Monday, January 25, 2021

How Am I ?

Thanks for asking. Or was that just me wondering out loud in my daily assessment? Considering all the body parts I would give myself a high grade. Of course, some are growing weary and others are sloughing off altogether. Then again I understand a million or more cells have recently been added. Welcome, have a piece of fruit. Don’t ask how many planks in this architecture I’m walking around with.

I just Googled that question and see there are 206 bones and 600 muscles to say nothing of connective tissue and assorted organs humming away. Fortunately they all quietly take their rightful place but some are loudly asking for attention with itches, cramping, inflammation or burning as in the neuropathy in my toes. Others may be silently plotting my overthrow with nefarious deeds. How are you, spleen? Getting enough love? What’s happening kidneys? At least my lungs and kidneys have good company with their twin.

How amazing, this specimen we are!  With the Stay-At-Home order my face is slowly disappearing behind a shrubbery of hair, not only covering the east, west and south of me but, to the north, my eyebrows have now joined the crop on my head. I am now a bushy beast with an opening at the mouth and a protruding proboscis. The hair on my head looks like an untended garden as if I’m a client of Albert Einstein’s barber. What used to be a clean-shaven fallow field is now a bumper crop of random seedlings. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a dandelion sprout up any day now.

Remind again me why are we are upright? Between my several auto-immune disorders and side effects from the medications I'm being brought to my knees. I have a distant memory of walking on all fours. Imagine getting shoes for our hands or gloves for our feet. It would certainly relieve the strain on my back. I’d just have to remember to avoid those gravelly roads. I could even learn to love bananas while swinging from trees.

Admittedly, I’ve never been much of a nature-lover. I’m hopelessly a big-city guy. I don't remember even having any stuffed animals as a child. I never met a tree I felt an impulse to hug though I do admire the spectrum of their dying leaves. Nor do I feel any love for crocodiles or snakes. However, I’m now ready to make amends and proclaim kinship with my furry cousins. There are worse ways to spend my next incarnation.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

A Bit of Wisdom, A Bit of Folly

Love is a verb. It is how we meet and care for one another. A dance of anticipation. Mattering like nothing else. But more than transitive doing it is intransitive being. Watching the squirrel. Listening to the Bolero. Sharing cauliflower souffle.

God is a question………..and that’s not a bad thing. Though it isn’t a word in my vocabulary. An interrogation of the unknown. What we wonder.  The imponderable. 

Poetry creates silence….even as it sings. The poem blesses and it curses. It leaves a residue. It has tiny apertures for the reader to enter.  It goes beyond rhetoric, beyond all those words dead from exhaustion. Or it uses those words in new ways to reinvigorate them. It makes me wish I wrote them.

Morning is an exclamation point. The time when all those vivid dreams vanish. Maybe the melon ripened overnight. Maybe it hasn’t yet. The possibility of an intruder. How strange the banana looks all of a sudden from this angle. The eastern sun printing a bouquet on the wall. A chill different from the evening.

I’m growing a beard. It feels like a crop on the arable soil of my face. It has been in wait all these years, regularly mowed but now sprouting. Maybe I look like Sigmund Freud. If I leave it alone I’ll resemble Walt Whitman.

I just read a novel I greatly admired for the first 75 pages. Then it seemed like a one-note story. The author teetered brilliantly on the verge of the apocalyptic. As it went on it became more menacing and more unreal. I got bored. Why isn’t the human predicament enough without lapsing into dystopia? I regard that as a failure of the imagination.  Virginia Woolf didn’t need a comic book to explore the vast interior landscape.

Am I alone looking forward to the baseball season?  It restores order or at least the illusion of permanence. My metaphor for life………..precision (the infield) mingling with randomness (the outfield). The lesson of living with failure (the best team loses sixty games a year). I like to pretend it matters. Stats and the X factor. Slumps and streaks. Ultimately the triumph of the inexplicable.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

How Did It All Begin?

January 6th 2021, another day of infamy. I would have thought one was enough in a lifetime. That other, so named by FDR, was called sneaky; this was naked in broad daylight with ample warning. Of course, we’ve had many such infamous days during my brief candle.

But how did it all begin?

This attack on the People’s House of Congress could be seen as a continuing act of incivility in our most deadly conflict, the Civil War. Ironic that the Capitol was largely built by slaves and now defiled by White Supremacists. Our War Between the States has never ended. Reconstruction soon became deconstruction for Blacks. Descendants of plantation owners, southern farmers, merchants and working people kept their hatred alive for the past century and a half against descendants of those in bondage. Today’s lynch mob of the ignorant, aggrieved and gullible has been uncaged and is now feral having been legitimatized by our most ignoble of Presidents.

But how did it all begin?

We were founded as a country of Europeans in flight from persecution and conscription as well as those seeking a new beginning heedless and unconstrained of rapacious behavior. Along with White opportunists came Blacks in chains. We thought nothing about displacing and eliminating the indigenous people.

But how did it all begin?

When our ancestors came out of Africa some settled the western part of the Eurasian land mass. Didn’t Europe look west to the Americas after Greece went east to Troy and Cain was banished east of Eden? It has always been thus, barely contained

Most of us have at least a modicum of introspection with displays of empathy, forgiveness and love. But there are those among us who are loud and quick to anger with a muscular mindset. Their reptilian brain cedes autonomy to an authoritarian figure. Enter Donald J. Trump, delusional, pugnacious and pernicious; we have seen the consequences.