http://www.anenglishinkentucky.com/ - Dec 12, 2013 7:49:32 PM - Oct 3, 2010 6:19:05 AM
Saturday December 7th
One thing is for certain, today does not feel like Saturday. It feels more like one of those endless Sunday afternoons, when as a schoolboy, enduring what in those days was considered an education, we were required to wander around aimlessly in the fresh air for at least two hours on a Sunday afternoon, before being permitted to re-enter the house. Nor did it matter what the weather thought it was doing. And it was those Sunday winter afternoons that developed in me an appetite for beer, cigarette smoke, bar rooms and rambling conversations. All of which were activities considered ill-omens by the teaching staff.
One of those Sundays, a fellow scholar reported me to the authority. I forget which Sunday afternoon activity he accused me of. And here you should understand the institution I belonged to, was one which regarded walking with hands in pockets, or unbuttoned jacket while not in the sixth form, a really quite serious offense, which if repeated often enough, could result in the whip, as I had discovered. So you might imagine my trepidation while awaiting the verdict. But I wasn't whipped or damaged in any way shape or form. As a punishment I was asked to go to bed a quarter of an hour early for three days, because when I was at school the act of reporting misconduct was called "being a sniveling little shit" by the teaching staff.
Wednesday December 4th
In the duopoly where I live, the responsibility for operating the ancient heavy machinery belongs to The Artist. My own role is that of tinkerer, moral support, water carrying and offering unnecessary opinions. Today, for reasons I am uncertain of, roles were reversed. And I should explain that where I live there are some cruel slopes, sharp turns, and entirely possible for a day dreaming heavy machinery operator to suddenly find themselves thousands of yards away in a rock bottom creek, where cries for help will never, ever be heard.
Proud of my burden, some very fine looking dark soil for the compost pile that I'd gleaned from an attempt to level the road in anticipation of either five inches of rain, several feet of snow and sleet, or inches of ice, I lost concentration and attempted a gear change while going up a hill. The machine, which The Artist calls her Little Red Hen, became obviously distressed and decided to suddenly start going backwards, at very high speed. And it is actually true that just before a person cries for help they are subject to visions, some of which are not in the least soothing.
Tuesday December 3rd
Calvin tells me that the prophet Obadiah, decided that the entail of Esau who were living quite comfortable lives of plunder and pillage in the land between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, were "hated by God." They were an awful people, Obadiah prophesized, and would soon be visited by the sort of hardships and torments the chosen clans of Jacob's Israel were experiencing. Calvin calls the entail of Esau, The Idumeans. Others have called them The Edomites.
Edom in Assyrian means red, I've been told. And I have to suspect that Esau, described as a "ruddy and hairy man, who was born red all over," might not have suffered from my own red blotchy condition, but he might have actually had red hair. Which for some reason or other changes my view of Esau, who for a long time has been in my mind, as a sort of last vestige of hunter gatherer, well able to look out for himself, unallied to the strictures of the village, the city, office work and on into the nightmare of traffic jams and synchronized swimming. An heroic figure, marrying Hittites, giving his dad venison when things got tight, doing battle with agriculture. And Esau might also have been a twin, a little snippet of information, that I have always tried very hard to dismiss. Nor will I be tempted to piss off whatever the equivalent might be to Robert Allan Zimmerman's French Croatian community.
Monday December 2nd
I have on occasion attempted to diligently pack assorted suitcases a good two and half hours prior to travel. I have tried to argue that were I to begin a journey with a structure in place, then at least at some future time I would be able to find things, like the toothbrush, hairbrush, the odious shaving things, foot powder and matching socks. But I realize the inspiration behind this diligence has more to do with the laws of entropy, than it has to do with anything like foresight on my part, because at the end of my trip the entire content of assorted suitcases, is all just dumped together in a big plastic leaf bag, which can easily be slung over the shoulder. And it's all very well considering structure as the solution, and it's possible that there are people in this world, who when they pack suitcases, are able to remember what went where, without desperate rummaging about followed by the conviction that "I must have forgotten to bring it."
A system, I guess it would be called, and there could be a suitcase that has labeled, or color coded, or voice activated compartments dictating suitcase function. "Suitcase as fascist," I'll call it. However, laws of entropy declare that the very nature of time, is a passing from a high entropy to a low entropy state, a condition which at my age one becomes increasingly aware of. But which in physics is why in the distant future the universe will be empty of stars to warm it and time will have completely stopped. Oddly enough I don't find this remotely depressing, because it gives me my reason to altogether eschew the folly of suitcase packing, and start out from the beginning with a low entropy structure slung over the shoulder. Inevitably there will be those in the hotel lobby, or elsewhere, who might disdain the implications of big black plastic leaf bag as travelling companion. "Everything's going to cool down," I'll quote the beatniks, and I'll reserve a special "BFD" for those pompous ass suitcases that are trotted around on wheels by the mobile phone addicted in shiny shoes.
