Friday, March 15, 2013

Not Alone But Always Home

The writing teaches him, which is mysterious but true, and very difficult to explain to those who haven't had at least a similar intimation. It does indeed have to do with silence, especially the difficult extremes in which soap is useless and even clothing seems excessive. He considers writing "our voices rise together" but realizes he shouldn't, because it is essentially a distraction, coming the way it does from desire. How hard it is to give that space to a sentence!

At his grandfather's funeral they played Be Not Afraid but he was and mostly covered it with beer and those little nips of whiskey that seemed like a waste of bottle. Later, back in Vermont, he drank even harder, and sang old Irish folk songs wherever he was allowed, and fucked strangers on his one blanket on the floor, waiting until they fell asleep to rise and read Stein, his back against the wall. For a long time he secretly credited himself for not dying in those days - or fathering a child, or contracting AIDS - so many of those he walked with did - but now knows the futility of believing one is special. Death is never not a stranger but nor is it an end. We have to ask: what is the work?

What he learned was that salvation - call it what you want because it's not amenable to words - is given and our only task is to see it as such. Everything in the world bends to make this one lesson obvious - from winter lilac bushes to muddy quartz to gimpy dogs to bare shoulders to Fur Elise. Nothing is that isn't God. The waitress from the diner - the one whose fiance died being chased by cops on some lonesome curving back road - was the only one who did wake up to sit next to him smoking but she never talked nor asked what he was reading. We need each other but not the way we think was what she taught him, and even today he gives thanks, and their paths cross in funny ways, and much is said without being spoken.

He is often compared to a cat or a predatory bird, which amuses him. That was true of men from whom he is descended - maybe - but he sees himself more as a moose, large and graceful (in probably awkward ways) and solitary save for that one desire, that one need, and thus lovely in the lovelier woods, lovely enough anyway, and sufficiently unthreatened to allow for life to compose itself as prayer. He's never been good at explaining anything, except what he learned years ago, and is thus no longer germane. Krishnamurti observed that the observer and the observed are the same, which does sum it up, though Bohm's glosses still feel necessary, almost beautiful. Decisions are in fact continuous.

He recalls too - now as the others awake and begin to stir in nearby rooms - Krishnamurti's critical observation that the truth is a pathless land, which means - or can mean, if one is so disposed - that all we can do is remind one another we're not alone but always home, always loving the only way possible.

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