right now I can only flow; I can only move with bare words, let whatever emerge descend upon me, I am loose, I am shapeless, I am freeform; it is hard to wrangle words into a graspable tangle of threads and to pull them down on to the page, balloons desperate to fly off that I am grounding;
what would happen if I did allow them to leave? just allow them to fly off? just, let go?
let’s try it out.
well, that’s it. I’m done. what happened was happened. see them disappearing into the distance? that was what I was supposed to say, all the right things I was supposed to say, I knew them, yet somehow my hand opened, with a mind all of its own, “with a mind all of its own”, I’m supposed to say, yet I know that this, too, is what I wished for, didn’t I?
and now what’s left is just us, me and me, you and you, the us-es. who is here now is just whoever is present, you and me.
sometime last year I watched a memorial at transmitter park. it was clearly for someone who was beloved, judging by the 50+ people who came, and that particular mix of somberness, joking familiarity, tears, hugs, and quiet love that you find at a funeral of someone beloved who has passed, the ‘oh, this is it, isn’t it’.
I still think of that day, nine years ago, when I went to the funeral of a graduate school classmate, us all somehow processing this horrible thing that had happened, but then the memorial service! itself a surprisingly joyous gathering of so many people, children, parents, relatives, grandmothers, childhood friends, neighbors, and on a beautifully sunny day in spring, and the mother, beside herself with gratitude, thanking everyone for coming, and somehow I couldn’t help think that it was the other way around, actually, weren’t we all grateful to be there?
I still remember that photograph some of us took, our faces shining somehow, and somehow it made sense, wasn’t disrespectful but was part of the moment, a spirited and lovely farewell, what he would have wanted, and so strangely there was so much care and love, amidst a goodbye, or perhaps it wasn’t strange; perhaps that’s just how lives are like, when we accept that they are gone; how beautiful they have been, and will be! how beautiful! how beautiful!
how beautiful our lives have been, and will be! how sad and lovely, how beautiful! they will glimmer for a moment and we will be so sad and happy and joyful and silly, we will make our mistakes and try our best to love the people we think we need to love, and turn to stardust, glimmering shimmers, won’t we? I found this in the desert, I find this in the desert, and this is the thing that keeps me going back to the desert,
and this keeps me going to burning man, because of the profanity of it, the profaneness, because somehow this bacchanalian event, not a festival but full of festivities, and heartbreak, and pain, and difficulty, and joy, and danger, is the real deal, it’s part of real life, it’s real life heightened, things burn at the end, there is magic in the deal because it’s so profane, and as long as it’s in the desert, and as long as it’s hot during the day and cold at night, and as long as there are harsh winds, and as long as it’s possible to feel lonely, and sleep-deprived, and pained, then what will be clear will be the world laid bare, because it is harsh, and we will burn, eventually, we huddle with each other to make it easier, but the difficulty is the point, and oh, what a place for things to be difficult, one last hurrah, we say, and in the meantime, let’s dance, let’s dance, let’s dance
so here I am! here I am! here I AM, I want to say, HERE I AM, HERE I AM, I AM HERE, I found me, I was here.
I’m back, I was always here. after the fire, whether arson or accident, or some strange mix of both, what burned burned, the barn caught on fire, the school ablaze, and conflagrations gonna conflagrate. if it burned it means it was burnable, there was life at stake so there was death at stake, and there was growth at stake so there was fire at stake.
and now I am here.
it took me some time, but I am here.
and —- incredibly enough — I am different! I am different, I feel different, I feel parts of myself anew, more grounded, more knowing of myself, with more senses, with a straighter spine, with a different kind of language and musculature humming in my body,
and a different kind of beat in my step, that’s gradually forming, the tempo gradually increasing, errant notes becoming a rhythm upon repetition, like a steam engine coming up to speed, gradually, billowing clouds of water vapor, it’s all water here, white clouds of thought pluming and spilling forth as we s—t—a—r—t t—o m—o—v—e s-t-a-r-t-to-move starttomove start to move START TO MOVE STARTTOMOVE START—-