Sometimes it seems that life is cheap, or maybe people don’t want to talk about it. It’s said that some people with my illness don’t live to be 60 years old. In some degree it is in my hands, though ultimately it’s in the lap of the gods. (Now I’ve got that song in my head.) All you can really know are the changes, yet there’s so much we want to repeat out of a desire for comfort. People crave permanence, and that’s why the invention of heaven was successful. We dread the loss of what we love. Life is one of the things people love. Beyond life you simply don’t know.
I just read a cool story by Hoffmann that involved things like the alter ego and losing your shadow or reflection to the devil. The introduction to the book is informative and very well done and goes into the doppelgänger idea somewhat. It’s one of those wonderful Dover editions I love so much… I’ve been sleeping poorly for a long time. I’ve noticed a change in my breathing when I try to sleep at night. Maybe it’s the Vraylar; and overall I feel kind of like a resuscitated corpse: death warmed over. A man whose soul is stolen, left to wander the underworld in quest of it. Kiss innocence goodbye.
Or perhaps it was just a bad day for me. There’s always tomorrow and the difference of a day.
We can forget the past, but the past doesn’t forget us.
Five o’clock evening.
The most poetic thing I observed today was a mourning dove perched atop a power pole outside Randy’s car lot: I stopped to look and it flew away, like the 59 wild swans in the Yeats lyric. Not that the lot of salvaged wrecks was at all poetic, but the fugitive dove graced the scene by its presence, similar to a fabulous bird in a ballet. There and gone in a twinkling to its sublime immaculate abode. This event kind of set the tone for the remainder of my day. I pondered the place of poetry in a realistic world, one that had lost its enchantment and lapsed from the Garden. Yet the Garden is only available to the imagination and sustained through poetic language. The squirrel on the magnolia limb knows a secret that he doesn’t impart. Nor does the spray of stars in the Milky Way at midnight. But perhaps with a taste of the white snake like the one in Grimm’s, all revelation is ours. I can almost decipher the cooing of the dove just now.
The most poetic thing I observed today was a mourning dove perched atop a power pole outside Randy’s car lot: I stopped to look and it flew away, like the 59 wild swans in the Yeats lyric. Not that the yard of salvaged wrecks was at all poetic, but the fugitive dove graced the scene by its presence, similar to a fabulous bird in a ballet. There and gone in a twinkling to its immaculate sublime. This event kind of set the tone for the remainder of my day. I pondered the place of poetry in a realistic world, one that had lost its enchantment and lapsed from the Garden. Yet Eden is only available to the imagination and sustained through poetic language… The squirrel on the magnolia limb knows a secret that he doesn’t impart. Nor does the astral spray of the Milky Way at midnight. But perhaps with a taste of the white snake like the one in Grimm’s, all revelation is ours. I can nearly decipher the coo of the dove just now.
Quarter after eleven.
I just caught the headline on Google: starting Wednesday, mandatory face masks again by order of the governor. There’s no end in sight to the bad news stories, so what the world could really use is a dose of poetry. A vehicle to lift us up to the Sublime, the beautiful and true; to transport us to the spiritual universe.
We may take an image like snowflakes and flowers and compare them to the stars in order to transcend the mundane. We can create a living homunculus like an immaculate conception to be our guide to antiquity: in search of Helen of Troy, the most beautiful woman in the history of the world. The Ideal is ours for the claiming, for the shaping out of the clay of common day. Sandcastles in the air are waiting to be discovered by a new calculus; it only takes a little faith in human goodness. Put me atop the Tower of Babel to unzip the blue sky and see the fourth dimension. Amid the blast of voices in my ears, still nothing can impede my project of raising humanity to the celestial plane above the moon. Not only can it be done, it must.
The only redeemer, really, is the sound of music. It is a beautiful thing, so evasive yet so naked, sublime and erotic; essentially spirit and sensuality at once. In my opinion it is expressed in what Ron, Mike, and I do on our instruments. I conceive that it is Freudian and Jungian both, but also neither. Basically it speaks the truth only hinted at by words. It goes under the net of language and everyday history and politics, mundane events, just what is and what happens. Music gives form to all external appearance while being itself the secret sitting in the middle and knowing. It is usia, prime substance, though insubstantial, spiritual, the essence of everything. Music is the Form of all forms, the Being of every outward face, an energy like libido, like the desire to Be and to create. It feels so awesome to participate in this act of becoming, of the shapeless taking shape out of inertia, nothingness. The strings, the sticks, the keys vanish to leave mere spirit, sound that is ultimately seeing. Music is not love, not reason; it is not this, not this; none of these things. It is the nonbeing giver of Being.
