I Heard The Owl

This morning as I began work on a new short story, my attention was caught by the owl in the tree across the street. At first, I just kept writing, but then, it’s persistence paid off, and I stopped to listen. The birds were cheerfully singing as they fluttered about and the trees were already beginning to bloom under the beautiful blue skies! It was going to be a warm day, but the Owl that had spoken had spoken to me, and I apparently needed to hear it’s message. So as I sit here at my desk occasionally glancing through the open windows and observing the small animal life and hearing the chirping of the birds, I began to think about the future.

Yesterday, I received troubling news from my physician, and then some more from the medical scan and more tests will be needed next week, so the going, at present, is somewhat uncomfortable but not impossible! I, like most other people, have made plans for tomorrow, but those plans are very dependent upon my ability to perform various manual tasks and to engage in physical labor and operate machinery, and at the moment, everything has ground to a halt! Frustrated? Most definitely! The future was looking bright just a week ago, but since four days, the decline has been unstoppable, and today, for the first time in seven months, I need to use crutches, again!

I had been warned that it was possible that the condition could worsen, but I am a man who keeps his head up despite what may come, and I press on, only sometimes the path becomes blocked by falling boulders that are far too large to either climb over or go around. Therefore, a course correction is required, and that is what seems to be the case here. In all the years that I have lived, I have been enriched by the many people who have passed through me, helping me to see things that would have probably gone unnoticed if it wasn’t for them. I have traveled to many places, learned various trades, learned to sail and to fly and ride my motorcycle down a lot of country roads. I’ve met governors and paupers and would drink coffee with the homeless and be honored in a poor man’s house by invitation to step inside.

Life has for me been a living book of colors and experiences, and I have no intention of seeing it end anytime soon although the physical limitations are irritating, especially when the call to explore my surroundings is pulling on me! Just to name few things that I planned on doing, but now remains to be seen, spending a few months in Siberia and Mongolia, sailing across the Atlantic and my biggest dream is to walk from Alaska to Argentina! Yes, they are dreams, but they are attainable if I am persistent and healthy enough and if not, who wants to stop me from dreaming? And for that matter, who am I to stop you from dreaming?

Again, I hear the owl calling me, and I can listen. It is a call to change, again. Another course correction, another trim, adjusting the sails and tightening the hatches. There could be some rough weather ahead, and it is good to be prepared. Last night, my friend called me and said that he had something to share and if he could come over, he’d be happy, so of course, I said yes. He was working on a short story, a kind of mini-thriller wich involves the Russians and Germans and the IS. A kind of shoot down the bad guys to protect the Germans from a terrorist attack and he read a part of his manuscript to my wife and me, and we both thought that it had a future.

After he had finished, I poured us both two glasses of Jim Beam Honey Whiskey and talked at length and then gave him a novel titled the “Siberian Express” that had a similar theme and then he bid us goodnight and slipped out the door and into the night. My wife smiled and said to me; “I think you’ve infected him to write!” “Possibly so,” I answered, “but I believe that every person has this ability if they would take the time to bring it out.”

So now, I am beginning to ask myself this; has my time come to work on writing full-time? Over the past two years, I had written over a dozen short stories and over 400 hundred commentaries that had been read by over 400,000 people in the world! From South Africa to India, from Sweden to Chile, and then from others in Japan and America but that doesn’t make me an author, just a half decent communicator! I didn’t win any prizes because I wasn’t looking for any and no one ever sent me a single penny, and It didn’t bother me because information and knowledge are free for the taking if you’re bold enough to grasp ahold of it!

Unfortunately, last fall my laptop picked up a virus and damaged the motherboard as well as destroyed the hard-drive and I only recently began to write again, but this time with on-line back-up and using an SSD. I also use Linux and Windows and Chrome so that I have multiple redundant systems. It sometimes bothers me, but I can’t drive ahead if I’m only looking into the mirrors! So I just start anew and try to be better than before.

Using words to describe the life we live is not odd, it is the standard usage of communication and permits us to express our needs and desires, hopes and fears, sufferings and losses, dreams and complaints! Without the effective use of words, we would be either a race of mutes or telepathic!  Were you aware that the average person uses the same 125 words on a regular basis? The English language has over one and a half million words freely available, and we limit ourselves to just those 125? Has the Point been taken? I am not a language teacher as anyone who reads what I write will point out to me but that does not deter me from TRYING to be something more than the name Ed! We are all more than capable of being much more than what we think of ourselves; the limits are the ones we ourselves put in place. Have you outlearned everything or have most things become uninteresting to you? If so, then it is time for new discoveries, new adventures, new travels, perhaps another type of book that will challenge your mind instead of lulling you to sleep! Are you comfortable where you are? Then prick yourself awake!

Not moving ahead simply means stagnation of the mind. What happens when two people meet, and the lust factor is overwhelming? Of course, it becomes the heat of the moment! But when the flames of passion are gone, what is there to rekindle them? The next kiss? We all need much more than hollow sensuality, and the heart needs to be vibrant, alive with joy! The mind needs to be active, inquisitive but not thrown wide open and the body needs to be kept fit and it doesn’t help much by visiting “Dunkin’ Donoughts” after the gym!

For me, it seems that writing is becoming the only reasonable option that’s presently facing me unless I want to destroy what control I still have over my physical extremities. But I like to believe that a thread of hope is better than a paper chain!

So has the owl spoken to me and if so, was I listening? Time will tell. But in any case, I would like you to think about where you are standing and what alternatives do you have if the pass becomes blocked by the rubble of life. Will you hang your head and weep or will you look for a way to get across or are you prepared to take a different road, regardless of your age, health and attitude? If something has ended, it’s only because something else is beginning and the weather is never forever cloudy! So lift up your heads and shake a leg and get moving, after all, you have a life to live, and the adventure is just beginning, again! So when you hear the Owl, take some time to listen because it just might be a wake-up call!

Edward Ordway