Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Ghost & The Sunrise

This is not the sandy shoreline and the sun-filled, cloudless sky I write about today, but this is The Lake and these rocks actually are only a few miles from that beach on which I slept. This place is called the Black Rocks, and I have "danced" with my canoe many times amongst them. And, this is The Lake to me. It was Lac de Superior or Nadouessious to the early French explorers --  the superior lake or the lake of the Sioux. This is where many places appear the same now as they did ten thousand years ago, when the last glaciers disappeared into clear, cold, blue water. This is where one version of Neverland exists, from my rather narrow point of view. 

I am nervous, so I write

Like many disenchanted humans before me, and, undoubtedly, many after me, upon the dissolution of a relationship, I once opted to secure a pet to console me. My choice was a young, female German Shepherd.

Things went well for about a year, but the time eventually came when I was on the road and could not be accompanied by a German Shepherd. I left her with my parents. I have felt guilty about doing this ever since, although I knew then and believe yet today that her life was much better with them than it would have been with me. In short, she lived her life as a princess, with everything in the world required to keep her happy and healthy.

A few nights ago, I awoke in the proverbial middle of the night, opened my eyes and saw what might have been a wolf, but, what I immediately knew was my German Shepherd sitting next to where I slept. Her face was a foot or, possibly, eighteen inches from my own. It was dark, so there were no distinct features. She was, in fact, black. It was the shape of her head and her ears that made her instantly recognizable to me. She startled me. My heart, I think, skipped a beat. She was there for a few seconds, then faded away over the span of a few more seconds.

When I told a friend about this occurence, I said I was uncertain if the apparition I saw was a wolf or a dog. But, I knew, and had known from the very first glimpse of her. It was Argos, the German Shepherd who was mine for a year and then left behind by me.

This friend, a young lady who is both intelligent and knowledgeable about such matters, told me the spirit of Argos was there because she wished to communicate with me. I would like to think she was there to thank me for having ensured that she had a good life. But, I worry, because having a good life is not always the same as having the life you desire.

There is more to this story than I am telling, but who among us reveals everything?

The most perfect morning

Once upon a time, in a place that served me as Neverland for a few years, I drove my truck along a winding, logging road through deep and dark woodlands to the shore of Lake Superior. I knew the path, and traveled it often, but usually not in the darkness of midnight as was the case this time.

Near the shoreline, I parked, took cigarettes, lighter, a quart of brandy and my sleeping bag, and with them walked along the beach until I found a suitable place to pitch camp. Beneath a clear and starry sky, maybe fifteen feet from the shoreline where foot-high waves gently rolled and rocked and crashed, I began digging down in the sand. The deeper I dug, the warmer the sand became. A foot beneath the surface, the sand was still actually hot from absorbing the rays of the sun throughout the day. (See, you learned something today.)

I dug a place large enough to fit my entire body. It was the perfect bed -- soft, warm sand contoured to my body. I lay down within it, covered myself with my sleeping bag, lit a cigarette, opened the quart of brandy and stared at the twinkling stars in a pitch black sky. I watched a full moon begin to rise over the waters of The Lake. A mile, possibly two, offshore, I saw an iron ore carrier slide slowly across a glistening beam of light which led directly from the moon to me.

Somewhere along the line, I fell asleep.

The sun woke me.

It was the heat of the sun shining on my face as it rose up over The Lake that woke me. I lit a cigarette, uncorked the brandy and watched the sunrise. A few minutes later, I got up, walked back to my truck and pushed this song into the tape player. With all six speakers in the truck blasting to heights unimagined, I sat down with another cigarette in one hand and the bottle of brandy in my other hand, and listened to the words of this song while looking out over the most beautiful body in the world -- the living body of Lake Superior.

The golden sun and the throbbing music and the pure, blue sky joined with The Lake to form what might have been the most perfect morning in my life. I never have been able to duplicate those few moments I experienced that morning -- moments of absolute contentment blended with complete exhilaration from the sensations of being alive -- but, I continue to try.