Quarter after nine. This morning is exceptionally beautiful, all decked out in autumn colors over a backdrop of clear blue sky. Fallen leaves litter the streets everywhere, soggy from recent rain. Vicki was in a good mood, and I was the only customer there at eight thirty. I had the whole neighborhood to myself. A couple of times I stopped and looked around me. The world may take a while to get its bearings after yesterday. Things will shift and change with the transfer of power. The blogging community will be different. The transition is comparable to the face that nature puts on, shifting colors and shapes like Proteus. The landscape feels like a vast place, illimitable even by the blue sky, the dust before black space takes over. Through it all, the silence roars. No one dares break the spell. I stood alone in the parking lot and took the measure of the universe. It was very still and soundless, waiting for something while I watched. And yet all is right with the world, today and every day henceforth… I spent over $13 on foodstuffs for Aesop and me. I bought two Snapple teas, against my better judgment. I know the caffeine interferes with my sleep, yet I crave it for some reason. My dog scarfed down his breakfast, even though it was nothing special. He was hungry. I should call Bi Mart about getting a night light for my outdoor walks… I just have the sensation of being able to breathe again, and soon the world will breathe with me. If it doesn’t, then maybe I’m in the wrong blogging place. It won’t be doomsday. Life is mutability. Everything passes like clouds across the moon, including ourselves, and the changes are unpredictable. This is the beautiful part of it. When we can accept it, we become true adepts at the process of living.
One twenty five. I opened up The Magic Mountain and found approximately where I had left off. It may be more intellectual than I care to bother with. Yet I might learn something from it too. By a coincidence, the chapter I flipped to was set in October, or maybe subconsciously I remembered the fact and saw a relevance to life today… Roger has his garage door open while he tinkers with a little project. He’s been retired from the police force for many years and seems to struggle for activities. What do you do when you’ve been put out to pasture? The airplane he put together from a kit he flew a number of times and then sold. We don’t talk very much… I wasn’t very well over the summertime; rather crazy from the heat and non compos mentis. The fall season is a relief and a rejuvenation. Thankfully I have some money to work with. There’s a bit of a wind in the trees. In my head I keep hearing The Firebird ballet. I feel almost like going out someplace, but I have no destination. It’s Sunday and there’s nothing to do.
Two forty. The wind has picked up, invisible unmoved mover. You see and hear the shifting leaves, yet the primum mobile is imperceptible. It has no shape, color, or size and occupies no space. It is the engine of history, intangible spirit. Ezra Pound personifies history with the goddess Aphrodite, to suggest that desire makes events go. Love (not money) causes the world to go round. I chafe against the chains of an antipsychotic drug to produce beauty. An uphill battle with a molecule that cuts away the necessary angel— imagination. Which is worse, the illness or the treatment? Scylla and Charybdis, sea monster and the rocky maelstrom. Take my chances with the plesiosaur. Behind all outward show, the fourth dimension of Forms, a-causal catalysts: cookie cutters. The landscape is but a metaphorical face. To slash the screen and behold the other side of the known: and bring a moon rock back to humankind. Treasure behind the skirts of the witch, and traveling home rich to father. Unguessed wealth buried deep in the soul…
Quarter of four. And back again.
