29 January 2016

Postcard 48

I, too, am a member of the cult of fear, the cult of death. I go to the movies, stare at the glowing palloring screens numb and disinterested, play solitaire, watch the news, vote. 

I'm camping in the Serro Alto, a strip of coastal California wilderness. It is raining and the mighty Pacific dresses the rain with fog. The night before, I dreamt of my family and me, together, in a car on the highway -- in a car getting slowly crushed in a rock-slide. The next day, I drove ten miles into town to get some dry fire wood. My phone chattered to life. 

David Bowie was dead.
With dropping stomach, I considered the context: he had recently opened a Broadway play, I had celebrated his sixty-ninth birthday at midnight days before with the First Church of the Sacred Silversexual, and he had concurrently released an album I had yet to hear! 

Here is what I dreamt that night as the nearby stream muttered like barely audible voices in a slightly off-balanced mind: I was there as I camped in that valley. The stream and the steep high hills were there and night had fallen, moonless. Satellites traced faint paths across the sky and bats did likewise, like dark empty meteors. Then, the void of the bats condensed and thickened. The dark silhouette of the skyline gained an awful substance like the idea of a pit of tar without the tar itself. As before, the sky remained indifferent and filled with stars. Red lights rocketed to exotic planets: desert planets, cities, fantasy planets. I could hear their rumbles. A huge and grotesque form grew out of the dark and empty skyline. Bulky on tall spindly legs, it slouched toward me and grew. I felt like a small animal surrounded by fire. Freeze or flee, both in vain desperation. I froze. Perhaps it would not notice me. 
And then, oh then, one of those rockets grew brighter and burned not red, but electric blue. It flew right through the horrible vacancy which shattered like tempered glass. Light flooded me, blinding as the ship landed. The hatch steamed open and out stepped David Bowie, beckoning. 
"I have left," he said, "Come with me." 
How I yearned to go with him. 
"I can't"
"Come," he pleaded with love but without desperation. 
." You killed yourself. Its alright, but you killed yourself and I cant go with you."

28 January 2016

Postcard 47

When I climb the hill at dawn, I am granted a pretending sunset -- the sunrise behind me reflects and refracts in the fog banks rolling over the hills and pushing through the golden gate. 
What is it that sailors say about red skies?
Whatever. Its going to be alright.
This time of year, little hopping birds fill trees in clusters, chirping like rambunctious free leaves, released from immobility. This time of year, the birds of prey pair off: marsh hawks, buzzards, red-tails, kites. They fly low and alight upon fences and poles. The world I look on from the hill has a clarity of intent, of consummate energy. 'Keep going' is its wordless mantra. The broken-legged and starving fox, the lame goose cut off sharply from its annual transience, the tree blown or cut down pushing up creepers. Always reaching, as if worship were just a formal and overwrought reaching.
Keep going. Its going to be alright. 
Turning around on my hill, I survey rail yards, shipyards, ports, terminals, refineries, roads and freeways, hospitals, government buildings monolithic, schools, jails, prisons. I see all the things that make us human. I see so many houses and cars that I wonder how, with this being an irrelevant sampling, it could all be possible. Mines and logging and transit. I resist it all, but I know that I participate. I know that I am a symbiote to that very real matrix of systems built beyond any understanding and interlaced. A great gluttony of entangled knots. 
I could move to the hills. 
I could join a hermitage. 
I could become a vagabond. 
I could build a boat... 
There is a heritage I cannot escape nor can I resist that many bladed inheritance to my children. 
Keep going? Its going to be alright? 
Red sky at morning. Red sky at night.

27 January 2016

Postcard 46

Thunderstorms are conspicuously absent here. The bay is a temperate bowl with a narrow spout: sucking in cool wet air from the north, warming it, and spitting it out to the east. Never hot, nor cold, only extreme in the speed of its cycles. 
What do we lose here? 
The kinetic stillness of extremes. In the desert, the tundra, the high mountains, each thing is in status with the other; the ground, the many layers of strata of sky. In a thunderstorm, the very particles hold, are holding, trembling in expectant stillness. In stillness and silence, imminence is present like an inscrutable and polymorphous god. Can we summon or conjure this stillness in our own climatous, calamitous selves? Among each other? Can we bring two together charged and vibrating, in stillness kinetic? Will two, without the distortion of words and minor intents, find a common or complimentary frequency, and oscillate in darkness till some catalyst, some cataclysm releases heat and tension in roaring lightening? 
I believe we are perfect conductors but unsuitable containers for these ecstasies. They would fill the burning of anticipation with the void of arc. We'd sob and moan and laugh in terror and joy, then collapse like spent ozone on a salt-white desert. This is feeling alive in moments. Feeling alive like this is a truth, like sand turned to tubes of black glass, sharp and empty, featureless and cool as a stone knife plunged into flesh. But the sand and the sky and the clouds are also otherwise true. We are also otherwise true without ripping matter asunder.