Sunrise, and the new day's breakin' through

The morning of another day without you
And as the hours roll by
No-one's there to see me cry
Except the sunrise...
The sunrise and you.

Tired eyes drift across the shore
Looking for love and nothing more
But as the sea rolls by
No-one's there to see me cry
Except the sunrise...
The sunrise and you.

Sunrise, - bless my eyes,
Catch my soul - make me whole
- Again.

Sunrise, new day, hear my song
I am tired of fightin' and foolin' around
But from now till who knows when
My sword will be my pen
And I'll love you, love you
For all of my time.

Sunrise, - bless my eyes
Catch my soul and make me whole
- Again.


Anonymous said...

what a beautiful post Fram!
that poor litle dog coming to you in your dreams and your lovely stay at Lake Superiour!I could really feel that warm sand..God..what a wonderful time you must have had..and you have the gift to tell us about it..lovely always!
i do agree that the dog had a happy life..but maybe not as desired..but still happy!!i wish i had a dog..and i will later in life..when i have a good castle as you said before..

but however..a home is a home wherever it is and however small or big it is..for the moment!

Why are you nervous?is all okay with you??

We have rain rain my country now..and.At the mountains the first snow has come..yeah!a long cold winther is approching!

And i am doing nothing but looking at old series as Wind at War with robert mitchum and so on..

well ..okey be dokey!have a nice sunday and thanx for Uriah it is also in my music bibliotech!!hihihhi..!!))


Kaya said...

Hello Fram,

This is a beautifully written story. I can tell that you had a wonderful inspiration to write all this. Yes, it's Neverland. So wild and so authentic. I wish I could see this Lake where you "danced" with your canoe. You are lucky, Fram, that you are alive after canoeing between these outrageous waves. I am even nervous looking at this wild place. You are courageous, man and fearless.

So... when you nervous, you write.... And come with a beautiful story.

Your young pet German Shepherd touched my heart. I can understand how it was difficult for you to leave her. What was her name, Fram?

The living body of Lake Superior... You have a beautiful imagination, Fram. And I had a great time to see these special moments through your eyes. I "was" there with you..... And I was also experiencing this wonderful sensations of being alive....

Beautiful song, beautiful post and beautiful imagination!!!!!


Wind said...

When I was little almost everything about other country's history and behavior were forbidden here in Romania.
Ceausescu kept Romania isolated from the whirl of information, no movies, no books, no magazines,no internet, nothing...
My grandfather (which was a painter )have had a whole library
hidden in his house .
At the right time, he told me to read everything because this will be the only asset in my life.
Ok. The books were all about world history.One, about The Sioux and their history and wars.
I was fascinated by them. A long story, anyway...For a long period of time I I wore feathers in my hair...ha ha

I found this, from a Sioux prayer:

'We're like the water.
If we're the lake- as I see you in me-I'm in you.
We're the great mirror.
We're nothing but the reflection of each other.'

Beautiful, isn't it?

I am sure that Argos wants to tell you something and yes, 'having a good life is not always the same as having the life you desire.'

Ok .
I will listen to Uriah Heep now!
My best regards from a far away space!

Wind said...

Well, for your next perfect morning
on The Lake I found this Sioux Prayer:

'Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds
Whose breath gives life to the world, hear me
I come to you as one of your many children
I am small and weak
I need your strength and wisdom

May I walk in beauty
Make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made
And my ears sharp to your voice.
Make me wise so that I may know the things you have taught your children.

The lessons you have written in every leaf and rock
Make me strong!
Not to be superior to my brothers, but to fight my greatest enemy....myself

Make me ever ready to come to you with straight eyes,
So that when life fades as the fading sunset,
May my spirit come to you without shame.'

After that can light up your cigarette.
My regards to you!

Peggy said...