Eleven thirty. My color impression of the day is sea green fading to slate green. There’s a lot of green on gray. Now the sun is trying to come out, though it is not very orange; more pale yellow on the cement of my back patio. When was the last time I saw the moon? Just now the sky appears sonic blue as the clouds part a little. I don’t hear many sounds except for the refrigerator hum. Hardly any signs of life out there, and the extant ones are “distanced.” Finally the sunlight goes peach on the ground. My dog sprawls on the carpet, probably bored, but this is better than stressed out. The silence and vapidity of the scene are like a blank screen for a new beginning. Open at Page One. A new leaf is turned over, ready for adventures. Acorns bounce off the roof at intervals while the white clouds evaporate, leaving the sun to dominate mutely. So much seen and not heard. You who have ears… The patio walkway is lemon and cracked. The magnolia stands waxy avocado green. Inside, all these unopened boxes of unwanted junk collect dust. Someday… Somewhere northwest, a car groans like a dinosaur. If it were nighttime, the lizard would be real. No sunshine to prove it otherwise. A slammed door up the street. Still, every sound is spaced by at least six feet…
Quarter of two. It was too difficult to breathe, so I opened the windows to get a current of air going through the house. If the house can breathe then so can we. But there’s no breeze outside, no sign of life. Only the sounds of my neighbor’s air conditioning and a distant train horn. Inside, my mother’s alarm clock runs very loudly. I just took my Vraylar. Trying to sleep was futile without oxygen. It’s going to be a long summer. If only for a wind to come up and stir things to life, like the breath surrounding the sacred syllable Om. The Latin for spirit first meant wind. In Sanskrit: that One Thing, breathless, breathed by its own nature / Apart from it was nothing whatsoever. There are worse things than to be 53 years old, but I can imagine there are better things too. My heartbeat seems yoked to the purring of the electric clock. Is it all downhill from here? Sunrise, sunset, hot summer after summer on a steady decline. Unless something good happens that I can’t foresee. Something like a love affair, perhaps, or the greatest of good fortunes that I cannot guess. Still I hold out hope of something better than just a decline to old age alone and breathless…
I sense how my writing style is changing again. Rather than fight it, I will go with it. Emerson fearlessly followed his thoughts wherever they would go, like a true intellectual. Like a true passenger on life’s journey. I write posts less for likes than for the unraveling of my spirit, and this is never predictable. It’s a process where the writing takes precedence even over the author. Never trust the poet, trust the tale. Aesop is telling me he’s hungry, so I reply that he is out of food until tomorrow. Facts enter my consciousness and as soon exit. An exercise in phenomenology. Music: from The Principle of Moments, and the past is present. The future is tomorrow, and then I go to church to see my friends. Changes of season, changes of weather, and different dogs will have their day, like heroes. How are human beings different from the weather? Or maybe it’s only me who is so capricious. Aesop suggests that he wants to go to bed. It’s always something. All desires are transitory, coming and going, passing in and passing away, like clouds in the moonlight. Seize the day and seize the pen, for the pen is mightier. The only sound breaking the barrier is the purring of the refrigerator. A well lighted place where I jot from a loveseat, shared by a canine that wants to go to bed. There is a zing like a sitar in my ears. A whine from centuries ago, just now arriving at me. My practice on the bass this afternoon satisfied me, except the D string sang and howled like a fretless. The sitar effect could be coming from the string saddle. But for now, it seems like something of a coincidence. Forty five minutes to the First of March, hence the madness. Leap Day nears the end for another four years. It’s been an interesting time.
I will pack Fender in gig bag and take off on foot for Mike’s house west of the market on Sunday afternoon. Rain or shine, the show must go on. We may not be like the wandering minstrels of history, the troubadours with a divine calling. That’s a matter of perspective. It reminds me of an AA meeting I attended in October 2003. It was held in a church way out on Hilyard, in the evening under a huge blood moon. This luminary seemed to preside over the ceremony as the members slouched from the parking lot towards the church like so many undead vampires. They appeared to be called by the same magnetic force to this weird sabbath. At the time, my psychotic imagination couldn’t handle this sight, but obviously it left an impression on me. Perhaps the same magnetism drags all artists and alcoholics along with it, from the near and far reaches of the earth to a common goal, observance, or homage. Then again, maybe not. But it’s a vision that one can feel, as ancient and primordial as the first cavemen… Imagine the first drummer and bass player, beating a hollow tree trunk with a stick, stretching cat gut strings over a piece of wood; or more likely, breathing across a gourd or other vessel half filled with water. Some sort of bass flute? Like a didgeridoo. Talking drums. Percussion and woodwinds, things you hit and blow, plus the human voice, in a primitive ensemble under the blood moon through deciduous trees…