It is tough to take on the world's larger philosophical quandries when your window is filled with flowers.
We have no talent for scale, we humans. It's probably for the best. If we were able to hold in our hearts the proper measurements of each disaster, we'd be worse than useless- and we're already only a few notches north of decorative. Give us a sense of of the relative importance of this versus that, we'd drool and gibber and vomit chunks of climate change rhetoric. GO BACK! SEE WHAT YOU'VE DONE! WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!
Instead we thumbs-up that Onion article on Facebook and fortify our positions on fractions of eighth notes and stare at our windows filled with flowers. And then we finger, like a rosary, all the the small disasters of our lives: the bug bites and the missed busses and the lost opportunities, that ache in your knee and the continued erosion of my skin.
Two downward strokes, in the middle of my forehead, punctuation to no point.
Earthquakes, cancer, the despoilment of the sea, homes ripped from their moorings, ISIS ebola, peak oil.
Those flowers- clusters of white, loose, fragrant, butting up against the glass.
Sunday, April 5, 2015
Saturday, April 4, 2015
I resort to metaphor because this thing, my consuming lust for place, is unspeakable. Not unspeakable in the sense of shameful, but unspeakable as in we -simply?- don't speak of it. Friends don't mention it. Literature leaves me hanging. Am I the only one?
I try to rein it in with adjectives: My desire for this place is obsessive and exuberant, fine-grained and big-boned, anxious and ecstatic. I ache for my place when I'm away; I ache for my place when I'm home. The press of it, the weight of its memories, is in my mouth and on my hands and in my head -my place with its taproot and its branches and its bright bursts of green and flame.
More metaphor. Can't we speak plainly? I love this town. I want to be here. I can't. It hurts.
I try to walk it off. But walking is how you make love to a place, how you press and impress and are pressed and impressed until you can't tell what from where.
As always, I land here. Some particular corner of there and then: the road I rode so fast my bike went head over heels and left me half-dipped in blood; the wilderness I dreamed behind the wire and scrub; where I went to cry at 19 and at 9 and 26. Sometimes there were berries. I haven't seen the spot in years.
Still, it hurts.