Friday, May 06, 2011

Erratic Attic

In recent journal entries and e-letters, I have referenced my Erratic Attic. It is a weird and wonderful place, full of images, memoirs, and memories, and it can be difficult to describe. Therefore, I thought it would fun to describe a "first journey of discovery" to that exciting, yet dimly illuminated storage space.

I guess I never bought into the "Nurnberg Funnel" concept of the mind, even as a child I knew that it continued its business while I slept or worked on other things. When I began writing, I learned the value of "sleeping on" an idea, or a particularly tough prose nut to crack. The poem below is simply one little story about how I might have discovered a little darkness and a bit of magic in my Erratic Attic.


Erratic Attic

I went digging upstairs, in my attic,
Just thinking I might find some treasures rare.
After all, an attic must be static,
And what's put there ought to remain right there.
Yet, somehow my things have propagated;
And you cannot imagine my chagrin,
I found piles of stuff I thought I hated,
Right next to my good stuff, or all mixed in.
And somehow, my attic had grown larger,
I could no longer see its boundaries.
My flashlight was downstairs on the charger,
Yet in the murky gloom I saw with ease:
Boxes, trunks, and bags were cast and scattered,
Folders, files, and photos stacked in between,
And years of dust lay on things that mattered,
I don't know why I thought they would be clean...
Odd thing is, I had no trouble finding,
The things I knew I had recently stored.
As between those stacks my step was winding,
Were piles of dusty items tied with cord.
Was my attic now self-organizing?
And who was moving my old stuff around?
After all, who was I criticizing?
I must have put it all here, I'll be bound.

The first of many mirrors caught my eye,
It shimmered and it shone like liquid glass --
Couldn't touch the surface on my first try,
Somehow I missed on each successive pass.
I moved on to specula more stable,
To older mirrors, some of them with rime --
All reflected me, yet I was able,
To see the me was from another time.
Just beyond, some movement caught my vision,
Just in between the darkness and the light.
There, velvet on velvet, with precision,
Dark shadows danced at the edge of my sight.

I turned to run and stumbled in the gloom.
I fell and somehow landed on my bed.
I woke up from my nap in my bedroom,
And knew I had been visiting my head.
Perhaps the best description I can find:
My dark, erratic attic is my mind.

Mick McKellar
May 2011

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