A place for thought.

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Life had always been, and as far as we knew would always be. I mean, there had been stories (mostly science fiction) about the end of the earth and every once in a while some science would come to the conclusion, but no one really believed things would end, at least not right now. But, of course, they did. I still have not heard why. There is talk of a great asteroid. There are also stories about the earth shifting on its axis and falling out of orbit and then into the sun. One old man tells of God coming down and standing on a mountain, “everyone rose into the sky and the earth was no more,” he says. Maybe what he says is true. Maybe all the stories are all true. That’s not what this is about. This is about now which somehow includes then and there. And that’s the part that’s hard to explain. Now we are, but we are also what we were now.   ?   “ I Am then, now, and always,” sound familiar? Oh, and some things are missing.   Time, or the lack of time, skips. I’m going to have to explain. I have no form. I have memory. I can decide. I remember new things. I take forms and live within them but I no longer have a form of my own even though I am aware that I once was a human who walked on Earth. That me does not need to be what I am now – but it can be. I can be present any time any where with a notable exception the missing skips.

The easiest trips are the ones within my own life, memories that live continuously but not always in my consciousness. I can be who I was but when I am who I was it is now. I can also live within your life in the same way but memory is not as much help. Many things have happened that I have no reference to so finding them is a problem but if I do find them I can live them in the present. Timelessness. The skips are what I explore. An example: I enter and become myself on a summer day. I’m thirteen years old sitting with my back against a tree. A book rests on my bent knees I can see pictures of the words on the pages as my imagination turns the written word into a world filled with small creatures with furry toes and wise wizards. I’m not an observer in this time and place. I am here, real and alive reading in the shade of a fruitless mulberry tree. A blue Dodge pick-up pulls off the residential road and slowly moves up the concrete drive behind me. I hear brakes squeak, the motor shuts off. I hear ticks as the motor cools and the metals conform to different temperatures. Behind me the driver door opens and I recognize the steps of my father. His shadow comes across my open book and I look up.

“Is this all you have to do?” my father asks and there is a skip in time.

“What do you have planned for today?” my mother asks as she sits in the chair across the kitchen table from where I sit.

If I stay within the scene I say, “Kathy and I plan to go up to the lake.” If I pull back into what I call “my eternal state” I can see that something is missing. What happened after my father asked his question? I have no idea, none. There is no time within my life that I can slip into that holds that span of time. And this happens a lot. Throughout my life and in the lives of others there are constant gaps and skips.

Joshua walks ahead. I hang back with my brother, we talk about the day and what’s in store but what we talk about most is food, we haven’t eaten since dinner and need to find at least a snack for breakfast. Joshua spies a fig tree and looks through the finger shaped, sticky leaves for a piece of fruit. We are walking down a dirt path my brother and I discussing what we could have for breakfast. I pull out of the stream of life. A skip. What did Joshua find in the fig tree? I put my self back into the life and relive the same bit of time but as with all deletions the gap remains.

In my eternal state the One who calls himself “I AM” calls me to Him. Without consideration I give my full attention to Him. “Come with me,” He says and I enter a bit of time, seeing what He sees and thinking what He thinks. I walk in the cool of the evening, down a dirt path, in a lush green garden but I am puzzled. This has never happened before. I search in the shade of the trees, in places we frequent, and still find no one. I raise my voice and shout, “Adam, Eve, where are you?”

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The Paper

“What’s your field of study?” she asked from across the metal desk with a gray plastic top, she ran her clear Bic pen through her fingers while she read from the computer screen in front of her.   I wasn’t aware of having a “field of study” so I just waited. She took a couple of pecks at her key board and seemed to have forgotten about me for a few seconds until she put her pen down and stared at me with both eyes through her oversized, bi-focal, glasses. “What have you studied?” she asked, adding a level or two of sternness to her voice.

“Girls,” I gave her a big grin and knew instantly it was the wrong answer. She took a deep breath and sighed like I was the reason for all that was amiss in her life. She took another deep breath before she continued.

“What are your marketable skills?” she asked with obvious considerable doubt as to whether I would have any.

“I’m willing to work hard,” it really is my only true skill.

“Manual labor,” she said as she typed the words on her keyboard.

“Will you accept day labor?”

“I was hanging out in the parking lot of the Home Depot when they picked me up and brought me here,” I answered.

“Will you accept day labor?” she asked again without giving my answer any thought at all.

“Yes, that would be nice,” I gave her another of my grins, still trying to win her over. She just gave me another of her sighs and turned her attention to her screen and keyboard. The copy machine behind her came alive with a self-cleaning and then spit out a single sheet of paper.

She handed the paper to me before she asked, “Would you be willing to clean-up after a sheet rock crew?” I took the paper and shook my head in the affirmative. I was a little more excited than I felt was appropriate. She watched me for a moment and made a decision, “I’m not supposed to tell you this,” she waited for me to give her permission.

“Yes?” I said.

“They need full time help. This job is just a test to see what kind of person you are and how hard you are willing to work.” She still showed no sign of any kind of care but I felt a flood of pure goodness come across the table. A smile covered my face as I folded up the priceless page and stuffed it into my back pocket.

“Thank-you,” I wanted to hug her but I was pretty sure that would involve the police so I just said, “thank-you,” once more and made my way back out the glass door and onto the street outside.