Thursday, November 29, 2012

Luco d'Hiver

There are some who scoff at the holidays, but please, count me no longer among their number. Oh, not that I have become tinsel-brained, but it seems to me there is a certain potential existent within holiday traditions.

Thanksgiving. Exuberantly dead turkey. Cranberry sauce and stuffing and more cranberry sauce; green bean casserole the dogs ogle with eyes big as tea cups. Pies and pudding and homemade whipped cream. And no prison guard this year - she traveled for the holiday to some other dimension of time called South Carolina.

I jest. South Carolina is a place, I am sure, that actually exists within this dimension. It is merely a truism that I have difficult imagining any place save this prison. I might read of faraway locales but to me they are dreams. Vast ephemeral kingdoms; entire Carolinas of bejeweled mountains, oceans, forests shadowed by a haze of disbelief.

I digress.

There are some who scoff, etcetera, etcetera, and I who is made rageful no lenger by les fĂȘtes d'hiver. Please do not become fussy; we are moving from Middle English to French and back to English - such is the quivering sort of joy that takes hold my heart.

We are a culture of excess, a world, even, of excess. Where one has not "made it" until certain measures are met, but then, how lovely these brief weeks where we might think of other things. It is the moral of every holiday story that we should care for each other, not material objects, and yes, I see you rolling those beautiful eyes of yours, most everyone knows this, and knowing it does nothing change; however!

There is in that seedling inchoate transformation.

And what better metaphor, reader, than a seedling shooting its green-self past and through dark soil, past and through doubt and fear, even past and through my personification of a seedling; ridiculous, miraculous.

The prison guard many Carolinas away, dogs' mouths saliva thick, glowing incandescent lights in green, blue, red, yellow. Lines of people, of course, in malls and big box stores, and the sadness of that truth; its smallness, the meanness in their eyes.

I saw a video of shoppers at a Wal-Mart fighting each other for new phones of some sort. What is it about a steep discount (or even semi-deep, subtle-deep, pseudo-deep) that whirls brains to frenzy? That quickens ferocity? 

And why did this video not send me to bed for days? Why did it not compel me to despair?

I cannot say except to say this: the seedling growing green, wild, shooting roots like spider webbing; dreams I have of fragmenting vision; blacknesses and whitenesses that fill and fill and fill me to bursting; a shade of purple so pale as to be nearly white; the spinning of my own treacherous heart at the hope for connection; the way I am moved to tears that you, reader, persist in reading this, my ranting, my idiocy.

The feeling I have that although I cannot push a pin into that which makes my life meaningful; despite the fact that there is no logical fact I can name; there is not biological evidence I can display; I am regardless a kind of cup and the cup that I am is one that is full to the brim and over-filling, running over, gathering speed and charging through the dark into the greater darkness inside of which we are all cradled.

I need see only the barest echo of starlight and I am transported. This, reader, is where we are, and what an unspeakable joy that fills me.

What abiding sadness. To know you and not. Hold you and not. Communicate and not. And yet, the fact that we have the ability to try and to fail and to try and to fail; the potential to meet, finally, that-which-is-of-us; that this potential hums in our quiescent bodies; this gratifies me.

It lets me look up into vast skies of every color. Allows me to feel love.

And, okay, to try to stay on track here, reader, I feel these things in les fĂȘtes d'hiver. It is true. In all of them. Even in our distressingly consumerist culture there is, at the very heart of everything, a single drop of the immensity of life. Of joy. 

Of every whirring thing springing to life. Germination. That which is itself and also its opposite. Burgeoning. Time lapse videos of flowers unfurling. The infinity of stars that crowd the sky. Our own bodies: fractals. 

And you reading this. Sipping coffee. Checking your phone. The infinite within you.

Everything else: artifice.

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