Aimless. (a work in progress)
In search of meaningful work to do I traded the expanse of the river for the wide open spaces of this country work. Purposely not paying much attention to the world around me, I turn off the constant drone, barely able to make it through the news at the top of the hour. This isolation is supposed to be what is keeping me healthy in these unprecedented, pandemic – what ever the hell this is times. It’s me, two older horses, two dogs and an old farm house. Today I got bored and went on an inspirational country drive. Bourbon barns and I can only imagine how much money is stored in those monolithic warehouses.
The road is winding through a part of Kentucky that is rolling hills and wide open spaces. A million dollar home rests on the hill with a double wide close by. A rolling creek follows the road over way to Bloomfield, Kentucky. Not much to see. A small one upon a time town. Churches up on hills and a Wikipedia entry that told of a wild murder back in the day and how the town had a notable person who was the President of the L&N Railroad. The road cut through town had its old shops and frontage that looked like the yesteryear postcard add the contemporary Hometown Pizza. Once I came to this little ol’ country town a long time ago with a friend named Jason. He was a groundskeeper over at the Abbey of Gethsemani. We drove over from Taylorsville to get a slice of pizza.
I moved in with him when he was working in Taylorsville, Kentucky to work at stripping tobacco. I was about twenty four years old and aimlessly looking for something to do. Making six dollars an hour cash back in them days was pretty good money. We lived in the old schoolhouse on the “bad” edge of town. The house was very old and had no heat except kerosene heaters. The running water was shut off due to lack of pay, but he had turned it back on by simply lifting the cap in the front yard and turning a bolt. The electric was off also due to lack of funds. We burned candles and an old railroad lantern in the living room for lighting. Jason was a very strange fellow. His parents were publishers of a religions magazine or something like that. He was kinda spooky and not easy to read. His car floorboard was filled with the shells of pistachios that he was constantly eating when we drove. One late night while high as hell we decided to drive out the Abbey of Ghethsemini.
It was about three or four o’clock in the morning when we got there. This trip, one of many, was before we moved in together in the old schoolhouse. The evening had started at the Twice Told Coffee House where he had just finished painting the sign on the front windows. We showed up to the Abbey and he proceeded to enter into the place in a way that was like we were entering his gated apartment building or something. He had a loaded key ring that opened all the doors. We were high as hell, quiet as possible not to disturb the holy silence of the place and once we were inside, we were face first into free orange juice and muffins. There were a few people milling around having breakfast. The florescent lighting of the place was in stark contrast to the darkest hour of dawn that we had just slipped out of.
After eating our midnight munchies Jason suggested that we should go watch the monks sing. I was all about it. So we got up from our table, cleaned our own mess and proceeded down long hallways to the passing stares of the few folks that were up at that early hour. We got to the chapel and the monks were just getting started. The place was all wood. All I remember was a blond light wood, theater seating kind of atmosphere and things I kind of recognized from my growing up Catholic days The monks were I guess singing in Latin? There sure were not singing Buddhist monks, but my awareness to where were were was not focused on that in fact, we were at Thomas Merton’s famous church. I knew the place was special because of how it was talked about in the circles I ran in. The only thing I had on my mind that high lonesome morning was the story my Father told of expensive cars lined up at holiday time to get the fruitcake with the special “bourbon” ingredients.