Fram, thank you for such a heartfelt and inspirational blog. It was a wonderfully written narrative matched perfectly with the poetic lyric of he song Sunrise. I could hear the waves of the lake as you lay down to sleep and feel the sun in my eyes as you awoke. I really envy you that lovely night/morning. Thanks for sharing something so precious and also for giving me something to take away and think about.

Yes, I agree having a good life is not always the same as having the life you desire. Restless... I can feel your restlessness in every blog. I share those feelings at the moment. What will be next? I hope we both find what we are looking for.

Fram Actual said...

Yes, Anita, I have had many wonderful times, although many people would not consider some of my wonderful times as wonderful should they experience them personally. That was a strange sounding sentence, but you will have to take my word for it without further discussion.

Why am I nervous? What else makes a man nervous other than women? I know how to act and behave among men; I can read them like they are open books (usually comic books), but women are a mystery and I never know if I am doing the right thing when I am around them. Hence, women make me nervous.

Yes, I think Bergen must be a very cold, damp place to live -- or, does the sea keep it milder than the inland regions during the winter months? Such is the case with towns around Lake Superior.

Uriah Heep has been a great band at times, depending on who is singing. Have you noticed that they frequently tour in Europe? I once saw them in a small venue. It was a "wonderful" night.

Fram Actual said...

Oh, Kaya, to canoe in places like the Black Rocks does not bring fear to the heart; it creates exhilaration and happiness. It really is quiet easy to do, if you begin it after you are well versed at canoeing in many other kinds of waters.

There are many conditions involving winds and currents and waves, so it simply is a matter of learning. I have said many times to many people, I have no fear of Lake Superior, but I have considerable respect for its power and idiosyncrasies.

This German Shepherd's name was "Argos." I stole the name from the name of Odysseus' dog. You might recall, he left his dog behind, too, so, perhaps, my Argos was fated by the name I chose for her.

In reality, I know there are many places as beautiful as The Lake, but this place is special to me and I feel an affinity toward it.

I often have said that I believe in the Manitou concept of the American Indian, and I believe the Manitou of The Lake and my Manitou have some manner of connection or relationship. I am very serious about that.

Fram Actual said...

I can only imagine what it was like for you as a small child living in a communist dictatorship, Wind. As for your grandfather, I cannot even imagine what life might have been like for him. I am not certain I would have had the strength to survive living in some of the conditions he must have experienced.

Often being absorbed by history, I have begun to study a bit about Romania, but my interests usually fly first to the history of long, long ago. What I need to do is to look closer at more "recent" times -- perhaps beginning around World War I and pushing forward from there. I have noticed, though, that the "revolution" against communism in Romania was more violent and bloody than in many other Eastern Bloc countries, such as in Poland.

I guess I am thinking out loud now, but I do have some personal experience in such matters, and my mind is running through its memory banks.

Now, most importantly, thank you, for your Sioux prayers. I often tell people when they look at me, they see a reflection of themselves. I guess I think of it as that another person will receive what he offers to me: Respect for respect, anger for anger, honesty for honesty. This is a bit different from your Sioux prayer, but it is my reflection.

My relationship with the Sioux has been mentioned in some of my posts. One of my ancestors was killed by them in 1866. He was in the U.S. Cavalry. One of my cousins is married to a full-blood Dakota. His step-son was a U.S. Marine who was killed by friendly fire in the Gulf War. I have participated in several sweat lodge ceremonies myself. So, enough of that.

I warn you, though, from now on, I will think of Wind with feathers in her hair.

Fram Actual said...

Well, Peggy. You live in a place where you could easily enjoy this same experience. I assume there are a few isolated, sandy beaches on Lake Ontario.

A few days ago, I was telling someone about all the unusual places I have slept, including in trees, in snow caves and on rocks -- once with half my body hanging over one side of a ridge line and the other half of my body hanging over the other side. Sort of like in an upside down "V" position. I slept on a floor all winter, and now I am sleeping on a love seat. Among these, I prefer warm, sandy beaches. (See me smiling?)

