Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Just answer yes or no

Unless we are defended against them, sandbaggings and other weighty misfortunes loiter above the paths we wander and will flatten our gratitude and sunny appreciation, snap.  Just like that.

Yesterday and today, like the silent journey of an earthworm, creepy meaningless stuff that is such a chintzy sliver of reality was burrowing toward me, foretelling gloom and that awful steamrollered flatness that may be depression.

So I looked for reasons, reasons that could make this a response to externals and not a true reading of the interior state.  Some options:

Heat - climbing and growing more humid.  Two days of not running the air conditioner was a reprieve, though possibly brief.

Politics.  Need I say more?

Perhaps too much stillness and separateness, though I become easily overwhelmed and quiet is peaceful.

What feels like a compass gone awry, magnetism or other fluxy tricks obscuring a clear direction.

September.  If there was a pop quiz, I'd have guessed April.  Time.  Sigh.

An almost complete absence of answers to any question, other than "I don't know."  Aren't we meant to be more certain, more fixed and drawn to one pole or another, aren't we just supposed to know if the WD-40 will work on that rusted fixture or the hard water marks will disappear with a product I refuse to research on Google?  Aren't we supposed to know (a) that this all comes out and (b) how that happens?

I am relieved to say that all sources consulted say the answer is no.  Just no.  And no makes whatever this is alright.  No becomes tomorrow's maybe.  No leaves enough air in the room to breathe and even laugh.  No means I can read through Julie Whitmore's blog, stare at her painted bluebirds and hollyhocks, her spring photo of wild sweet peas and pretend I can still walk around safely in shoes without laces and sturdy soles.  That I can still wear those pewter-color ballet flats and picture butterflies landing on my arms, in my hair.  All is not as it appears on television or, help us!, the internet.  There is dangerous subversion in distilled magic, disguised as color pencil shavings and painted faces no larger than M&Ms.  Better still, there is the simplicity of beautiful unknowingness.  No.  Just no.


Claire Beynon said...

The Layers

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face,
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
“Live in the layers,
not on the litter.”
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.


Much love to you, dear warrior friend xo

( ( ((O)) ) )

Marylinn Kelly said...

Claire - What a fine - and unknown to me - poem that speaks so clearly (a condensed Cormac McCarthy novel, after a fashion) of all this. I will share it, as well, with my brother. Thank you, especially for warrior status. Sometimes I feel so distant from anything even close to that. xoxo