Tag Archives: thought

I think it’s today

It’s a crushing and a consuming

that swallows me in its path,

rolling and roiling its path from yesterday’s nest

to the unknown adventure of tomorrow.

I am tossed.  I am torn  before the torrent,

familar though it is,

this dance with Duty,

as She always finds me,

She knows where I play in my dreams,

and She knows that name for me

that forces action and motion and thought and pushingrunningjumpingdancing.

I can smell today around me,

carrion afield buzzing and crawling

as I build a bridge for those who will follow after.

None of this is for me anymore.

“Life is hard.  You have to change.”


There,

in front of the thick,

velvety

silence,

there I struggle to relax the burning

aching knots of meat and muscle

screaming against time and age and duty.

There,

with my back towards

and my focus and spirit facing away from calm

and serenity

and nothing

I drag my hand to wipe the imagined sweat

as it is cold here

so vacant beneath the closing

crushing dome

unbreakable adamant without reason.

I smell the old smell

of burned up hair

and smoking drought of purpose –

it wafts in tendrils through this quiet space

that is no space

a place between other places.

I want nothing.

There is nothing I want.

Desire lies smoldering,

one of countless cinders among the refuse,

youth and hope and attachment and vision,

one of infinite odors mingled and tangled like the fibers of my body

indistinguishable one from the other,

emergent mass of nothing from something from nothing

and back again.

From somewhere,

some noble depth of unconscious spirit sporting the facade of teacher,

from somewhere rises a spirit of gratitude

directed nowhere and to no one,

only flowing out from an uncharted,

unknowable someplace,

gratitude for the nothing and the everything and all of the sights and sites between.

 

Thanks.

Thanks from no one to no one,

thanks existing before and after

above and outside and between

that bit of nothing that calls itself me.

 

 


Fall Wedding

I drank in the crisp air, thin and sharp like the bite of mint – the sting ran down my throat and lanced the belly of my lungs.  A soft wisp of steam poured from my mouth like the smoke from a train piping through a bright valley morning. I could feel the heat lighting from the back of my neck, and from the tips of my ears, covered though they were by my soft, brown wool hat.  I hugged my elbows closer to my ribs, squeezing the heat back into my core,  smiling beneath the ineffectual sun as she shone bright but cold upon my face and upon the water of the pond.

A soft breeze scattered a fleet of dried leaves across the nascent ripples birthed on the sheer surface of the glass-smooth water.  The sunlight bobbed and danced over the ridges, shooting crazed patterns like knives in the pumpkin and stone colored canopy above.

I stopped on the path, just before it ducked into the shade of the chattering maples and oaks.  I listened in the quiet to the playful chattering of beech leaves on slender, elephant-smooth trunks.  Those leaves would hang through the long, cold winter in fierce competition with the late oaks – the blissful ignorance of youth pitted against the reluctant willfulness of the ancient.  I would merit from them both, happy animal that I was – free to meander through the light and shade, open to thought and motion so quick as to be ephemeral.

That day I squinted my eyes against the radiance of an October sun on the umber-cobalt sheet of the pond but I gazed through sheaves of years, back into memories of greenest grass and pique of buzzing midge.  I looked not upon the gravel path, succumbing to the onslaught of falling leaves, but rather gazed into the shining eyes of a semicircle of storied faces, backlit with dreams and good intention.

My mind was not focused on the collective whispers of the forest leaves, nor on the mournful cry of walnut-gray geese resting before the continued push south.  Instead I heard the soft strum of string, the guitar ringing free in the outside air, looking for wall and floor to spring from in echo, but finding only shining air and distant cloud.  I no longer heard the soft lapping of frigid waves licking the edge of weathered hull, but instead my ears remembered the expectant hush of minds focused on myth and ceremony.

I stood complete and present in a time that was no longer present.  Fully self-aware in a memory whose mutability my probing thoughts enhanced, I swayed beneath a closer sun, years away and a season apart.  I could hear no words, nor see the detail of face nor of raiment. Yet I felt the mood, and bathed in the goodwill and expectation. We set aside there doubt and fear.  We cast anger from ourselves like empty cloaks – it was not needed in that place we had built.

I knew the sun waned through twilight to evening in the vision.  The untamable eye in the heavens replaced by man’s pet servant – fire, as she danced and kissed the sausages and vegetables, charring and caressing.  And in the darkness we feasted, dancing and singing and smoking and drinking. With feet bare, and hearts open, we revelled in the togetherness of celebration, and we forgot of yesterday and of tomorrow, and of those things to come later.  In that moment we were. Simple and fulfilled, we were.