Yes, always restless, never satisfied for long. The past few days, especially, I feel akin to Prometheus and am bound to a rock, but it is my spirit being eaten away rather than my liver.

And, yes, again. I hope we both find what we are looking for .... but, in my own case, I am not certain if I would be bright enough to recognize it should it occur.

Peggy said...

Well Fram, it would be nice to find a deserted beach and spend the night - but as deserted as any beach might be, I would not be able to do that alone - I would be too fearful of someone unwanted stumbling upon me and not being able to defend myself, if required.

As much as I would like to act like an equal to a man, there are certain realities...

You have helped me to recall a very pleasant experience I had many years ago, lying in the bottom of a boat drifting along watching the stars above with my partner at the time and the children (mine and his) who were with us at a cottage up north for a few weeks. It was so nice. I could have slept there happily but for the 7/8 year olds who would not have managed a full night out on the lake.

I read your reply to Anita about the cause for your nervousness. Women make you nervous? That surprises me - but I get your point. Men and women are very different. You seem quite at ease here with your women friends in the Blogsphere (I am suspecting those commenting today are all women) and I dare say I wish you were closer as I am curious to see if you and I would become great friends in the non virtual world. But you are right - there might be an initial nervousness or maybe apprehension at the beginning until the ice was broken.

I am wondering if it is perhaps a certain woman who is making you nervous at this time? LOL (I hope you don't mind me teasing) All I can say is imo she is very lucky to have caught your attention - as in my mind I envision you to be quite particular. If someone has caught your eye that is really wonderful. I hope it moves forward such that you get past the nervous stage.

Fram Actual said...

It is refreshing to read the words you just wrote, Peggy.

So many women these days, I think, put "women's rights" in front of common sense. As a man, I have never walked into a bar and not been aware that I might have to fight before I leave it. I cannot understand why a woman would walk into a bar without being aware she might be accosted before leaving it. The point seems obvious to me: Do not put yourself into a potentially dangerous situation without being prepared for it.

I have slept in canoes tied to a tree branch on a lake or a river, Peggy, and once or twice, while drifting down a river. That, I would not advise, unless you are completely familiar with the river, and, probably, not even then. Rivers can change by the hour, depending on rainfall, for example, and lakes, depending on wind and storms even a few hundred miles away. I could tell you stories about that.

I suppose I could write a post about my nervousness around women, but I will not try to explain it in more than a few words here. I have had a few close friends who were women and one who was among my best friends ever. Let me put it this way, if a woman turns out to be my friend, well and good. But, among women, I look for a companion, a partner, not for a friend. This creates an unavoidable degree of stress and tension. Right?

As for the moment, yes, I will be honest and say there is one woman I watch more closely than I watch others. And, after two marriages, I really, really hope to find a lasting companion for a third marriage. Either that, or I think I will look for third war. Sort of the same thing in some ways. Yes, teasing again, maybe.

Back to the nervousness: I am not certain if I ever want to move beyond it. In a manner of speaking, it keeps the spark of being a teenage boy within me forever. And, I like it that way.

Fram Actual said...

By the way, Peggy. I tried twice at different times to leave a comment at your post. It drew a blank. I could not get in to do so ....

Peggy said...

Thanks for letting me know about the problem with the comment. I tried and couldn't submit either - the link wasn't clickable. So I went in and noted that I ended the blog with a video and thinking that there might be a bug in the blogger software added a few more lines and republished - and now the comment feature is clickable and all is well (I think).

Just to close off the topic above - you and I both are hoping for a successful third marriage - and yes a certain amount of nervous tension is expected and not necessarily a bad thing. If a guy puts a twinkle in my eye I will be wondering if the feelings are returned - these things seem to unfold slowly and in their own time and that of course makes for nervous energy and apprehension in case it goes the wrong.

I hope you don't just watch that woman you have your eye for very long - as the saying goes - a watched pot doesn't boil. LOL

Lastly, I saw briefly last night a corner of the moon poke out from behind the rain clouds for a few minutes and I was wondering if you were watching that moon right then... and apparently you were.

