Monday, November 12, 2012

writing The Window

  . . . and fitting old words with new words in a brighter way:

The Window

I shall observe it with my whole heart

Ecstasy, the real kind, that’s what I’m on the lookout for.  Not the street-style cooked-up chemical variety.  I’ve seen too much what that can do.  I don’t do that shit – sorry – I realize that’s a slam against good manure.  A year of shoveling chicken poop into the compost, a year of spreading it once it's mellowed into magic along the plant rows has given me a healthy regard for  what shit really is and I wouldn’t want to offend the force of fertility that makes it all possible by taking one of its names in vain.

Because, like I said, I’m on the hunt for moments of ecstasy, real bliss, peak experiences.  I collect them.  Other people’s mostly, though I’m not against stumbling into the blazing pillar of light in my own right.  Problematic, though,  your own joy.  The moment you begin to realize it’s come upon you,  the bright colors are already dying away like a trout’s back. 

Not a metaphor, I want you to know, that trout fading away from brilliance, but actually one of my own blessed moments out of time.  It came upon me the last year of high school, fishing up on the Mackenzie one rare weekend when Dad took a break from cooking for the tourists in his place in Macallister, Idaho.  What was more exciting,  the frantic flashing silvery muscle that was the fish, the blaze in my father’s eyes, my own thrill, which the moment I became aware died off fading already like the fish settling down, turning dull and edible.

It’s the moment right before I’m after.  The moment before time steps in through the window.  I want to have a string of these to comfort myself when I turn old.  The plump lady in short-sleeved eyelet in her retooled butter yellow convertible on one of our rare sunny days.  The gas station owner down in New Mexico, so dignified, his crisp shirt, so obviously ironed, his obvious anachronistic pride in ownership of this small gas station out on the desert.  The little girl next door squashing bugs.  Observation of another’s bliss is a purer pleasure.  No history to complicate the moment.  No future revisions that recolor the moment.

I carry no camera.  The camera, that vehicle of self-awareness which is at odds with unencumbered ecstasy.  The apparatus gets in the way.

Scary to realize this is a philosophy that comes straight from my mom.  She would call it ironic – that’s the English teacher in her — my saying it, my claiming her comment about the obtrusive and obscuring apparatus.  It’s the argument she uses against what she calls my “facial hardware” and “body art.”  And she thinks I never listen. 

. . .
 Today I'm loving the whole process. 

 13420 words down |  36580 words to go


Andrea said...

I really like this, MJ. It speaks to me even though it's a way of looking at the world foreign from my own. Keep it up!!!!

Lisa B. said...

I love this. This and the next post too--the "little" as compared to the "big," the "in-" compared to the "significant"--and the intervening apparatus. Yes.

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