Wednesday, May 26, 2010

First Look

There is me.
I see my hand, my eye, my skin.
I look through these brown eyes.

I look at you.
The other.

You who are not me.
Beyond me skin,
past my eyes,
beyond my hand

You, that I can touch.
You that I can see.

The other.
You, who are not me.
You are the Other.
You, who are not me.
Not my skin, not my hair, my ears.

And because you are not me, I am not you.
Through your eyes, I am the Other.

I am not you.
Not of your hands and skin, not of your body.

No matter how much I may long to merge, no matter the hours I spend staring into your eyes.
I am the Other. Just as you are the Other.

Cherry blossoms drift between us, their pink wings fly, and I know that they too, they are not me. Not my skin and flesh, having nothing to do with my bones and eyes. The are the Other. All that is not me. All that I can see and everything I cannot.
For everything is the Other. Everything past this wall of pale skin and this head of short dark curls. The hills and their stories, the trees and their years. They are all beyond me, by definition and purpose and being. They are all things with other lives and other hurts and laughs.
The wall containing me is my prison and my castle, the way I was birthed, the way I have known. Only now, perhaps now I get a glimmer of the Other. The fear of you, the fear of me.
We look at each other, two sets of eyes wide open and staring, each looking into the Other.
But what if we see?
And what if I only feel one heart beating?
What if I stare into the reality and not the illusion?
Is there me?
Is there really the thing with hair and teeth and skin?
Is there a Me?
Is there a You?
Is there an Other?

Is the great illusion the only way to live?
To survive beyond the white walls of an institution and small capsules three times a day. How long can this be explored before we fall into smelly pits and metal cuffs…I see you as the Other, except those times in which we join, when your eyes look like the golden pools that I remember from a dream, and your skin tastes like mine baked beneath the sun. Then the illusion fades, and I see the Other, wrapped in red threads and dark curls, looking like my image in a mirror, looking like it was never anything Other than me.

Monday, May 10, 2010

You Are Dying

Do you know that you’re dying? Don’t stare at me with big wide eyes, You Are Dying.

Through the tunnel from the womb, into the cold air, breathing, gasping, a moment from death.
Our birth is an immediate tolling bell of what’s to come.
Our only disease is life itself.

We are dying.

Each breath,
another step
Each day,
a moment closer

There is no need for doctors or prognosis. Skip the tests, the transfusion, the trips to a place of many rooms and fluorescent lights. No man in a white coat can say it any different than I can… you are dying.

Let it sink it.
Let it go to the core.
And if your heart doesn’t start to beat just a little faster,
Then let the words go a bit deeper, for you still haven’t heard:

Look around, it’s time to pay attention.
There’s no time for anything else, no time for watching the spilled milk or crying for the crimes of the past. We’ve all been fucked, screwed and spit on. It’s part of the experience, like strobe lights at a rock show, it’s just part of the deal. As was once said by a great band, there’s no time for fussing and fighting my friend.

You’re dying, the light at the end of the tunnel is clear, the end is inevitable, you are standing on the tracks, you will be food for the birds.
And so now, take a breath. It is coming. YOU.

If only we could stop the little bits of swirling sand and dust clouding our vision. They are sentences from the past, nuggets of resentment hidden in clenched fists, your father’s wrinkled brow. They whirl so fast, blinding even focused eyes. Clouding the path, making enemies of friends, pointing towards the cliffs.

You are dying.

There’s no time for the complaining.
For the excuses, no time.
The habit of anger, resentment, comparison, there’s just no time. We all end up as dust.
Shall you spend your last few minutes squawking? Complaining about the tart strawberry, the irritating glare of the sun? The child laughing loudly?

There is just too much to do. So much to write, circles to build, songs to hear, careful steps to take. Don’t let it all evaporate below the sun, growing lighter and lighter by the minute, fading into nothingness.

It is all here, every laugh and cry, every person in your path, every sound floating in through your walls. It is all here for you to use, coming to you free and untainted. It is the raw matter for you to bend and shape, bursts of energy to wrangle and harness, converting into fuel and long sticks of light.

It is all here, take it before you’re gone. Before they mourn the bit of dust you were. Before your steps are silenced and forgotten. The path can use another set of hands. There are weeds and misplaced rocks, there are stories to write and gnomes to meet.

Did you know that you are dying?

YOU who read these words.

Look around and breath it in. Then start to work.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Seed

The rain clouds had parted and the small patch of earth was damp, emitting a scent that only some knew how to enjoy. Those close to the soil, with orange leaves in their ruffled hair and thoughts of worms and horned beasts. It was a smell they both relished, unlike anything they could find in clear glass bottles. It was not the smell of elegant women, nothing like men in dark suits and slick hair. Nothing like glass buildings or sterilized hospitals. It was a forgotten odor, like the medicinal pollens and balms that had been burned and stuffed into floorboards that swelled with age. It was earth, birth, death. It was change, decay and rebirth. They knew the smell, they sucked it into themselves. It was time.

The two young sisters slept with their windows open. Sleeping with the moon, awaking with the sun’s first kisses. Winter or summer, they dreamt with the elements, living with the constant changes.

After months of wetness, the clouds had parted, like they always eventually did.

It was time. A new season had come, taking its first look at the new world. It was ripe.

The girls gathered the few tools they needed: a shovel, the small yellow watering can, and a basket full of seeds. They entered the narrow yard overgrown with weeds, their eyes shaded by the thin brim of their pink and yellow floral bonnets. The sun warmed their pink cheeks and lips, urging them forward, giving them a bit of encouragement with its heat. They inhaled deeply, at the same time, each one listening closely to the sound of the breath beside her.

Without words, they moved together. Clearing weeds into a tall pile, turning earth with the wide shovel mouth, carving out shallow trenches. When the trenches were prepared, they each took a handful of seeds, scattering the seeds every few inches and then covering them with dark soil.

They worked for hours, planting chamomile and foxgloves, lettuce and sage. The girls looked into the sky and began gathering their tools, they could smell rain.

Big, giant drops of water came, fertilizing the soil and each newly planted seed. It was the Father, the tidal force of dominant energy coming to give the little bits of information what they needed. The girls watched from their tiny second-story window, watching as the skies opened and water poured. It was essential, it was right, it was the way.

When the last bit of moisture disappeared into the soil, they ventured back into the garden, checking every day for the first sprouts. Wide eyes marveled at the birth process. The seed was information, the soil was the womb, the rain the sperm, the sun the food. Each one worked together, seamlessly, a merging of forces that would give birth to something new. A new life. A new plant. A little bit of information, a seed. It needed all the right tools, all the elements.

All the little seeds that had stayed dormant for so long, just waiting. Maybe the moment would never have come. Would they have known, could they just have sat for years on the wooden shelf, never moving, always in the same form, the same little bit of information contained in a thin shell, unused, unchanging. Did it know? Did it want to grow? Was there consciousness in that little seed, or something that could only become consciousness given the right conditions.

That was what they both had been. A little bit of DNA, a little bit of information. Each one of them had needed the right conditions. The right elements had combined, creating two little girls. Each thing that grew and died, that took a breath and pulsed, it had all begun from a tiny seed of information. Something that could be, manifested potential without a present or a past, eternal design waiting for time to come and press it into service.