Fram Actual said...

My comment would have been pretty innocuous, Peggy. I simply was going to say that I would check out your recommended website. I have not done so yet. I recall watching Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" series a number of years ago, and enjoying it.

There are elements to life where I have absolutely no patience. But, for hunting, I always have had great patience. Is watching a woman considered hunting? In a sense, I guess.

On the other side of the coin, I am reaching a point in my life where I do not feel like wasting time, and that is precisely what I have been doing for a year now in many ways. It is time for me to become serious and to play the cards I have been dealt.

Yes, at this time of the year the moon passes between the trees and through an open sky for some distance when I look to the south from where I sit on my patio -- as I am doing right now. Depending on the clouds and on the stage of the moon, I have a good view of it for a while. I watch the moon for a few minutes every night it is there for me to see.

So, happy moon watching, Peggy.

Anonymous said...

So .Fram is in love again!
That i like very much!!

i see the sparkle in your eyes.It shines and shines!

but who is the lucky one?Please tell us..Iam dieing to know more about she looks..the way she have her hair..her smooth tone in her voice..yes everything!!ohh i am soo happy for you Fram!

About my town bergen it is prettymuch like Minnesota.Rain and cloudy days yes..but also the fresh air..the green grass..the sunny days and the cold winthers you only see in the a vacation!If you have ever been to is pretty much like that town..with old castles and narrow streets..old streets..many people, but in the same time the norwegians are very patriotic and closed my opinion.

I hope you go to europe in winther fact i expect you to go and visit Krakow and some other places..Like the place you was with Magdalena?(i dont remember her name)

Well now i must go..Exuse me for my bad english please..!

Many good thoughts and hugs, to you!))

Anonymous said...

Peggy!If you read was soo good to hear from you.yes FRESH is the word like Fram said..a fresh breath in the blogs!

I also tried to write on your blog but could not..however i copied you music and will visit you later!

Maddalena said...

Hi Frammy!

Wonderful picture, thank you for that one, I bet White Bear chose it especially for your post?

I hope everything is going well with you two, guys?

My all best wishes to both of you, my dearest friends.

Fram Actual said...

You leap off the proverbial cliff without looking to see what is below, Anita.

Peggy asked a simple question: "I am wondering if it is perhaps a certain woman who is making you nervous at this time?"

My answer was this: "As for the moment, yes, I will be honest and say there is one woman I watch more closely than I watch others."

Now, then. Just where do you see the word love written?

Anyway, even if I were to fall in love, it probably would end in futility. I have said before, in posts long ago, that in the words of the Old Norse, I have "gold-luck," I have "weather-luck," I have "war-luck." But, I am not a man who has had "woman-luck." I suppose there always is the first time.

I have never been to Luxembourg, and am not certain I would go there. It is not high on my list of places I wish to visit, although I just discovered it is a very wealthy little nation.

Maybe. Maybe, Europe in the autumn or in the winter. Maybe, Warsaw and Krakow and Gdansk. Then again, how about Moscow? The only thing which seems written in stone is that it will be somewhere other than where I am at the present -- at least for a few months, anyway.

Your English is fine, Anita, and thank you, for the good thoughts and hugs.

Fram Actual said...

Ah, hah .... look who has appeared after weeks and weeks of absence. It is nice to see you have returned to visit me here, Mag.

Yes, of course, it was White Bear who selected this photograph. I could just as well let him take over the blog completely since he pretty much already runs it as he pleases.

The little scamp has been a real nuisance lately. He wants us to drive up along the North Shore of Lake Superior so he can see the same places where Fram Teddy Bear and I traveled during the summer of 2009. I tell him to be patient, and he eventually will see more places than he will ever remember. He also wants a new pistol.

Yes, all is well, other than we spend far too much time by ourselves. We both need a girlfriend.

Thank you, Mag, for your best wishes.

Peggy said...

