time travel to another place. It is important for everyone to do that. I love all your stories from when you were a kid.

God bless.

AmyLK said...

I love this! And I don't usually wear red either. lol

TechnoBabe said...

Interesting how many different stories are being told because of the one picture of the gorgeous pocket watch. You did it again, Brian. My hubby will enjoy this post because he has a think about time, especially about going back in time, so to speak.

CherylK said...

If there's one thing I've learned in all my years of living it's that you should savor every minute because those are the minutes you want to remember all those years later.

I didn't do much of that when I was younger, unfortunately...too eager to see what was around the bend. And I was in too much of a hurry. But now I am loving every single day for whatever it's worth.

This is a wonderful story and along with being a wonderful story, it's a reminder to everyone to savor every minute.

Cinner said...

Brian, this is beautiful, especially the part about caressing the watch. I understand that so much. Thank you for reminding me how special our memories are... have a great day.

Sh@KiR@ CK said...

Time travel huh?
Great imaginations, what a great tale you tell, Brian!
I would love to travel to the future though, never the past.
Have a great and awesome week!
hugs
shakira

natalee said...

that soo makes me feel like youth is definitely wasted on the young.. i always wish i can go back just one more time...love the way you used color...

lisleman said...

enjoy traveling with your imagination thanks for the ride.

mama-face said...

yum. fried chicken. back in the day when you could eat fried foods and not feel guilty.

so not the point of your beautiful post. I remember the joyous days of roaming through the woods surrounding our neighborhood, carefree and just having the best time. I never did and still won't let my children do that. sigh.

great description of the light beckoning you.

Green-Eyed Momster said...

I used to love to explore as a kid. I wonder why I lost my desire to explore...

I'm glad you have the pocket watch so that you can remember back in time.

Thanks for this post Brian! Thanks for visiting Stephanie too.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Important to embrace the present, but time travel can nourish a nostalgic heart. Lovely piece Brian! I'm glad you took care, so that you could find your way back.

TALON said...

The magic of childhood, beautifully expressed.

slommler said...

Thanks for the tip about not wearing red! I had no idea and I wear red all the time.
What a delightful look into time!! Loved it
Hugs
SueAnn

Zuzana said...

There is something utterly enticing about a pocket watch. Whether it tells time or not. As time is very relative and it passes only in the way we perceive it.;)
Lovely reminiscence about days gone by... I am not sure if you know who "Doctor Who" is, but this story has a definite feel of a *time lord* over it.
;)
xo

PattiKen said...

Oh, your mother is SO going to give you a talking-to, young man! I'm betting there's no statute on limitations on time travel, either.

Another terrific story! I love it when you take us back into your childhood, where we hear, see, smell, and feel everything around us through your senses.

You could write a dynamite "coming of age" novel, Brian.

suzicate said...

I am in awe! Absolutely love this tale!

THE BEATY said...

nice posting my mapie tale tonight

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

Wow, when I think of all the times I have time travelled wearing red. Utter recklessness but so glad this little journey of yours has warned me to the errors of my ways.

So tell me, did anyone follow you back and peep in your windows at night?

Leslie said...

Love the magical world of children. Glad we can revisit as writers.
Thanks for taking us back in time...

I'm writing up on the moon today

tera said...

How wonderful! When I was a boy...wait, a little girl, we had a field next to our house with the remnants of an old fort some kid built 15 years before. It was our pirate ship, log cabin, airplane, boat... nowadays kids want video games and stuff, I think our play was much more fun! :)

Catalyst said...

Ah, Brian, that's a delicious tale. Took me back to my youth and derring-do days!

Anya said...

Soooooo FUNNY post :-)
Love it to read your travel adventures !!!!

Tabor said...

Perfectly crafted. I was there with you two boys trying not to caution you, just letting you have and adventure and explore.

christine said...

Hey Brian,
Like you I too had a magical childhood, where the world was one big adventure. Shame it isn't the same for todays children. This took me back to my days playing all day in a forest (it was really only a woodland copse) and only going home when it got dark.
Another great Magpie Tale.

Christine

Ji said...

When I was a girl, before the world became small and complicated in its intricate details, there was a field we would travel to regularly...

May I change *a boy* to *a girl*, post it as mine in my blog?

Your tale has purified my day!
I wish I have waited so that I can write a girl's tale ....
Smiles!

Jingle said...

I marvel at your astonishing gifts in telling a classical and animated tale, I enjoy YOU in this story as one of the major characters, full of curiosity and courage...

10Q for sharing the magical part of YOU...
I am entertained,
amused,
and
moved...

Happy Monday!

Jessie said...

thank you dear Brian for the magical mystery tour -- you really are talented. pure enjoyment.

Ji said...

http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/04/19/your-comments-touch-my-heart-award/

You Deserve Everything You have been dreamed of, Best Wishes to You.
...
;)

Nancy said...

