You just roll with the flow, don't you, Cappar? You were in the rural landscapes, now your landing in an airplane. You were taking in a view, now your viewing a take in, aren't you? Please tell us again about your lost luggage and the overwhelming attendance at your "Put a Bow On It" presentation-show. Tell us again about your bestselling book, "Your More of a Rockstar than You Think." You clever, clever man. How could so much insightitude protrude from just one lobe of brain? Bless us with more of your ego radiance. Bless us with more of your timeless shine. Can I take your coat? Can I take your socks? You just do what you want to, don't you Cappar? Don't you just take the things that gleam? Don't you just roll where they need you most?
Now I’m seeing sculptures. Now I’m hearing airplanes. Now I’m scratching itches I can reach. The summer seems too far away. The winter will not leave. Stress adds to the fray. Stress whittles away the day. Stress sews a net and it flutters around your neck. It tangles up your steps. It destroys all hope of sex. It guarantees an audience of boring people. It eliminates opportunity. It eradicates creativity. It hampers objectivity and punctures your credulity. It is pining for relief. It is hoping for freedom. Now I’m hearing airplanes. Now I’m seeing sculptures. Now I’m breathing deeply. One Breath, two breath, three….
It's not too late. The bakers scrape. The bearded man of the hour. The baker's hat is filled with hate. The windy street is hard and black. We pierce through the fog in baker's grace. We shake up our thoughts to oxygenate the plates. We visit strangers tall and wide. We end the song with baker's descent. Strangers shake the place tonight. Baker's tap the strange delights. Bakers scream out songs on high. It's not too late to live or die. The artist posts an image for eyes. The baker stares confused and slight. The artist fights the frigid nil. The baker fights the artist's nihilism. The cookies burn. The buns are fried. It's not too late for living sights. The bus stop patrons step to the street. The baker and artist stand up to greet. It's not too late for coherent thoughts.
The scientist peers through the microscope (the biology plow; the science sickle). She wants to give to everyone she meets. But she must complete the research task in front of her. She wants to sacrifice herself for love. But she must pay off her skill-set-debt. Skill-set-debt compels her priorities. Debt mutates her value set. The cost of education disorients the quantum particles in her frontal lobe and she is working extra hours just to afford her favorite coffee-drink. Science-minister. Materialism-seller. Oh, how she awaits her salvation. Oh, how she computes her mystery data. Her father and mother are proud of her and want her to achieve. Her step-mother and step-father want her to know they care for her, too.
Sometimes things get hijacked and diminished to the point where you have to just scratch your head and weep. You blow your horn, but the vessels don’t respond! You ring the bell, but all you get are a flock of birds blocking out the sun. This, then that?Prude penny-pinchers smirk as they collect their little coupons into a pile. All I want to do is color and draw pictures of silly things and write poetry and stories that make people smile in their brains. But all this gets hi-jacked and smoted and instead I’m dodging traffic and holding my breath every minute of every day. People are sending me “Get Well” cards and I ain’t even sick. People are writing eulogies, but I ain’t dying! I’m just hijacked and a little diminished. I’ll be alright.
Productivity gains in China were greater than expected. But not everyon is performing beyond expectations. Athletes flex their oiled pectorals and we spoil them with attention. Melodramatic actors say inspiring words and we raise them above the dingy to-and-fro. I stand my ground. I walk casually through doorways I am not allowed. My world is constantly changing. I wear sunglasses so I do not make eye-contact with any celebrity. I’m provoking power brokers and parking my car where it is not allowed. China is working hard, I am trying to work harder. Every creditor has been tapped. Every celebrity has been spoiled. I am exceeding expectations. What are you doing?
This is the thing that grinds me: I waste so much time awaiting pointless affirmations. My heart is always in a mud puddle. My thoughts are stuck. And sometimes even music doesn’t free me. But these things pass. They really do. They pass away. And I will thump and stomp again with a grin. With a mug of fun and a chin of cheer... Open the windows, someone is coming to me. Open the garage door, someone is coming. The great affirmer. The mud puller. The grin bringer. Come to me and tell me where my hope lies. Pull me from the mud and lead me to a home. I won’t resist your gentle knowledge. Just know that I am damaged product. A bruised reed. A tainted soul who hungers for wicked things and longs for pointless affirmations.
It was an age of poofy hats and telescopic innovations. Disenchanted priests were pondering the cosmos. Disillusioned missionaries were constructing mechanical workforces. It was an age of wonder and a wonderful age. There were powerful punks who bemoaned the coming change. There were Enlightenment Salesmen who were peach with glee. There were innovators and instigators and exposed magicians looking for a home. There were magic movers and "humanity inflators." We were empowered and moving forward. We crossed the ocean to a promised land. We conquered the natives and comforted the pilgrims. The church was scattered. Authority decomposed. Structures crumbled. And men wore poofy hats and fancy pants.
