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.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Luco on the Election

Maybe you wonder where I have been, maybe you do not wonder; maybe you rightly assume that tiny-dog-pancakes are enough to keep a cat from the Internet, from writing, from any sort of cheer.

Although that is not entirely true. Actually, today I am happy. I will give you a moment to absorb that statement.

Would you like to know why? Shall I tell you what has lifted my obliterated heart?

The source of my joy, friends, is the election results of this 2012.

There was so much vitriol - and I know you do not need a cat to tell you this - but it soured my days. Each political flyer a kind of poison in my mouth, against my tongue, tasting of copper and desperation.

"So and so eats babies each morning." "So and so will kill your beloved granddaddy." "So and so will burn down your house with a fire made from the money they are saving on taxes." "So and so has been living in your attic for 15 consecutive years and has been collecting welfare for 20; they have listed you as a dependent and are slowly siphoning your blood as you sleep."

It is lucky for me that the prison guard does not view the television, because I believe adding volume and moving pictures to these political advertisements would have caused me to sneak my head in between the door and its frame as the door was being swung shut behind those monstrous beasts, the dogs.

But I am heartened. This country within which I am a prisoner, little more than a feline slave with no say in political decisions anyway, has decided to value reason and decency over totalitarianism and bigotry. The little blue sign in the prison guard's lawn a beacon to like minded neighbors who waved, smiled, nodded their heads at the awful little dogs on their awful little dog walks.

Happy is a strange feeling.

A feeling like maybe there are possibilities I had not before considered. 

Possibilities I had not before considered that I am considering now considering (I care not that you must wade through my convoluted syntax, no one is forcing you, reader, to slog through this - I have no gun, literal or metaphorical to your head, unless your shock at my contentedness is itself rather like a kind of violence - something so startling you are compelled to pay attention): Perhaps all living creatures are capable of mercy, perhaps money does not have so final a power of perversion, perhaps there are more who favor compassion than I had thought, perhaps each moment is a chance for redemption.

These, friends, are thoughts revolutionary. You and I have been together on a journey, and finally, perhaps, this is my landing place (at least for now?).

Perhaps my landing place is one that includes room for hope.

Although I still feel tremors of alienation in my belly, still feel intrinsically separate from the other animals, still feel trapped against my will in a prison not of my own choosing.

But maybe it is through negotiating these ambivalencies that I will create within myself greater understanding, greater compassion, greater connection to that which is necessary and good.

What I mean to say is, I realize today that the world is a complicated place, and creatures are capable of both unimaginable cruelties and incomprehensible kindnesses. We are all of the both created; we contain within us that which is contained in stars.

Is it, therefore, a surprise that we so brightly burn?