Sunday, July 31, 2022

Mapping the field

31 July 2022

You can find me behind my thoughts, in the back of the warehouse. A refrigerated truck spews condensation into the alley, like talk balloons without words. Silence is like that, always suggesting, seldom delivering, taking the middle spaces between idea and deed, where Greek sentences so often sit, trying to balance the two, knowing them part of an ethical conundrum that even a cave can’t fix. You can find my feelings there, if you care to look, though of late I’ve been hiding them again from the workplace I left behind. But that was a literal leaving, like my son’s this Wednesday, not the remnant trail advertising a perfect mantra to heal your aches and pains. We advertise our lacks, the holes in our texts, the oranges that fill our hearts too full to remain unheard. If this is not poetry, what is it? Meditation is poetry, and that’s why we try so hard to let it go. Sweep out the corners, let them fill again with dust and bunnies.

Another Russian assault on eastern Ukraine. Everyone is encouraged to leave. Leave-taking as trigger, whether forced or not. But at the end of a missile there’s more to your trauma than absence or loss of person (including self) to time’s flows. He suspects we don’t have polar bears at our zoo, and I laugh at the thought. But we saw a motorcade for the new tiger the other night, filing past Ala Moana, shopping mall that fronts the Pacific Ocean, as if that were possible to do.

Lilith stares off the bed at Maeve, staring back through the screen door. They expect something of me. Maeve has disappeared already. When you exit a depression, you know impermanence has its virtues, despite those eyelid slide shows and sore arms. Does capitalism cause depression, as the new study of studies suggests? Yes, money is bad feeling, to say nothing of faith, but with my medical plan I can buy my drugs for a reasonable fee and feel better, which is not to say peaceful, for another day. Too short a lease would be shorter without.

Symptoms of trauma: pecking away at your laptop, plucking for hours at a ukelele, beating back the clouds from the Japanese movie about the films we make after our deaths. Choose one moment to direct. Pick your actors carefully. Turn the camera’s crank, making that sound, as of fast, high-pitched train tracks. Gaze into the camera, as if it might keep you on the other side of the clouds, even as you know it will not. Is there audience for your film? Does it matter if the reviews come back negative, or come back not at all?

And then you met me. And then I met you. The and does not add one thing to another, but suggests a turn in time. Because if if had supplanted and, then we’d not be here, would we? Suit up for your morning walk with the dog. Palms are crackling. We think the wind is blowing the right way.

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