Ancient siblings, reborn duplications. Oscillations. Timid sisters cast back failures. Memories of moaning eagles. Bleak outlook cast out the breakfast. Once in a while the truth breaks through. Orange folders contain great pages. Painted horses trotting bravely. Punched-out drunkard, begging window. Wolves bark and howl in the autumn chill. The first chill of the year is the harshest. Frozen branches taunt the traveler. Ancient siblings pressing buttons. Ancient raindrops shimmer branches. Shimmer-shake. Chill. Forsaken oscillations. Black hole failures. Time warp nothing. Cursing strangers. Begging drunkards, broken windows. Frozen memories on painted horses. Moaning eagles in search of breakfast.
The problem is when we turn our periscope inwards. When the slide under our microscope is a mirror into our own minds. Our own self. When WE become the noun-like object upon which pronounce ultimate judgment. But not just our self. Of course, we must judge our self. That is how we grow and change and learn. We judge how we are doing. We celebrate what we do right. We wrestle and strategize where we do wrong. But there is a deeper sense in which the judgment becomes problematic. There is a depth of assessment that fails us. Jesus tells us to keep our microscopes away from it. He wants to be "all," but not in that way...
We are all one melody away from an epiphany. We are all one question away from a breakthrough. When I was a child, my grandfather let me steer the tractor (he held his hands over my hands, but I was convinced I was the one steering). When I was an adolescent, my teachers let me turn in my homework late. I guess there are many mercies and graces overflowing from the seems – seeping into the streams. And even now, when I look back on it all (with Chopin playing softly in my earphones), I see that I am lucky. I am lucky not to be an orphan. I am lucky not to be deformed. I am lucky not to be a lost alien on some doomed exploratory mission. When I look back on it all now, I regret my character flaws and the sins they inspired. But there is mercy and grace from the tip of our tongues down to the inner workings of our molecular systems. And I am steering the melody tractor and I am breaking through.
The closer you are to freedom the more tentacles encroach into your scenes. The closer you are to touching that tit of mercy the more angst-cream seeps into your machine. I was born of a naive woman and a small-minded man, in the middle of nowhere, at the end of a bitter winter. I was the bringer of fear, a stumbling block with blonde hair. When I fell over I would laugh. When I was left alone I would draw. I was the introspective one. The task-finder. I run my fingers against the paper. Smudge the lead to buff the pencil marks and mold the gray into shade. The closer you are to escaping your origin the dizzier you become. You walk into walls and lean against the sinks. The tables and ottomans seem to swing around you and you try, in vain, to keep them in place. You try to smudge the gray into shade.
He was holding his breath for as long as he could, just to impress his peers at the cocktail bar. He was red in the face. He was damaging his brain. He was acting like he was having more fun than he really was. Then she walked in. She was the prophetic painter. She splashed some paint on a canvas and moved it around and said, “This speaks to someone, I don’t know who.” She threw salt on the outskirts of her creation to create a texture. “This is striking someone. I don’t know who. It is striking someone and they don’t know why.” She turned the canvas to the side, painted something that looked like a rotating eye. She said, “I don’t know who, but someone here wants to confess how they are really feeling. Someone here wants to share, but they can’t find the words.” She took her fist and strategically smudged the paint in certain places. “This speaks to someone,” she said.
When I stumbled through the resistance field I was looking for a place to sleep. I was holding my wounds together with my jacket. I was walking with a limp. When I slept I dreamt of tapioca pudding and chardonnay on a picnic table on a breezy hill. And you were there with your perspective on everything. You were adjusting your position. You were wearing your perfume. When I woke up I was in a prison cell, my wounds were mended with gauze and ointment-goo. (There was no site of you). There were guards in the prison-ways. There were light beams in the alleyway. I was in a prison cell with no cheese or chardonnay. I grabbed my jacket and dashed straight towards the resistance field. And with sparks and jolts I stumbled through.
There is a thrust of distraction that surges during the peak productivity hours of the day. Political events, financial happenings, corporate takeovers, holiday sales, celebrity gossip... it's all confetti from hell that sparkles and whizzes and taps on your focus-shields and whispers through your earplugs: "this is important." What do you do? It is your daily battle. It is the crisis of your mind. Your attention is at stake. Your future hangs in the balance. I know bad things are going down. I know we are expecting snow. I know things are happening that will change everything, and that revolutions are being born and revolutions are being squashed. Reason matters not. Faith matters not. Truth matters not. Only agendas and opportunities take heed. Only the things that arouse the powerful matter to the powerful.