A shiver ran through my toes, and I, as if from slumber awaking, became present again in the present.  I stood, short pillar of gray and green against the racing brush of time, painting the world before me in maroon and brown and yellow.  So slowly, and yet so very quickly, I counted year upon year stacking neatly behind me, ever pushing me wiser and older down the path towards rest and completion.  I looked upon my world, pastoral beauty framed in billowing trunk beneath cloudless cold sky.

I looked and felt a stirring for the crafty peace of autumn, for smokey childhood days of heroism and timelessness.  I watched a small boat trail glacially slowly across the pond, piloted by a passive silhouette of detailless suggestion.  I felt the heat of the earth retreating slowly into the depths as if all of nature were drawing a hushed breath before slumber.  I knew a wistfulness for the unbridled possibility of youth, and for the slow, deliberate wisdom of age. Within me stirred some primordial duality – the hope for newness and creation, married perfectly to the restfulness of death and darkness.  I saw myself not as a part of the world, but rather as someone watching a world, a stranger catching a shadowy glimpse of a deeper truth that was so much larger and grander than I could comprehend. But I was so thankful for the symbolism, though I understood nothing of the meaning.  I stood in awe, a child behind the discussion of kings and gods, lost and adoring, alone and insignificant – but complete.

I pulled the boots from my feet, and tucked my socks neatly inside.  I placed the boots next to each other, resting to warm in the nearly cold rays of the sun.  The earth beneath my feet was distant and cold. I did not feel grounded. Heat and life fled from my toes, evaporating in the cool dry air, feeling carried away by the breeze.  The soles of my feet spoke of stones and twigs, but their voices were muted in the vacancy of my mind. I walked to the water’s edge, and felt the clear tongues of the waves as they lapped at my toes and ankles.

I drew a deep breath again, and closed my eyes.  I spread my arms and tumbled into the icy blackness of the pond, the flame of consciousness extinguished by the icily merciless bite of the cold, dark water.


Pre-joy fog

Bow me down before I sleep,

the long, tired walk of restlessness in pseudo-dream

and fog between waking and knowing.

Therein lies a mist-blanketed shore,

acrust with gems of shell

and litter strewn by eons lost

beneath Time’s own slumberous tread,

forcefully forged from bone and shield

to powder dust of crystal

and thought.

On silent beach spill sapphire waves

yielding their life upon unlit sand

and polished heart of wood

no longer adrift.

Under clouded night

with moon hid behind gauzy cloud,

gray-yellow above the black glass sea,

unfolds nothing

but weighty time

and build of pressure,

dead steel of sword upon my head

shorn and cold and alone in thought

beneath ever deepening nightshadow of cliffs

tall and stern and proud –

unyielding.

 

Unfold my eyes before the dawn,

cold grey expanse.

The day is pain of sinew and structure,

of back and foot and head and heart.

Perhaps the joy, indeed, lies under varied sky,

and I err to search for it here.


Therapy

Though I rise slowly,

the Earth drops below me at an alarming rate,

the palette paling from verdant azures to the quickening void of space.

Even as the vista shrugs off the color and sound of life,

my view is narrowed,

pulsing and throbbing in silence at the edge of my sight,

washing away to a single, uninterrupted circle of focus,

a portal into a deeper nothing than that surrounding me.

I am not truly here,

no.  I am no longer truly anywhere,

and it is a broken husk with sightless vision that stares emptily

at a horizon that my consciousness cannot perceive –

I am become a ghost,

tormented apparition that is itself imperceptible

even as I lose the concept of perception.

The breath of the wind touches something that used to be a part of something

that I was a part of,

but am no longer.

The rushing caresses the intimates of ears

that no longer drive thoughts of hearing or of sound or of meaning,

the clip of my boot on the ground is a sound lost,

empty shaking of air with no information,

no echo in my person.

Like the breeze race past thought upon thought,

dreams of understanding,

aspirations of immortality and of grandeur,

and all that is is contained in the wake of their passing,

but I am no longer drawn to stretch out the reach of my mind to grasp them.

Instead I know of their passing,

I understand the loss of their whispers

as my apathy and impotence finalize their emphemerality.

Like a single drumbeat,

cached in the roar of thought and unheard sound and sightless vision

stirs a still, small voice that hums a single phrase;

Sickness.


disgust

I see you there,

a glint in the periphery,

a flicker against the inane reality.

I see you there,

and I spit,

I have cursed my own blood,

discarded my own brother,

what do you think you hold

that I could ever value?

Be honored.

Celebrate,

for I see you there

and take note of the insignificance that is your life,

the banalities that are your thoughts,

blank unrecognition of truth,

blatant disregard for reality,

bold disdain for completeness.

I curse again,

claw at the scratch of the stench of your clothing,

vomit at the hint of your person.

Like the hiss of an angry cat,

I draw my shackles up against the social law

that protects the weakness that grows in your loins

and dilutes the strength of evolution,

stain upon the cloth of humanity.

Be gone.

Depart.

There should be no place for you here,

and I curse the ones that build

for you a house of woebegotten love,

misplaced

and displaced,

granting mercy to a mote

that should not be,

an unfortunate glitch

in the code of humanity.

I shiver and move on,

disgusted at the thought

of the taste of your mind.


Simon – 11/16/13

My Dear Simon,

It was good to see you again the other night. It has been such a long time. I can’t remember how long it has honestly been since we last spoke.

You have changed some – you seem darker, less present than you once were. Surprisingly though, I felt a touch of peace in you that I did not remember from before. I read some of your older work, and perhaps I can see some inkling of that peace in your words. It’s so hard to say though. I suppose you’ve seen so much since we last spoke, since the last time I read one of your pieces. I was more than a touch melancholic in wondering what we might have seen together, had things worked out differently. Looking back now, I am not sure I would have endured traveling through the places you’ve been in the recent past. Yes, you have most definitely changed. You are aged like wine, or more aptly, like an iron rod tempered through the heat.

As to the idea of another visit? I am not sure. I think you were right in your perception that my hold on reality, and on sanity, is not the strong, rooted grip that I had believed. With the girls gone, and your recent words echoing in my mind, I can see the veil thinning. It is more than a little terrifying.

I have become complacent here, at ease in the struggle for normalcy that fatherhood and married life bring. This career, the continual chewing up of the physical world in piecewise puzzles, the poor sleeping, the dearth of spare time – all of these ‘problems’ have only reinforced the mists obscuring who I am. When you asked me who I was now, I suppose we both saw that doubt. It was momentary, but it was real nonetheless. I knew you weren’t belittling what I have earned here, even though it is something that you will never comprehend. That was generous of you – another badge you’ve earned on this journey? Even though you weren’t trying to insinuate anything, I took your point to heart. And I have the answer for you now. Who am I now? I have no idea. I honestly have no idea. That is my answer.

You’ve had this time to be, to explore and witness. But I have become convinced that we are not alone. I can no longer afford to live as you do – an island of thought and consciousness in a vast sea of Everything. I have become a device, a tool for consciousness to develop itself. I know that you don’t accept that, that you can’t accept that. But even you, especially you have to understand this. What you live, those thoughts and dreams – those are not free. Each quanta of your consciousness has been bought and paid for through the life, death, and suffering of another being. Even as the stones cry out their names, crushed under the immeasurable weight of time – those names have built that island of your identity. Perhaps that is who I am now. I toil for that consciousness. I am working to transcend these boundaries – and for that reason, sharing thoughts with you is painful. I am building something, laying structures and foundations upon which your freedom will be established, and that of my children.

No Simon, I have not diminished. I have not stagnated. I have simply built a chrysalis, and the beast that emerges will be less recognizable than you have become.

I am not angry with you, any more than you are with me. And yes, now that I consider it, I agree – we should get together again soon. We should collaborate again. We would both benefit from it, although the sacrifice is honestly all mine. I don’t begrudge you this – as I said, it is now become my duty to lay such foundations. It is a part of the growth that has been required of me. And, like the scaffolding left after renovation, my support shall diminish from those who need it so now. And then we shall shine together – though that reunion terrifies me.

You remain the largest enigma I have ever encountered. I cannot reconcile your cruelty with your selflessness. And, sometime, indeed I do yearn for your freedom. Though I would never pay what you have paid for that understanding. I will not again pass through that darkness voluntarily. Perhaps you have already made the larger sacrifice.

I must leave you with these thoughts. I will call upon you again soon, when Duty allows. I believe we have ears that want to hear, and eyes that are eager to read. I personally am ready to drink of that cup of wisdom that you have been filling so diligently these so many years.

Yours,

-D


Where

Where are you,
My friends?
I look for you,
Search for you in vanity of thought,
For verily,
We all know
That I sit alone,
Smiling among imaginary figments,
Metaphorically ironic.


mind

I am my mind,

a terrible vessel of entrapment.

I know.

I learn, calculate, numerate, analyze.

This self,

granted life through mind,

is a ravenous, jealous beast.

I am its prisoner,

and therefore,

so as I think,

therefore I am not.

 

Aug 16, 2013


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