This Deep Passage
The whole left of me hurts. From deep in my bones to the connective tissues, from my shoulder to the sole of my foot, I hurt. I hurt from imbalance, from carrying too much without help on the other side. To find the other side is lucky in itself, to have another side to help, though there is a unique agony in finding, having, and not receiving.
These days of being in the City, they’re splintered. The fractals could, reconstituted, be called the same reality, but they are not. I can never go back to the world I knew before. There were stress fractures, like omens, then the shatter. I still can’t think of him for too long.
He made me wiser. There is wisdom in a shattering, especially one that reorganizes not only the skies and earth but the inner landscape too—memories and beliefs, thoughts and hopes. When all that is broken, irrevocably and irretrievably, there is a deep learning that is available. I have taken to that cave and seen the shadows on the wall. I have had those chains snipped and roamed the natural halls, felt the chill of it, the hard surrounding of it. Darkness is natural there and inescapable, like breath.
This deep passage brings new demons. I recognize their skin and teeth because I’ve known them as friends for so long. More than that. Trust burns brittle armor and opens the truth of their lies. Within them, I can see, even if darkly, there is no simple thing like hate within me. There is only the polarity of human feeling, of living in this world but being born of the other, dead world. And there we dwell, even if separated by distance, ideology, and so many other things. Blood is not blood, not here. Not really. Never was. I only thought it so.
And on the dark waters at large, there are faces smiling and familiar, hollow in the eyes and weak in the teeth. Inside there are menageries of guilt, shame, and insecurity, all bound by self-certainty and glib compliments. If there were any people left in this new world who were mine by birthright, these are they. And how to dwell there? Unwanted and afraid, yet annoyed. To feel a warm heart for cold environs and a numb mind lining an overactive core. It’s just a few times. Maybe there’s more near the end, but that last hole brought up more than it put to rest.
And the sun and the moon? How do we ever learn them as different when they are always there, within us? And we cannot escape their gravity. I do what I can to restore and help the earth, but it’s not enough. I doubt it will be enough. So I mostly watch the withering.
My own garden grows wild. This is a good thing. Fertile ground giving new life in variegated form, springing from every part of me, changing me, a metamorphosis of my own making through quiet natural ways. I am more me. And the spores of my life are blooming in the world of now, forecasting the worlds to come. There are plants worth nurturing here, yet my whole feeling of growth and abundance is changed. I walk among them, tending them, feeling the joy of this life hard won, yet confused as ever, lost as ever, not knowing what it all means or how long it shall last.
I put codes in the ink and string them along to mark time and to catalog what I have learned, what I am coming to know. There is a steadiness. Some of the codes are old, ancient even. The new ones of my own making are a primer, a companion, like annotation to the equations, the scribbles in the margins to remind me and whoever else might grace these marks that there is. There is. The world may shatter and memories may rewind and unwind recursively, but there is. In that moment of our time, however slowly we apprehend it, there is. Mine is to describe it, as is anyone else’s, each a piece of it, encoded on every level, but difficult to access and distribute, harder to translate, and perhaps impossible to know in parts. It’s the picture of life. All things. There are worse ways to spend one’s time than codifying our unity.
I move on, in the City.
Today, in response to John's @snippe question about this piece.