Our imaginations were so fresh as children. Maybe that's the way to eternal youth - thinking with our minds wide open.

Baino said...

Discovering secret places was a fantastic childhood memory. These days kids are coddled and rarely manage to escape into the tardis.

Cop Mama said...

So cool! I loved this! Yeah, ok, not the most eloquent comment...but man, that was awesome. Great imagery and way to put yourself back in the head of a young boy.

evalinn said...

Nice memories! :-)

Luisa Doraz said...

Time travels really nicely on your blog.... :) Have a great week writing.

Vicki Lane said...

Lovely! Puts me in mind of Ray Bradbury's DANDELION WINE -- and that's high praise.

Lynn said...

Wow - Brian. I like this story and the use of lower case very effectively makes it read as a child might think.

william said...

yeah plenty of secret hideaways, just for the boys, great post :)

She Writes said...

I remember time traveling as a kid. Nobody ever told me about the red :).

rel said...

Brian,
Ah yes; what wonderment we lived back in those carefree days. I agree with Vicki, this piece does remind me too of Bradbury's "Dandelion Wine."
Amazing how the human mind can travel through time and space and still come back to the present.
rel

Betsy said...

Oooh, this was nice.

when we were young..before the world got small and complicated....hmmm....you got that right! LOL!

Maggie said...

This is an awesome post Brian. When we are young we want to take on all these adventures and sometimes we do or sometimes we don't do them. Now, when we look back at them we wish we could go back and change a few things or maybe relive those adventures we had. :)

Kuyerjudd said...

Wow! A truly magical post this was. When I read this, I thought of childhood and how it only comes once -- but that you get to relive it in your memories (the pocket watch). Amazing.

Captain Dumbass said...

I have a red tshirt that says "expendable" across it in Star Trek font. It's tempting fate in a terrible manner, but it makes me laugh.

tori said...

loved your take on the prompt Brian. I wonder if kids play like that much anymore. you stired some childhood memories for me :)

Cabo said...

Thanks for the trip down ye olde lane. :)

Kate Hanley said...

It so reminded me of a field I discovered with friends when I was young. We called it: TUP: the untouchable paradise and in it we were the kings and queens of the land.

blueviolet said...

That makes me remember my imaginative childhood play. Thanks for that!

ModernMom said...

There is nothing like the adventures of the young:) Thanks for taking us along!

Lisa said...

as always a very good post! You never disappoint! Thanks for the visit and support. :)

G-Man said...

Damn Good story Brian!
Very well written...Thanks.

The Retired One said...

I remember a storage hut made of old wood in our neighborhood where we would peek through the wall slots to see a hunting plaid jacket, an old calendar and a bunk bed inside...we would pretend it was our playhouse, even though we never went/got inside...what imagined plots we would think up as imagined stories just from hanging outside that place...this so reminded me of that time in my childhood!

Diana (Diane) Maria said...

Now I know not to wear red when traveling through time. But that's just for backwards time travels right?

I have a nice silvery 'get up' that might be perfect for forward time travels. (My students tell me the future is a "shiny place".)

One hates to wear the wrong outfit in the wrong direction.

Ji said...

It is cool to go back to childhood,
I may have a sweet dream tonight about my own childhood experiences, I lived in farm, there are dogs, pigs, chickens, ducks, and oxes in every house, we grow our own vegetable garden, I love doing part of the work in the open spaced field,
fresh air, green corps, friends played card games under the shade of trees during summer break...

thank you for writing such a beautiful tale, I genuinely enjoyed it and I appreciate your ability in
bringing magic of youth and imagination to life.

One of the best work ever!

Happy Tuesday Ahead!
;)

Magpie said...

When we're children we seem to have this ability to expand our universe with our minds (no drugs needed)...why do we lose that gift as adults? Wonderful tale.

Jen said...

Time travel is fun in books...but I don't think I'd want to travel to a time before air conditioning...or penicillan...in real life.

LadyFi said...

Fabulous post about the intensity and adventure of childhood! And what a gorgeous clock.

Enchanted Oak said...

I never thought to avoid the color red if I didn't want to get erased by the gelatinous monster. I've often wondered why I got zapped. Now I know.

petemarshall1 said...

what a wonderful piece Brian. I was walking through town with my wife yesterday and I commented on the number of ageing men wearing bluetooth headsets. I wondered whether they were wearing them just to relive their youth and play Captain Kirk for the day!!!!! All the best Pete

Dianne said...

Following

RNSANE said...

I learn so much from your writing, Brian. I would have never known not to wear red when I travel in time. It wouldn't be my first choice, anyway, but now I will certainly ban it from my wardrobe.

Wonderful magpie.

Pat said...

Great imaginations and a wonderful story. To be a kid again!

sakhii•• said...

loved d nostalgic touch to it;(

Ronda Laveen said...

