Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Micturant Reverie

There is some time yet before the bus arrives to take us home, rescued from the bustle and the bells, returned to a simulacrum of serenity, a levelheaded dream of sanity. As to my departure there is no urgency...but I am no longer young and subject now to other urgencies.
I absent myself and the world pauses. I remain immobile, inert in a communal solitude as private as prayer, standing, face to the wall amid the other old men emptying our bladders in trickle time, thinking thoughts like these, vivid as a flash, as perishable as wind...divine causality is far more complex than mere scientific causality...and...there is no art without moral purpose...and...truth is the inexpressible certainty at the center of the universe...and...what our science styles evolution is really just a very long and very thorough education...standing still, patiently awaiting the next labored spurt cada vez con menos fuerza bemused to bathroom bathos by the smell of disinfectant layered on the odors of digestion and business must grow regardless of crummies in tummies, you know immobilized for the instant between Lorca and Lorax, all the disjunct flotsam of certain knowledge long exploded and contemplation lamed by doubt my thoughts remain below flowing past the impassive inner eye, accelerant and flickering as if a magic lantern threw jetsam swept downthought through the rapids toward the cascade where ends the stream of consciousness and waves and breakers crashing on the rocks below struggling always to remember (as I was taught) that the evidence of my senses is conditioned by the structure of my  thought and not the other way around once a day Cialis for the treatment of erectile disfunction and the symptoms of BPH and we are the hollow men codpieces filled with until at last concluding with a final dribble and shake rattle and roll, shake, rattle and roll I step away. The world returns. The flush is automatic.

            Lathering my hands happy birthday to you, happy birthday to I observe my face in the mirror, studying for the length of a jingle happy birthday dear the lineaments of vain reflection gouged deep into my forehead, the weight of diffuse sadness hung beneath my eyes, an overripe fruit heavy and blue to bursting.  
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall...
My life is an anecdote, and anecdote is fact refusing to become mere statistic. It is the truer image of reality, the dispositive shadow of freedom. I decline to be a datum. I dismiss the notion of my self and my reality as composite number, Cartesian and graphable.  I refuse the averaged certainty of the science through which I move. I insist upon another vision, a wider freedom. And all that I hold as honor simply the morality of superior lies in this, that I cannot care that my insistence is powerless against the insistence of a world fiction used by the herd  that I am in but not of. In this world thought's kaleidoscopic, a stream of words and images momentarily present to the inner eye, glassine slivers of education and experience brightly colored and backlit by memory, suspended between the transitory and the static, briefly coalescing then just as quickly dissolving refragmenting and reforming, an endless progression of patterns at once engaging and incomprehensible, a shimmering fractal, individual, unique, irrepeatable --- a soul, a self...one's only real possession...one's true possessor.

I dip my hands into the Dyson Blade, thar she blows the wind impressed for humble service hast seen the white whale? the gale domesticated, monetized and marketed...life's longboat swamped by commerce. To breathe is to buy and sell: the world's respiration, the moneychanger's moral my conscience 'tis of thee, sweet land of prodigality. On the wall to my right a gray block vaguely resembling a postal box labeled in distressed red, a hygienic concession to frailty and fear and fatality: Sharps Disposal. Wherein to dispose of letters and of wit? but three to write you down…there are whole days now when I fear I've lost mine...which only serves to prove that I'm American and not alone God lent his grace to…and what then when the note comes due?  Kaleidoscopic. Signs and symbols.  The old man leaving having laved, stately, proper, with only the slightest awkward curvature to his spine, a minute off beat to the rhythm of his step hitch in his giddy-up pulls an extra paper towel to shield his touch from lurking danger on the door handle, germs invisible and malignant. An infestatious world Clorox disinfectant wipes wherein perhaps we ought to bathe in bleach. A new baptism.  Reckless, I grab the handle unprotected and yank it sharply past my shoulder, startling yet another aged entrant. Sorry.

The air, approaching evening, is cool and pleasant, still a lower sixties in the receding sun without a notable damp and easily breezed. The bench, black metal, manufactured not forged, unremarkable, an object only, a mere convenience shiny and democratic, affords a moment’s comfort more or less. My hips hurt. The coach is due in half an hour. I light a cigarette. Outcast.  The canopy above in protecting from the weather blocks as well a view of the overhead sky, forcing vision forward across the bustle of the highway opposite to the rolling hills beyond, forested and unmolested, a native nation, reserved, tribal, sovereign. A wispy veil of cigarette smoke curls up before my face, suspended briefly in the lee between breezes, and then dissolves, as fleeting as the memories of the aged ah, but I was so much older then and I pan the springtime sky above the verdant hills, vast, unbroken, cloudless. A hawk, in silent poise rapine and attentive, glides in purposed circles between earth and sky, patrolling for game turn, turn, turn…turning in the widening gyre and I watch its timeless circuit with the same impassioned unconcern with which I now mark the passage of the days and the changing of the seasonsin the juvenescence of…we are born and we dieto everything there is…these are the certaintiesthe bird, the bird, the bird is the Wordeverything in between is simply education… 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Reflections in Passing

It is a triumph of education and a victory of the understanding to see the world as a vast and comprehensive hospice and, accordingly, to credit triage as the foremost of human obligations, the noblest of its professions.

I have been indoctrinated (as indeed I imagine have we all) to hold that diversity is a virtue, a bedrock value of American consciousness and a wellspring of national strength. I have my doubts. That America comprises a myriad of races, of nationalities, of religions, of souls across vast ranges of development and education is certain and confirmed by the simplest observation. But that this diversity is, in and of itself, virtuous, valuable, or strengthening is much more open to question. Several weeks of steady attention to the evening news is all that is needed to prompt a contemplative pause, and a single full lifetime's disjunct recollections --- sixty, seventy, eighty years' worth --- is, for some souls, sufficient to bring thought itself nearly to a dead halt: a diversity of fools is no paradise.

There is a difference between an ideology and a faith: an ideology constellates around a thought, a faith around a Being. We fail to make the distinction at our peril.

          In a democracy the electorate always gets the government that it wants, and therefore in a democracy the electorate always gets the government it deserves. Consequently, the only hope for a democracy lies in the virtue of the electorate...and in our democracy conversations about the nature of virtue are exceedingly difficult and usually degenerate into fistfights or petty squabbles over law. These we call politics.

It is indicative of the decline of the age through which we move that our effort to understand ourselves now prompts us to look no further than to a comprehensive analysis of our individual DNA to reveal to us who we truly are, to settle our identity and thus to calm our inner insecurity...a vanity now sufficiently progressed to make commercially viable an industry devoted to the provision of such analysis on demand. Money moves the world toward the actualization of our every whim, mindless of any value save the fiscal and, in consequence of such inclination to the ephemeral, time relegates each of us to the life appropriate to the level of our ignorance.

What our science styles evolution is really just a very long and very thorough education, the most widely diffuse and entirely public form thereof, painful, protracted, and ultimately certain.

The sage who speculated that an infinite number of monkeys banging away on an equal number of typewriters would produce the entire Shakespearian opus failed to foresee the development of social media, a vehicle which makes the thought experiment actual (only authorship differing) and exponentially accelerates the process, producing thereby not Hamlet but at best a rare coherent thought, a solitary worthy sentence.