Sunday December 1st 30th
If ever I make it to the pearly gate, I'll have stern words for The Good Angel. I'll tell him that when he handed me my soul, he should have included a more comprehensible instruction manual.
The currant manual drives me to distraction, and I am forced sometimes to reach for the commentaries. All of which have clearly been written by a loose association of Bad Angels, some of them guitar playing, and really far too cheerful, except for Calvin who is so incredibly dour he must be on the right track.
Saturday November 30th
Twenty one squares upon a calendar until daylight begins to lengthen. 17:11 Universal Time Coordinated. Somewhere around noon, where I live. Which is considerate of the Universe after the 2012 pitch dark and flashlights.
My own hope for 2013 is a re-conceptualizing the globe that might permit, if only briefly, to think of myself as living under the equator. So in twenty one days time I'll be in doors, turning all maps upside down.
Friday November 29th
This morning's Osprey sighting, essentially told me that I've been majorly rambling recently. Fourteen thoughts in a couple of sentences does not suggest a character even remotely concerned to explain itself in a manner conducive to sharing idea. Rather it suggests a character lazily entertaining himself by falling off a cliff.
I recall an account of a real life Robinson Crusoe, who when rescued from his four year stay upon his island had pretty much lost the power of communication, but was very good at catching goats. This same real life castaway, had actually asked to be left on the island, because he reckoned the ship he was aboard was so unseaworthy it was certain to sink.
Thursday November 28th
Christopher Marlowe's version of the Faustus legend has the Good Angel telling Faust to put away his books and his learning, pull himself together, get with the program, and find refuge from the storms of his arrogant imagination by reading scripture. The Bad Angel tells Faust to take no notice of the Good Angel's wheedling, to go forward, become lord and commander of the elements, take what he wants. The two angels describe a neat black and white within a story that certainly predates the Elizabethans, and agriculture and is very much all around us today.
When Marlowe was 29, he was stabbed to death by a speculator called Ingram Frizer. A drunken brawl following political disagreement, some have suggested. Self defense on the part of Frizer, others have argued. Still others think it might have been a Catholic/Protestant thing. But no doubt, as centuries pass, the Sin of Simon the Magus continues to define Faust's and our own alternatives. And in a holiday season it still might be worth trying to define "magus" in terms of the word "pathfinder," rather than "witch," or "devil" or the Hellenist "Zoroaster." And I'm only able to surrender to such a thought, because I can smell the "Bacobursage" we're having for supper tonight. It's kind of like a "Turducken" without beaks, and both The Artist and I reckon it'll make a neat sandwich on Black Friday.
Tuesday November 26th
The snow last night was gone by this morning. But, we did get our chance to briefly gaze upon its falling under electric light. As well, there is a chance of more snow tonight. Which maybe is a good in our small world, because since around the middle of August, The Artist has spent more than a couple of hundred hours preparing shapes, on the off chance it might snow. Tufted Cedars, patterns in grass, the drifting path, leaf pile number two, and my own favorite, leaf pile number one. There's The Dirndl and a host of others, many in the further reaches where I'm reluctant to venture through the course of any winter season, owing to an intense dislike of unnecessary exercise, getting cold and wet, or that fate worse than a Tic bite, "becoming rosy cheeked."
Granted winter is a hellishness, and you can make up any feeble excuse you want to justify it. My own excuse has basically been reduced to a conviction that marmite tastes better when day time temperature does not exceed 33 degrees Fahrenheit. Classic pomposity on my part I know, but I'll go further into this mire and add that shapes hold a peculiar interest. To explain it, I could say, "there is the obvious of voluptuousness." A combination of shape that can defy any ability to control impulse, the lateral habenula completely bypassed, a circumstance that can reduce mental activity to wailing and howling, and is sometimes followed by an intense depression that includes odd behavior and rambling prose. And you can call it a poor reaction from the endocrine system if you wish to. But me, I am looking forward to snow on The Artist's hard work, which means I'll be spending today hunting down balaclava and wooly socks. "It's all rather exciting," which is how Nietzsche described the Franco Prussian War.
It's liberating to know that my own lateral habenula is very well supplied by emotion from the endocrine system. Our little decisions in the primitive cortex, swimming in a sea made beautiful by constant flux, or slope if you prefer, or what the idiot functionalists interpret as imbalance, but which could be some kind of boson. And they are fun to watch, these little decisions being made, but no fun to be a part of, unless you are twenty thousand years old, or nearly dead, or sometimes like me, you are stricken by the delusion that emotions know what they are doing. And here, I'll not even try to pretend that I'm a fan of the current definitions of "holiday season,"
The odder thing still, is that in pursuit of gain the impulse to make contentment a commodity, and then compete for it, has resulted in reducing "holiday season" to a sort of retarded gravy color. In the geometry of me, this retarded gravy color is a tiny dot, upon which the hope of the world appears to be perched. It's called twenty four hour shopping. Fortunately, despite rumor to the contrary, we are none of us that special, or jolly. Which will be my new brand words as I move the current definition of "holiday season" firmly into the category of "threat to humanity."