Source: Indexed – Existential Heartburn
Source: Indexed – Existential Heartburn
Nothing is wrong.
The mind says that
Something is wrong which activates
An inner drive to do something
It is thought alone that destroys your peace.
The yellow cabs.
The street lights.
The cart vendor stacking his bananas.
Yet, Upstairs, is the real show.
I turn the dials.
And finally, the color.
The picture in picture is sharp, vivid.
I turn my attention to the World,
Gray, blurry, rushing.
A slide projector, click, click, click, click.
But the Tom-Toms beat in Thunderdome.
The Man swings his sticks.
He whips his shoulder-length hair back,
it’s sopping wet from perspiration, it rains. [Read more…]
I was way back in terra incognita with a friend.
At the edge of a black-spruce bog in a thicket
we found a moss-covered cement slab with iron rings.
We are fearful.
what’s under it – hell, a snake pit, the repository of nightmares?
My friend indicates it’s up to me,
I mean the contents.
We lift the slab aside.
The pit is full of brilliant blue sky.
~ Jim Harrison, from “Dream as a Metaphor of Survival,” Just Before Dark: Collected Nonfiction
After great pain, a formal feeling comes—
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs—
In the days after Paris, Emily Dickinson’s poem kept ringing through my mind as I tried to figure out what I felt—and, surprisingly, didn’t feel. I did not, as the facts emerged and the story took its full size, feel surprised. Nor did I feel swept by emotion, as I had in the past. The sentimental tweeting of that great moment in “Casablanca” when they stand to sing “La Marseillaise” left me unmoved. I didn’t feel anger, really. I felt grave, as if something huge and terrible had shifted and come closer. Did you feel this too?
I feel certain that in the days after the attack people were thinking: This isn’t going to stop.
~ Peggy Noonan, Uncertain Leadership in Perilous Times
Image: The Economist
I run out the door at 5:30 a.m. to catch the 5:40 Express to Grand Central.
55° F. Breezy. A spring day in November.
Hit me Big Man, hit me with more of this.
There, out of the corner of my right eye, it slithers. A brown snake. A full cup of spilled coffee tipped by the jarring of steel on rough track. It’s three feet away and closing in. Roots of the tree spread.
I point. He catches my eye. He shifts to the empty seat on his left as the snake veers to his right. He tips his hat, grateful.
We both watch the flow, creeping. Two men. A suit on one side with his Tumi bag, Shinola Watch and e-Reader in hand. A construction worker on the other side, with his well-worn blue jeans, a green florescent vest, steel toe boots, leather supple and well oiled. A lunch bag is tucked on top of his backpack.
He turns to his NY Post.
I turn to my e-Reader.
And my morning reader starts to pop.
Michael Wade: “I would be impressed by a college that gives credits for blue collar labor.”
NY Times: Half of New Yorkers Say They Are Barely or Not Getting By, Poll Shows
The train pulls into Grand Central. And we pour out. I approach the main terminal.
“Awwww Puppy.” I see an older dog ahead at the entrance. A golden lab mix on a leash wearing a blue vest. You look like a “Sadie.” [Read more…]
At times the truth shines so brilliantly that we perceive it as clear as day. Our nature and habit then draw a veil over our perception, and we return to a darkness almost as dense as before. We are like those who, though beholding frequent flashes of lightning, still find themselves in the thickest darkness of the night. On some the lightning flashes in rapid succession, and they seem to be in continuous light, and their night is as clear as the day… By others only once during the whole night is a flash of lightning perceived… There are some to whom the flashes of lightning appear with varying intervals; others are in the condition of men, whose darkness is illumined not by lightning, but by some kind of crystal or similar stone, or other substances that possess the property of shining during the night; and to them even this small amount of light is not continuous, but now it shines and now it vanishes, as if it were “the flame of the rotating sword.” The degrees in the perfection of men vary according to these distinctions.
Hump Day. Hump it was.
It’s the 9:06 pm train from Grand Central. A 15-hour day and it wasn’t over.
I sit with other weary commuters heading home. The train is silent.
I can’t get comfortable. I shift left, and then right and then lean against the window. I give up. I need to be horizontal, in my bed.
It’s Haunting. A Ghost. It’s Hilary Mantel’s Giving Up the Ghost:
The faintest movement, a ripple, a disturbance of the air. I can sense a spiral, a lazy buzzing swirl, like flies; but it is not flies. There is nothing to see. There is nothing to smell. There is nothing to hear. But it is motion, its insolent shift, makes my stomach heave. I can sense— at the periphery, the limit of all my senses— the dimensions of the creature. It is as high as a child of two. Its depth is a foot, fifteen inches. The air stirs around it, invisibly. I am cold, and rinsed by nausea. I cannot move. I am shaking. . . . This is the beginning of shame.
You are tired. You know that’s it. Let it go Man. [Read more…]
I believe that when
the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded
from the last worthless rock hanging tideless
in the last red and dying evening,
that even then there will still be one more sound:
that of [man’s] puny inexhaustible voice,
~ William Faulkner, Banquet Speech at the Nobel Banquet at the City Hall in Stockholm, (12/10/50)
I hope you’re enjoying your childhood.
When you grow up, a shadow falls.
Everything’s sunny and then
this big goddamn wing or something passes overhead.
~ Joy Williams, The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories