September 30, 2007

Eye Level with the Clouds

A country fair is a harvest of life, and although I can still summon the ghosts of feelings from my youth (the mystery of young courtship, the adventure of the carnival), I experience them, now, as if my senses are dulled. The simple euphoria of interest in animals, crafts, and raffles and the plain pleasures of neighborliness elude me.

From within the porous cage that I've built of philosophy and faith, the noxious thoughts of the modernist in me seep out, hissing that the hollowness is not a function of the polystyrene partitions through which I insist on experiencing the world, but of the fakery of those who pretend to be feeling as I believe I ought. Such is the bitterness of modernity that its own inadequacies are transformed into others' delusions, and all delusions must be trampled so that we all may trade the illusion of richness for an honest paucity spiced with the quick and easily manipulable passions of the materialist.

Still I realize that there's more to an egg toss than the antiseptic thrill of sticky fingers. There's more to a greased pole than an obstacle to reward. And yet, I've a feeling of displacement in this world. Mere hints of the life in which I ought to be reveling come during a moment's breath by the shore before I begin work on somebody else's house or the rouged skyline from which I must tear my eyes in order to negotiate traffic.

Tonight I stood at the top of a hill — at eye level with far off clouds — during a lonely walk and thought that I must wait until I've mastered life enough to get by before I become indulgent master to another dog. I've decided to give up beer until circumstances are such that I drink to enhance relaxation, not to force it to be possible. Too much waiting for a natural order to assert itself has come to require that the now must be buried as a seed of the future.

Unfortunately, I've developed the habit of expecting that good times herald an ending, while suffering is the crank that winds the clock. If I get to where I want to be, another of my imprisoned internal voices shouts, then I can be sure that my life will be taken away.

Ease or struggle, time staggers on, from season to season and year to year, and it's a comfort to pause for the harvest from time to time. The rumble in the distance may not be the coming earthquake that will swallow all, but rather the thunder — bringer of the lightning that I so desperately need to strike.

Posted by Justin Katz at 10:50 PM | Comments (2)