Monday, July 9, 2012

Epistle: To Grace Nelson

       The seven o'clock bells ring out on an otherwise quiet Saturday morning. Small breezes shake last night's rainwater off the still trees. The lilies in the garden have gone away and it feels grand to look out from the back porch idyll and miss them for all they had and what they gave. More space for the brown eyes then as they cycle through the blurred hot days of summertime. Local is beautiful. That's what you hear anyway. That's what people keep saying. In markets. On phones. Any old web page has tips on how to stay right where you are.
   And that's cool. But it's like we want to belong so badly we forget what's opposite. How can you be sure? If no opposite is there to look into and find a reference? All the information on people's phones makes it appear like we could never be lonely even if we tried. Hey. Even my fingertip has started to heal and grow back.
   Who on earth wants a limit? Hasn't it been a hallmark that for over two centuries of American optimism the gig was to fake it until you make it? Local is beautiful. Perhaps that's a wish. What we know stays locked onto an endless dark unfolding beyond our influence. And maybe that wish is to possess something we know little about, something broader than ourselves, something we want and have to grasp at and that translates across borders and language to find us all rooted nowhere but in the present. Namely my guess is we need to live in order to fear nothing. And then we need to live again to tell someone else about it.
   But at this point I still feel like a ghost. Eerily distant, as though out of focus and lacking a good skin on my bones. You push against a world with all you have, but that world does not move for all the trying. Remember: young. Remember: luxury. Remember: sadness as an option. Years ago we had a talent for placing those emotions. Weren't we as bright then as the sun in the sky? Remember: young. Not sore muscle sets. Nor tired sets of thinking. Who's around to listen so you're crazy with it?
   The nurse said I brought you the last of last year's pickles my aunt put up last year. And this years onions.
   What about the recipe I asked?
   Can't have that she said. Family owned.  
   But what about sensation I wanted to know? How can I duplicate that? When I taste these pickles... when I look at them in a jar... when I hold one up against the window in the afternoon and wonder how they were made...
   Just have a pickle the nurse said. My aunt will never show you the recipe. She'll only give you the pickles.
  But what happens when she's not around, you know, to give the pickles away. What happens?
  Let's have hot dogs and cold beers tonight the nurse said.
  Ah. The very idea of joy I said. Who can have only one hot dog off the grill or only have one cold beer to kick at the starch in your head?
 She looked at me and grinned. Her face was like a hummingbird hovering for an instant and then finding nothing to match its appetite the wings flashed and were gone.  


Lonesome Suzy said...

You do need to get into the mysteries guy. Where when everything you do that is surrounded by the shit of this life then turns into light and then no matter what happens you're left with the old blank slate and while you're at it guy swing for the fences.

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