Do you want to read some words which will take you in a different direction?
No matter where I live, invariably there is a neighbor behind me with an apparent need to recreate the jungle and underbrush of some faraway land. It’s never the landscape featured in tourism photos, either. It’s the type of terrain which tends to appear in crime scene photos or as seen in a disturbing documentary about abducted people.
The house where I now live is new, but the subdivision it’s in abuts the rear of Green Acres Road in Springdale, a much older spur of Springdale. Unlike the tv show with a similar name, this ‘Green Acres’ heyday has long since faded away, leaving the footprint but stealing the foot.
There are days when I peer through the extra bedroom window, where I just know that some fantastical monstrous face is going to return my curious gaze, eyes blazing with danger.
Or so I hope.
So far, though, my expectations of interesting mayhem have clashed with reality.
I have sun catchers in the window facing west. These power the illusion of things unseen coming in and out of focus as I watch. Most days, these prisms cast out intricate webs of color. As with most such things, though, it is precisely through this sort of misdirection that things also take advantage of in order to slink from the shadows.
Optimist that I am, though, I peer out and draw in a breath, especially on those majestic evenings when dusk approaches and the sky is already darkening from impending rain.
Many people may not be aware of this, but dusk cleverly invites such monsters and rain makes them feel welcome. It’s a truth that most of us as human, frail and subject to disconcerting biology, feel in our bones but rarely utter. Such utterances bring the reality into focus. Rain tends to cluster people inside, where human nature boils in a slow cauldron.
There are days in which I identify the monster as the reality, the one so hell-bent on hiding its kaleidoscope of truly deep shadows from me. I know that most of our universe is empty space, even as I reassure myself by leaning in against the horizontal slats of the blinds and looking more closely at the underbrush facing my house. It’s precisely the empty spaces and the dark where we cower with the most silent vigilance.
On such a day when the monster materializes, I think instead of drawing away from the rush, I will lean in for an embrace of the unknown, even if its salutation comes teeth first.
I can only wonder at spilled paint cans which not only surround you but hide in plain sight, waiting for eyes to focus on them.