At Home in the World

Patterns repeat themselves because they’re bored. If I insist on making them mean something the way Shakespeare means something or the way a dog means something when it starts to pant, I am guilty of wishful thinking. Or worse yet, hyperbole. Of the sort that makes us afraid to be at home in the world. Afraid to spend the day skiing or even just watching others from our vantage point on the balcony. Which is both comfortable and warm. Of course, this spending our time on the sidelines will provoke comment from those who haven’t learned yet to enjoy the hours for their own sake. Who still live forever in the future. Like Charles Guiteau when he chose the pistol with the pearl handle. Because he knew some day it would be in a museum. To which we might reply: “Wake up, Brother, and make your own immortality!” Because we have so little experience with what lives forever, we imagine you must be conscious to create it, never suspecting that it is, in fact, the dream state that is most conducive to bringing off something of lasting power. Something equivalent to the bull elephant’s must. When the animal is out of its head in an ocean of hormones and the pain caused by swollen glands behind its eyes. How one sympathizes with the agony of desire! The overtaking of the rational mind by those instincts that would have us master of everything. Or at least make us want to destroy everything. As a way of showing off. A way of saying, “Look here, I am not to be ignored, anymore than you can ignore the thunderstorm!” Of course, lots of people do ignore thunderstorms. They look right past them to those hours when the sun is shining and they have an appointment with the manicurist. Or the personal trainer who is not afraid to use psychology to get what he wants. But there will always be a few who know you must pay attention to what is happening above your head lest you wind up indentured to the forces of chance. Those forces that drop frogs from the sky on occasion. Or make the milkman a millionaire on the very day his heart has turned to dust.

Charles Freeland | Mudlark No. 35
Contents | Widening the Apertures