It is entirely possible that the DORK, who often masquerades as Paul Dobson, has limited or no recollection of the stunning epiphany he experienced late on Sunday night. In fact, there appeared to be many epiphanies occurring in a rapid staccato of revelations. He was open-mouthed, wide-eyed, head-shaken, agape, agog, astounded by the sights that assailed him. The one thing he was not was dumbfounded. He began whispering, “Look. Just Look. Stop. Listen to the silence.” Then his voice started to rise and pointing said, “ There. Over there. Look. Look”. Now, I’m 99% certain we were nowhere near the road to Damascus (I won’t entirely discount the possibility as I had been imbibing too), but this was starting to sound a bit familiar in a biblical sense. There were coincidences here too striking to be ignored. But if Paul has forgotten, I will take it upon myself to remind him.
After consuming more alcohol than was prudent, Paul decided that an adventure was in order and after rounding up two unwitting volunteers, marched off into the midnight wilderness, armed with a small flashlight, a walking stick and an overdose of self-confidence – Don Quixote in search of a windmill. The six inches of wet snow fallen the previous night shone with a fine starry gleam as the temperature dropped. White blankets embraced the pines in drooping shapes, all arrowed sharply skyward. The ghost of a near-full moon haunted thinning clouds, casting black and white apparitions across rock faces. The light drifted, soft and diffuse, then bounced clean and hard back into the brush. To anyone city born and bred, this was powerful medicine. This was wendigo country. Magic. Anything was possible. And Paul was struck by it all. Struck by it? Hell – He was astounded. He was amazed, thunderstruck, gape-mouthed, starry-eyed by a scene once familiar and now transformed. As if an angel had shimmered into view in the boughs of a tree, white-robed, wings spread and halo ablaze. He was transformed. He was transported.
The precious day, our latter-day Paul of Tarsus had climbed the road to Shoe Lake in daylight as broad as scudding cloud and persistent rain would allow. There was some beauty in the scene, but it was of an ordinary and common sort. Flora and fauna were washed-out shades of former selves. The world was damp and cold. The ground stank of November rot. Walking the road to Shoe Lake was just something to do.
But here, past midnight in a landscape turned alien by an order of startling magnitude, this was something else again. Accepting the evidence of eyes and ears was an epiphany that inspired childlike delight. Everything was new and full of wonder.
The essence of DORK-ness is that there is no need to excuse, no need to forgive, no desire to explain. In the company of DORKS, it’s possible to be a child one moment and an adult the next. Truth and lies fall just as easily from the tongue because here there is nothing to lose and nothing to gain if it’s all in the cause of a good story or a bad joke. To be a DORK is to be at peace with oneself and one’s fellow DORKS. If Paul wants to rhapsodize or epiphanize or soliloquize over the transformational qualities of a silent night in the snow, that’s just fine, because I sense what he’s getting at. I’ve felt it before and I pray to feel it again. There have been other moments – Strawberry Fields drifting across the frozen bay through a veil of gentle snowflakes – turning, near silent, in a rowboat as a splash of stars and the swath of milky way spin overhead, nodding near sleep and dreams before a fire while a host of dying sparks ascend to heaven, Pink Floyd (or was it Led Zeppelin? No, most likely Moody Blues) sailing across the waters. We’ve all been there and we hope to be there again.
So “Lay on Macduff, and damn’d be him that first cries, ‘Hold, enough!’”