I see you are playing with the idea of a trip North of Superior - I have done that a few times myself - such glorious scenery! I myself am thinking that this is the year I do Agawa Canyon during the fall colours. The tour train ride I am told has breath taking views and it makes for a perfect long weekend trek from Toronto.

I have to chuckle as I see all of your friends (me included) in the blogsphere smiling and wondering about your attention turning to a particular woman.... perhaps we all long for someone out there having similar thoughts about ourselves?

As you said about yourself and White Bear - you both need a girlfriend. I will say a similar about of at least 2 of the women who hang around your site... we need a boyfriend - I hope Anita doesn't think I am too presumptuous that I include her with me in the "I need a boyfriend" group.

*sigh* Oh, that it were only as easy as ordering a mate from Amazon!

Although my Bella is a great source of companionship and greets me with gusto when I come home (as I expect White Bear does for you), it is just not the same as coming home to someone with whom you share a deep love and enduring affection.

Referring to a comment you jokingly made earlier about wanting a third war - there may be war at some point - but oh what joy comes first!

Fram Actual said...

It is not likely I will make a run up to the North Shore yet this summer, Peggy, but I do agree that Lake Superior has absolutely gorgeous scenery. Actually, I have thought about buying land and/or a house there, and looked around a bit when I was there in 2009. It still is not beyond the realm of possibilities.

When I lived in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, there was a train ride from Sault Ste. Marie (the Canadian one) which could be taken all the way to Hudson's Bay. It was noted for the fall colors. I had a friend who took the trip. I wanted to, but never did make it. I wonder if the train still runs.

Somehow, I do not think Anita will mind. She often has said the same herself. Right, Anita?

As for White Bear, he usually is so wrapped up in a Wild West film or a book or looking at guns on the internet, that he pays little attention to me unless he wants something. On the other hand, he offers interesting conversation, is very knowledgeable about the history of Poland and mixes some excellent drinks. What can I say?

Yes, Peggy. What fun before it, and, maybe, after it.

Anonymous said...

He he he..i dont know what to say..Love,,Hmmmm...well i thought you were in love Fram.but however..looking at a woman is not the same thing as is passion...

Another thing about love for me.i have stopped seeking that cruel thang!!It is a cathastrofy for me and makes me out of my senses..therefor rather not get attached to i desided in myself.this rest of my not to be soo much concerned about getting a man..i rather try to concentrate on my son.give him all that o didnt get as a also just live for gods sake!!Be out here enjoying life..

Yes i try to be like that,but sometimes we can not live up to what we think right??And love and all that things comes in the mysterious then again down to zero..

Besides no men would want me.when they find out how boring i am they soon disapeear!But my inner life is full of fantasy and imagination..and that attracts people..weel enough of that shit..i mean love for me..

Yeah that train trip interest me.I must google that place..or train ride...I think something like the transeberian railroad??That would be nice too..once a time..

Luxenbourgh is a rich country.And so is norway.we just sent away 3 milions to Somalia.For starter.Well i couldsay alot of that thing but i will not.

But now.

My morning cofee waits for me..see you!

Fram Actual said...

Looking at a woman, Anita, might be passion under some circumstances. In this instance, I want to learn everything about her I possibly can so I am in a position to make a judgment whether or not she is worth pursuing.

I am just as interested in a pretty face and a "well-maintained" body as the next man, but I actually am more interested what she likes, what her talents are, what her intellectual pursuits are, if she is cool-headed or panics easily, why she is interested in me -- absolutely everything.

If she seems to have a whole bunch of elements to her life and her personality that I like, then I will chase her until she either says "yes" or tells me to get lost.

You are in a difficult position. Your son will need your close attention for the next seven or eight years, but neither should you deny yourself a chance for happiness should it come along.

If I were to give you advice, it would be to look for a man in a position similar to your own -- about your age and with a child or two in his custody and care who are about the same age as your son.

Anyway, you know I care about your well being and want the best for you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you :)

Something special ....