Wednesday, December 31, 2008

That Which Dwelt There

The contour of the candle- the contour of my body. The heat of its flame- the cinnamon fire of my heart. Every little knock, every little bump is a pulse or a beat in the larger chaotic body of me. I am not entirely separate from the mass and I am not entirely a cohesive part of it. I am the right shape on the outside. I have two arms, two legs, two breasts, two hands, two feet, and seven holes in my head. Like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle I fit in the most basic way, cut by the same blades that cut all the pieces of every puzzle ever made. And yet I have begun to create a puzzle of my own, a micro-puzzle assembled of a being with two hands, two feet, two legs, two arms, and seven holes in the head, a puzzle that I rebuild daily, each time adjusting the configuration just slightly so that the changes are subtle, almost unnoticeable from day to day, but over the course of years they will begin to form an entirely new picture. A little picture within the greater picture. A little picture whose story is encompassed within the matrix of the bigger story, but whose themes flow in the opposite direction. A paradoxical piece within the greater arrangement. The murmur of others from the room next door is the murmur of blood in the veins. Their raucous disagreement is the argument between a cancer and the nearly defeated quietude once enforced by the paladin-like white blood cells. Murmur, murmur, whine. They negotiate endlessly, unhappily for eternity, for ten dollars an hour and for want of anywhere better to be. I am the cottage cheese ceiling holding me in under its bumpy white mountains of plaster. I am the textured walls hugging me without warmth in a formal gesture of caring and duty. I am the window with its blinds turned shut and the bed with its covers pulled closed and the soft dark green carpet upon which every fleck of debris is embarrassingly apparent. I. am a backyard filled with mud and a front yard carpeted with green grass, lawn reindeer, and wild brambles. I am an artificial tree raised upon a table and adorned with ornaments passed down four generations. It is all here, painted into the jigsaw piece with it parts swimming upon the surface, two by two and with seven in the head. And each day it gets adjusted slightly, like the details of a dream; a wall disappearing, a ceiling rising, bending, a window opening to blink out at the universe like a sleep refreshed eye. A muddy yard that becomes a swamp inhabited by a giant toad with a dog’s fangs, and lawn reindeer which spring to life and carry elves away into the deep of a forest. The endless winding roads lined with identical houses become a desert void of life, and in the distance upon a hilltop, the water tower is the forbidden tower in which the old wizard lives, and when I arrive there I find that he is my own father and it is my own living room organized around an artificial tree. In the depths, I will overturn the phony tree and in the green carpet I will plant some seeds that a giant gave to me, and the Halub tree will sprout in the center of my house, crashing through the cottage cheese ceilings, breaking open the windows, making the plush carpet a moss covered forest floor. The maiden of light will come out of the tree and dance with her son the planter. The angel that fell from the top of the phony tree when it toppled shall be called Samael and he will guard this new garden and its wild things, and make music for them to sway and frenzy to. The elves and the reindeer will trickle back in and the old wizard’s head will crack open as a young man bursts free to join the spectacle. The cancerous murmur will become the beat of the tympani. The whiners become lutes played by nimble fingers. My heart becomes the bonfire around which all will dance.
Looking back we will see how different this world is now from what it was when it began. Looking closely, we will see all of the elements of the old world still present, but we will see how they have adjusted to house a greater spirit, much greater than that which dwelt there before.

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