Kings of the Rut
Darkness and Light
I live in a small suburb of a small city called Kelowna.
The 'burb is called Rutland but we call it The Rut for short. My father and I are Kings of The Rut...King Ruts, if you will. My father loves to garden and as I write he has a hoe in hand scratching a wide line in the rich, fertile soil that looks like a wide wagon wheel rut. This is his kingdom.
I have been in the rut of depression for longer than I care to tell but not anymore...I'm writing my way out...writing my own ticket...hoeing my own row into literary infamy and celebrity humility. I've been writing for about ten years...and most of those years have seen a few hundred dollars of income so my rut of security, construction and menial labors has been a deep trench looking more like a grave than a tunnel leading to the light.
We are the kings of the rut. We bear no crowns of gold or thorns...just rocks and soil, pebbles and stone.
A mutual friend of my father's and mine once commented on a rut, "The only difference between a rut and the grave is that a rut is open at each end."
He said it ten years before his own grave was opened but I still remember what I gleaned from his statement. If you're living in a rut you have two choices...you can go back to where the rut started and take a different path or you can move ahead and hope that the mud hardens, or leads to stony ground. You can move ahead to see over the rut's edges and capture an horizon...hope for future light on the dirty, dusty and darkening trail.
My father's hoed ruts are soon covered after seed is embedded in just the appropriate spots at the appropriate distances and soon fruit and vegetable vines poke up from the former rut to bear fruit within days, weeks or months. My father's ruts bear fruits which we eat with ready appreciation. His cucumbers have taste when we compare them to store-purchased cukes. His potatoes have flavour where bland, cloned potatoes from our grocer's shelves tend to have eyes that don't see. The rhubarb is ever bitter sweet and the tomatoes are succulent and sweet.
My father is a King of the Rut.
It was he who first introduced me to a singer named Roger Miller. He sang a song which opened with lines that read, "Trailers for sale or rent, rooms to let fifty cents. No phone no pool no pets...King of the Road."
He was singing about being a bum, I discovered long after first hearing the tune at the age of seven. The tramp was living in a trailer park, or a box car...but he was a king of the road. "He was a man of means by no means."
I walk to the core of The Rut and buy my own brand of low cost cigarettes. I walk straight and tall like it is my home...for it is my home. I write for very little, I love The Rut. I am a King of the Rut.
My room is twelve by eight and my computer holds much more than four bits . I am a man of means by no means, but I am a king of the rut I was in. I have mastered the darkness and now walk in the light to become a king of my own destiny. I have Buddy Christ and other kings to silently bob and weave if I wish. To smile and wave...if I desire. I have had my winter of discontent and now I have content. I am full.
I write seeds of thought that might bear fruit but that remains to be seen. I am a celebrity that has much to be humble about...but still I walk tall. I walk to the heart of The Rut and place a slim grin on my chin for it is good to be king.
Perhaps we kings can peel cukes later this summer, peel a tomato...suck on a cherry. For my father's ruts also entail trenches that have undergone a transformation into the sky. Treelings that have borne plums, cherries, peaches and apples. He has taken wings starting from earth and touched the sky like Icarus. My father is a King of the Rut...lording his will to rise to the sky.
I write to satisfy my reader...I write to fill my rut and stretch my arms. The light sky is turning blue...I am a King of the Rut, too.