Temporal Mercy

Yesterday I discussed fractured mercy. Today temporal mercy, that which lasts but for a short time.

Like me driving along a narrow southern road, overhung with massive live oak tree branches forming a tunnel of summer green.

Where all too often my heart hung between. Rather like overripe fruit. Or perhaps just plain unwanted.

Didn’t truly bother me.

Inner self has a balance undetectable from the outside. And if blessedly left in peace then never ruffled by another’s pride.

Yet that isn’t always so. Especially in the time we all live. Where social media molds and manipulates. Like a digital entity controlled by none. Everything is right or wrong. Never in between. Never compromised. Never merciful. Hate and joy battle for supremacy.

The rare blessing is the fragile ability to ignore. This a temporal mercy. So much of 21st century life is such. Difficult to know, difficult to understand truth from reality. Or if either or both are false too.

Yet we all need something to cling to as time’s river drags us relentlessly into the unknowable future. Those of us temporarily young, may feel time is their ally. And perhaps so for a short time.

But the pains of living cares naught about a person’s age. Nor about one’s joy. After all we must live with others. Dancing an emotional shag of hope and faith. Temporal mercy dashed by the slicing tongues of online confrontation.

How do we do this? Why do we do this? Were those generations before us driven thusly? What was their outlets their means of embracing every tragedy worldwide? Every celebrity life in minute detail? Filling the holes within that today seems unable to be filled because it is all never ending, digitized life eating our souls, eroding emotional sanity, driving us to seek mercy for god’s sake.

We don’t though because it all moves at the speed of light. And the mercy we seek is at best temporal.

Fractured Mercy

Alone sitting on a large boulder in a shallow woods, I pressed my hand into a worn hollow where centuries ago Indian women ground corn. The stone stood on high ground giving them and me the ability to see the harbor where once Indian warriors rode birch bark canoes. They used them for fishing and for times when the need to defend tribal land became necessary.

Oh I know in the troubled time I live in Indians are no more. They’ve been replaced with Native Americans. Except technically they weren’t. They too traveled to the American continent across an ice age created land bridge from the eastern most part of the Eurasian continent.

Honestly there were no Native Americans. Unless you count the thousands of species of flora and fauna that were native.

I thought all this while I dripped water from a plastic bottle into the indentation were my fingers gently brushed the smooth stone surface. Yes plastic. Apparently we are stuck buying these still. I have metal but what I sought left me no time to return and get one. Time is after all a luxury.

So the mercy I sought through retreat into a once welcoming place slipped like oil from my grasp.

I’ve often felt myself fortunate. So many I once knew no longer walk this earth. One of those was a woman who would frequently discover me sitting in this same place seeking solace not mercy. She was kind and gentle. A warm smile a caring heart. But that was all many years past. She died in a car crash on a rainy night while driving home.

After a while I stopped checking on people I once knew. Some I loved. The number of those who died became a staggering heart rending fractured mercy.

I wonder now, the water bottle empty, if the Indian women who shared this boulder with me experienced the same loss. Time passing changes very little when you remove the trappings surrounding you.

Stripped of possessions, removal of what we call modernity, leaves us standing as all those before us. One human alone to face life, with or without its mercy. Of course, we can no longer walk into a forest where life abounds. We modern humans showed nature nothing but fractured mercy, at best. We cut down forests at a staggering rate of 25 acres per minute, 24/7.

The ones we called ancients stood a vastly better chance at survival then I would today if left to my own devices in the shallow wilderness that remains. Even though I am trained for such survival.

Honestly, we humans stand on the brink of our own extinction and we ignore it. We may be aware of its slow steady approach, but take the attitude that we won’t be alive when it happens so I’m getting everything I can now. Why? What will you do with it? It too is a burden.

Extinction shows no mercy.

Blood on My Hands

Blood on my hands. I look and see the unseeable. I feel and rest on the spear tip of misery.

Cause I shot the rifle.

My bullet fragmented between us and splintered life into death.

The breath of me breathing what you cannot. The eyes of mine seeing what you cannot. The fingers of mine slippery with warm liquid. I tried to regain, repair, restore. Life rendered into stillness.

Sound stopped. Motion stopped. Time shuddered. Blood on my hands dripping into a dwindling puddle between us.

The pieces of a moment before. The pieces of me, and of you like ashes of burnt paper fluttering on an unwanted breeze. Me grabbing them needing to reassemble life from a grief like a bottomless hole in me.

The memories vivid and jolting. The thoughts bundled around a single second’s decision drain me, drained you.

Will finally end me, ended you. And time stopped at that single moment. Never resuming. Dark and unforgiving. As it should be.