Tuesday, May 13, 1986

Inspirations from a Fish

Meditations from college days, inspired by Marillion's Misplaced Childhood

The drums rolled across my head from one ear to the other and back. I sat on my island alone gazing at the sea of pollution before me. I listened carefully to a voice echoing from the waters. I desperately tried to define its message to me; what did it wish to say or what did I wish to hear? I peered about the confines of my imprisoning sea. Meanwhile the Fish sang “rain...”

Very visual. I see a park, dimmed by the greying clouds above. A couple of robins pick at the ground for worms as a sprinkler fans its fine mist across a hopeful sea of green. The children slowly abandon the slides and swings in favor of warm cookies and cold milk at home. The birds vigorously pluck at the worms looking like vultures picking at corpses. I wander the deserted park and marvel at the ironic grey of a place so sunny...

“And the man in the mirror has sad eyes...”

A wavy reflection stares at me, unmoving. The eyes are unblinking; the frown is constant and tightly drawn. I contort my expressions, but the face in the puddle is unchanged. I throw a rock at it. The face ripples away into oblivion. Now a calm, empty pool of water glares up at me. The impending storm does nothing to ruffle the water.

“And he looked out the window and it started to rain. I thought maybe I’ve already gone crazy.”

The voice of the sea had an eerie calm, a calm before the storm... “There’s a presence here - childhood, my childhood. My childhood? Childhood, my misplaced childhood... oh, please, give it back to me...”

And then the breeze blew stronger and my hair tossed in the wind.

“I see children with vacant stares destined for rape in the alleyways.”

I gazed down the alley; it invited one in from the cold and wind, like a Mother’s warm cookies and milk. Still, that eerie calm felt like a deserted park or a reflectionless pool...

A carefree summer or one reeking of pointless hours flipping hamburgers somewhere... is summer really calm? Is the work world so close to the turbulent seas? When does the calm become eerie? When is the too-good-to-be-true no longer true? Has something vital been misplaced? A reflection in a pool? The spirit of childhood?

Dustin’s got plenty in his life ahead. How happy will Barney be?

Isn’t this how the mind really works? Disjointed, confusing, disconnected, baffling... Why shouldn’t everything we do be complex? After all, it is, isn’t it?

Is it time to make sense yet?

“No, Gideon. The only thing that makes sense to you is death, man.”

Should it be scary? If it’s real.

Directionless. Uninhibited. Unorganized? Meaningless? Unreal?

“And I found direction. There is no childhood’s end.”