It is true that a thought, or an image or a smell can take us through time just like that (snaps fingers). I love time travel. I do it all the time. All aboard!

Peter Goulding said...

Ah Brian, its never a good idea to get trapped in the paradox of time when there's fried chicken for dinner.
Its a great thing to retain the child within you and the humour in this shines through!

JStar said...

This was great Brian...Makes me feel like an adventerous kid again...So refreshing...Taking me out of my current state of mind...

willow said...

I loved those days when the world was wide and the air felt different. Nice piece, Brian.

Pat said...

Hummm memories,memories!! Lovely story! Running around in the woods having big fun! Have a good day Brian I enjoyed the read so many memories of those good days back in the country ha-ha-ha. :)

the walking man said...

That pocket watch may be the only open door you have back to the right now there is. Never let it run in real time again.

C.M. Jackson said...

a time capsule..loved your tales about your travels and want to her more--great post-c

suryagni said...

fantastic, you tooke me to a travel with you.

simply lovely portrayal of the whole scene.

Chhaya said...

ahhh... pure Nostalgia...

u reminded me of the days when me and my cousin used to pretend that the next door neighbor was some sort of medieval lord. we used to go snooping around his giant garden, looking for gems!! :D

Mama Zen said...

Nicely done!

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Absolutely love it! :)

Prayer Girl said...

How I miss the imaginative adventures of my childhood. They were unique in every way and really cannot be repeated in adulthood. I loved your reminiscence.

PG

Raven said...

This is beautiful. I love the nostalgia of it and the imagination. Great writing once again, Brian.

Star said...

We all have a secret place in our youth that now, as adults, we love to return to. I really enjoyed your reflections. It put me in mind of 'Swallows and Amazons.'
Star

Valerie said...

That was a cracking tale, Brian. What fun you had then, and still do now.

Suldog said...

Simply wonderful bit of stuff here. Transported me right back to my own golden fields of youth. Thank you!

Jennifer said...

It sure is fun to visit. And great to visit through you. I would become enchanted by magical places when I was small too, and could travel across time and space. Of course never too far from dinner.

steviewren said...

There is nothing as pure or as powerful as the imagination of a child. As adults wouldn't it be wonderful to assess that magic place anytime we wished?

RNSANE said...

A great tale - I am glad I read it or I wouldn't have known to avoid red, by all means, when I indule in time travel!

Teri said...

This reminds me of my childhood, running around the eucalyptus groves and creek behind my house with my cousin. We would be gone all day. It brought back the scents that I remember during those hikes. The moisture, the sunlight. Thanks for the memories Brian.

secret agent woman said...

There really is something wonderful about travelling back in time to the happier memories.

Pat transplanted to MN said...

A look backward in time. A couple words really got me, "a live wire between your teeth! OOOOw. Very excellent writing, words magnified by other words and reflecting back and forth. Super

Mighty M said...

Nothing limits kids and their imaginations. I see how much my daughter pretends and BELIEVES...and I just want to keep on encouraging it!

Brian Miller said...

oh you should so keep encouraging it...

Suz said...

You write like a man who has never forgotten the magical time of childhood
The phrase for me:
"before the world became small and complicated....that was great!
instead of saying .. when the world was bigger
There is a tad bit of longing in that phrase
wonderful..as usual

joanny said...

Interesting --Good piece of advice-- I never knew you were not suppose to wear red-- have to remember that ---I do not want to be
"the guy (gal) that wore red invariably got dissolved by the gelatinous monster or was disintegrated in an errant laser beam."

Oh beam me up Scotty, do not want to be late for dinner.
What fun --- love going back to the future.
Joanny

Birdie said...

What a lovely post Brian, you are a true writer, so exciting to read it :-) most of us hold some nice memories from the childhood :-) it's nice to travel back in time sometimes ... have a lovely day

Selma said...

Red. The bane of the time traveller. what I enjoy most about your work is your striking visual style. You have a real skill for setting the scene. You took me right back to the days when I also used to travel through time!

Ocean Girl said...

Funny, fun and I'm amazed.

otin said...

The best places to go seem to all be in our memories!

little hat said...

Geeze Brian it took me as long to scroll through the comments as it did to read your magpie. Can you loan me some of your fans.
Nice story. I like your memory pieces. Tactile moment was good. I can identify with that sense of feel and touch.

Jingle said...

100th comment,
wishing you a perfect day!

best!

Marla said...

I want to travel back to that field of my child. Great one....

JML said...

Simpler times sound nice, because the world is too small and complicated now that I'm getting older. I think it'll get back to that when we're really old. . . maybe?

Anyway, great use of color. I really could picture this place because I've been to one just like it many times a long time ago

A.Decker said...

Your most recent "Magpie Tale," the one with the cane, though just as well written and engaging, left me sad. This one wistful with hints of energy renewed. I guess I'd rather run back and hide from dinosaurs, than hobble forward and become one. ;-)