Re-Turn

The fringe dwellers are congregating on the dark corners of our relocated assumptions. Loitering in a belligerent affront to agreed upon formalities. Stalling all the sad memories dead in their tracks. And church bells are ringing in the distance...a nightly calling to a long dead age. Front steps gone to a new congregation...pulpits relocated to garbage can fire processions.

Tossing their torn valuables into the collection plate pyre. Circumstantial evidence to missed opportunities and reckless failures. Faded kodachromes taken at that great moment of turning away...capturing a finality that was lying in wait all along...forever declaring the certainty of mortal decay. Sacrificed now -- if only for a fleeting sense of warmth.

As the burned edges begin to fold you can make out the distinct image of an amusement park in the background. Taking you back to a Coney Island afternoon...to a day full of smiles and lost innocence...of hope and beautiful abandonment -- a stolen promise of the future that disappeared somewhere along the boardwalk.

How many times did you return to walk those shadowy passages alone? With your heart hanging out like some pitiful side-show attraction. Combing the dark recesses of your imagination...searching for any clue and exhausting all attempts to pick up some trail that will lead you back.

Drifting along the endless beach. Tripping over abandoned sand castles, casting pebbles into the ocean -- if only to put a little perspective on things. Just another piece of driftwood gathering washed-ashore treasures...collecting all the tossed away elements in some attempt to understand the frailty of human allegiance.

Truth hurts. But it's got nothing on blind-sided abandonment. The kind of departure that nobody ever saw coming and that no amount of time will ever make sense of -- much less, heal. Scars have their own way of becoming beautiful...they're just too darn honest for anybody's good. And you can never hide them or cover them up cause once they're created they've got a life of their own...their own destiny to chart -- like a long dead star that remains to light many a course.

Turning your eyes into the vast sky, will you seek answers in the infinite or will bow your head in awareness to the limits of a lone man's understanding? Will you make out the decaying footprint outlines heading out to sea? Or will the circling gulls drive you back to higher ground?...to mingle among the remaining sight-seers -- all arriving during the waning hours of forgiveness...of light turning to shadow. Suffering through final pilgrimages, to honor the grand mission of immaculate denial...to light their feeble candles in defiance to all the worshiped glory of this weary new world.

But you won't stay long. Crowds were never really your thing. And the only face you came here to recognize doesn't seem to be materializing. Maybe the image has blurred beyond remembrance...into some great oblivion -- forever burned into perfection. Not that it will hurt to have one final look around. But the hour is striking and, with it, the call to make your trademark profound reconciliation is rearing its sullen head...to make some tossed-off utterance of inevitable closure.

Toss it off...and throw your hidden wrench into the works. Cast aside all that you've trained yourself to believe. Turn and make one last uncontrolled run to the surging waves. Grab the first stone you happen upon and heave it into the relentless current...watch as it skims above the water and readies itself for that big plunge. Hitting the surface and emerging to stake its claim to your intentions. With momentum on its side, you watch as it journeys into the horizon. Skipping along on its merry way.

One...two...three...


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Return to the Fold



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