Bound by invisible chains, we dance

Posted on May 5, 2020

May 5, 2020


Bound by invisible chains, we dance

Being a dull, slow learner, it took me a while for reality to even begin to sink in. I just kind of floated dreamily around before.  Like a lonely, wayward-obstinate slice of carrot, floundering about, slightly forlorn and out-of-place, on top of a thick, perfectly conforming pea soup.
The fact is, we are bound by invisible societal chains. That seek to tie us, in this world, remorselessly, to an obligatory, human-composer-defined program of Rules & Values. That we are required to meekly follow. By Overseers’ decree. Our Societal Overlords.  Or else. Among the chains, we play, and fight, make love, hate, and devise our many wiles and schemes. However, we cannot easily leave that chained path. We may, for the extent the chains permit us, run down the track. Or we can run up, the opposite way. But we cannot, ever, hope to leave that pre-ordained rocky course. Or can we? Most prefer to ponder the issue little, or not at all. Or only, briefly, when forced to by dire circumstances. Those arise, typically, when Fate comes rudely charging along. In a battle tank. No brakes. No stopping.

I often had vivid dreams. Standing perplexed in a dream-like, foggy valley. Listening, but not hearing. Yet sensing a deep, low, rumbling vibration. One wondered if it was growing in strength. Ten thousand hostile battle tanks, maybe? Coming our way? No brakes, no stopping? But all around, the wild party went on. It was as if I was also surrounded by a strange, unreal, silent, mass mime.  The thick fog was full of maniacal, dancing figures. All feeding & drinking voluptuously at the trough, acting as if they owned not a single care in the whole world. Their day consisted of the relentless pursuit of unlimited pleasure, and gathering wealth.  Few gave. Most took. No holds barred. Reveling in their wealth, their fame, and their bodies. The latter, I should caution, gifted by God or the Universe, a privilege (and fun) to occupy, for but a little while. Hardly a personal creation the individual wearer should take lascivious credit for? As if he or she had brilliantly constructed the silly thing sinew-by-muscle-by-tendon themselves? Yet, that seemed to be the way they acted. My body. Mine. My genius. Look at it. Admire.

No touchey-touchey. Well, unless you pay lots. Then, maybe.

No, you silly, vain creature. You just borrowed it. For a while. Don’t boast. You got lucky. Be grateful.
In this gaudy fashion, in a blaze of color, they spun around me.  In, and out, of the fog.
On some level, I often felt bewildered. Could they not see the fog? Sense the deep, low vibration? Wonder about its cause? Ask questions? What was approaching? Relentlessly? But, no, on they danced, bound by the same, invisible, chains. As I was, kinda-sorta, also. Well, I knew I was supposed to be bound by them. But I had a grouse. A grumble. How can you be free, I would grumble, only within a defined toy box. Free?  In a shiny box? A contradiction-in-terms, surely, I would grouse. But nobody listened.

Well, I got used to it, sort of, after a while. I learned that mass societal escapism is so overwhelmingly  common, that to even challenge the insanity thereof, and try and look ahead, beyond the flannel, is to risk being typecast as “too serious “.  Even (whispered behind one’s back) “quite mad “. With the seemingly inevitable result of ending up a social pariah. An outcast, of sorts. The deliriously happy party, it seemed, had perforce to go on. If one is normal & well-adjusted, well, apparently, one wished to be spoon fed warm pap. By diktat. It was not permitted to question the band, the music score, or the impeccable credentials of the all-too-human composers. One had only to believe. Insert your dime. Risk a nickel. And play along. Build up your stash. Guard your loot. He who dies with the most toys, wins!
To be rich is glorious!
But of course, true to form, that was my problem. I didn’t believe, I didn’t want to play along, and I was too dumb to even begin to realize the lengths that the human composers will go to, to protect their mad utopia. And the owners of the party halls, to protect their profits. All the purveyors and providers of jolly-jolly. There’s big money in revelry & promises. And the punters’ desires to escape. Reality. That deep, low vibration.
Many decades have gone by now, since I first identified the invisible societal chains that bind us tightly. Nothing much has changed, as far as our Gesellschaft  is concerned. In fact, on the contrary, the party swings ever wilder, the burlesque kicks reach higher, and the music… well, it seems ever more hypnotic. I still can’t hear it, and I still don’t get it, but judging by the subliminally happy, radiant smiles, the participants still love the score. Play along. Build up your stash. Guard your loot. He who dies with the most toys, wins! To be rich is glorious! What’s the problem?
I ponder (at times a trifle sadly) what it was that set me apart.
Conformity is, after all, much easier.
I think I’ll never know. All I can say is that I’ve always loved poetry, mountain tops, or dreaming-gliding silently through the Universe. To be awoken by the sound of exploratory rain drops, announcing-tapping on the roof.  I’ve always thrilled at the distant night sky bursting into blazing light, with the rumble following a long time after. But growing closer, with every successor. Leaving me hoping for more.

Please come closer!  Draw near to me!

It seems wrong to just draw the curtains on all that raw might. The splendor of Nature. Announce, dismissively: “Oh, it’s only a thunderstorm! ”  And crank up the volume of the rap music.  Go back to the party. As if it’s all just one big bore.
I would always eagerly await it. When it arrived, the full sound and fury, I was always awed and thrilled. And many times I would drag a chair out onto the porch, and sit there, breathlessly. Full of admiration. Awe. Respect. Pure joy. Feeling very small. Happy.
Knowing my place.

*                *                *                  *

One night, though, years ago, stands out. In my silent, wandering memories.
As I sat out on the porch, alone and pensive, listening to rain drops bombing & battering off the roof, and cutting like wind-driven scythes through suffering trees, leaves flying, (and all branches at pains to demonstrate submission), I found myself with the strong, overwhelming sense that I was the object of curious attention.
I felt acutely that I was not only not alone, but actually the recipient of mixed emotions. From beyond. Not of this world, or this feeble dimension. I sensed, for a moment, a hidden cacophony of intense feeling. A cauldron of conflicting, colliding worlds. Both kind, sympathetic, supportive and even deeply loving, on the one hand. And implacably, furiously, ragingly, bitterly hostile on t’other.
And I, oddly, in the middle.
It seems wrong to just draw the curtains on all that.
Announce, dismissively:   “Oh, it’s only a thunderstorm! ”
And crank up the volume of the music.  Go back to the party. As if it’s all just one big bore.

After all, maybe a different music awaits those who earnestly seek it.
Higher. Soaring. Uplifting. Much, much more true.
If only,
(for I am a slow learner)

I would listen…


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