Friday, January 20, 2006

I remember a time

Why my mouth so dry
when outside the world so drenched with falling dew,
the sky has stolen something?
Lifted it off my tongue--
Giving back to the grieving earth.

From where does this sunlight in my body come
when that ball of fire beyond my reach,
warms the another distant part of the world?
Pouring through me, mis-matched to time--
Undercurrent of my bones.

I remember a time when I looked out of these eyes, when they were windows to the world, draped with lace and flowers and so unaware of themselves. Lately it seems they’ve become like little doors, tunnels to inner catacombs. Doors with heavy brass bolts and cryptic symbols etched into dense aged oak. Clandestine and alluring. Lately it seems as if I’ve been looking at my eyes, rather than through them—like I’ve gained a second set that stare and stare and stare right back: the meta-gaze. The gaze at a gaze. Socrates said “the unexamined life in not worth living:” an adage that juts out from the hats I wear like a peacock feather. A justification of what I call self analysis and others in my life have called over analysis. Maybe we could just call it knowing.

I remember a time when days and years and people just spilled out before me, like some kind of undeserved boon. A time when I didn’t both with the word “this year will…” when the calendar turned, too busy banging pots and pans with my brothers in the front yard. A glorious, purposeless activity that way just noise for noises’ sake: L’art pour l’art; art for art’s sake, that benchmark intellectual movement of the 19th Century.

I remember a time when questions were my soil, growing wild and ravenous blooms of scepticism. They’re still there I think, those deep forests, those dry deserts, only growing smaller and harder to reach. How do I get there--is it the yellow ring or the green? Yes, those questions are quieter now.

I remember a time when I didn’t think about age. Is it possible that as we accumulate years and experience, freckles and scars, that we actually move closer to truth? Is it possible that death will reunify us with our Creator and we will find ourselves created once again? Life would then be less like a line or an arrow, and more like a course; moving us closer to the moment of true birth. The more I think about it, the more I realize that death is a farce. Much more a beginning than an end. If we could only see beyond this (achingly beautiful) cardboard world.

Do I remember a time when there was no Time at all?

(Please see Scott Mutter's "Church Aisle" photo montage in a larger format.)

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