Night Hiker

FTLComm - Tisdale - Tuesday, December 11, 2001

There are warnings. Subtle hints about the time that comes after we say our prayers and the light goes out. There is an edge to the blackness, a sliver of gloom fades and the mystery begins.

It is surprising that we do not fear the dark or what happens in the dark more. For embedded in awareness, in unawareness and the simple and the complex are as one, blended and inter phased to a suspension of both tactile awareness and perceptible passage of time.

Faced with the anguish of an intense need to over come the frantic passage of a deadline the mind spins out of control impelled to make up the lost time but without a time piece to mark each moment the pace of lateness rams forward against odds that can not be accomplished.

But in this whirl of non-movement there is a supreme nagging doubt that the missed moment will

impact on others causing them to be disappointed and regretting the trust they must falsely have placed on the "late-one."

Hurling through what seems like a perpetual and infinite beyond there is time, perhaps to much time, for reflection. There is time to measure and weigh the spaces, value the commas and replace the periods with colons. The side step from some endless charge forward, or perhaps backward, for indeed it is so hard to know, offers only impressions of what may be, nothing is defined, nothing can be checked off and deemed the past, the future, or even, the present.

Those fools who write in what they like to call science fiction, which is neither science nor fiction, but most often wishful fantasy. Tickle themselves with the tantalizing concept of time travel. How bazaar to waste such effort and concoct such illusions when all they need to do is drop off to sleep and do it, rather than work themselves into confusion.

The images and the characters we meet in our nightly voyages, while night hiking across time, across our former and possible realities are no more and no less a creation of a reality that we have conjured unconsciously within ourselves. The familiar, the strange and the unfamiliar, are constructed of fragments and then become themselves a peudo-reality, ready to host night after night the journeys and experience.

But always there is emotion. Blinding, overwhelming and

incomprehensible feelings that tells of woes and less often of joy.

The vacuum of night and sleep is the universe of both tragedy and elation. In instants we move from childhood to middle age, from adolescence to innocence. Calling out to the waking mind some snatches of wisdom, some clues of discomfort and some hints of a weary mind in search of yet another refuge.

Boldly close your eyes once more and let the journey begin.

Timothy W. Shire