Once I was finished, I put the pen-scribbled pages away. I arranged my pens in a cracked mug that I don’t want to throw away. I collected up the cables that seemed to have bred around my computer like snakes.
I pushed things back and forth and placed loose objects in boxes and loose boxes in yet larger boxes. I pushed the boxes flush against one another, or stacked them where needs be. I dusted and I polished everything until it gleamed.
I placed a mascot on one side of me and a God upon the other. The faces of necessity watching over me. But otherwise this place is clean, the space is clean just like tabula rasa.
In the death throes of its freedom an old project slips away from me. But henceforth I am unchained without needing a lobotomy. And the blankness is appealing, in its way.
I think… I’ll stay. I’m sure I’ll find a way to fill more pages with the things I have to say. And as shadows shrink away from me I’m content in my own way.
But there is no place that’s truly clean: except where astronauts float between the stars. My thoughts like liquid filtered through a cheesecloth into old, repurposed jars.
Already things encroach upon this space: a phone, sunglasses, a steaming cup of joe. And already things encroach upon my mind: string-puppets lurch and dance as they perform an old, familiar show. And as the earth turns round the sun, those shrunken shadows loom and grow.
The cursor blinks: the blank page is a garden waiting for the seeds I’m yet to sow.
And so, this is a beginning–not the first and not the last. A beginning captured through a pane of deeply-polished glass. So brilliant is the window that you yet can’t see inside.
Instead, you see your own face staring back at you and from yourself you cannot hide. Believe me… I have tried. The oceans ebb and flow with the tears that I have cried.
A fish inhales molecules rejected by my eyes. And upon a distant ocean a sea-captain surveys the skies. What day is this? What ocean? What fish?
A hope, a wish, a spinning reel. When the machine announces JACKPOT tell me then: how will you feel?
Is this about you, or me, or the fish? I cannot tell.
A well: a bucket on a rope descends into the darkness. For the bucket life is nothing more than un-ending katabasis. But each time it is dragged up familiar reflections yet return, a face upon the water. Is it mine, or is it yours?
No matter; the water from the bucket feeds the garden and the seeds that we have sown.
Let’s return to this place later to see what plants have grown.
This post originally published as “30112020“.