Sunday, August 02, 2009


For one moment the world is startlingly clear. I can see it, beyond the veil of senseless brain chatter. The world is a bathtub, the kind that doubles as a shower, and I am staring up the tiled side and at a square air vent. I can see the fuschia towel hanging over the frosted plastic doors that roll on their aluminum track. I can see a bottle of ginger beer, green and perspiring on the ledge, but most of all I see the tile wall rising up on one side of me, I can see where it gives way to drywall and turns into the ceiling and pools around that square vent.
It is the most beautiful world. Strange and alive. I stare at it from the bottom of the tub where there is just enough water to warm the back of my neck, head, shoulders, buttocks and feet. My knees are bent because I am too long for the tub. The water level is too low to reach over my breasts and belly so they are exposed to the pleasantly cool air while my back side soaks in the salty wetness.
Then I close my eyes and drift back behind the veil to visit ghosts of princes past, I can see their eyes, angelic eyes, so sweet and troubling, (we know what angels do with earth women when they’re rambling down around the upper crust, the bible tells us so), and I wonder why they rode off into the sunset without me, when we could have seen the world as I have just glimpsed it together.
Whatever other ruminations blanket me are lost when I open my eyes to see again. Let me see again for a minute. My eyes go wide and look upon the ivory chamber encapsulating me and everything is silent. My mind holds its breath.
Then again I close my eyes and my mind exhales a torrent of thoughts. The first few bursts are poetry, words winding around the experience I have just had, like weeds choking out a garden, but lovely flowering weeds just the same, the sort I will use if I ever leave the bathtub and find a place to write them down, if I can remember them then...
Poetry gives way to crystallized theories, ideas about what it means to be alive, to perceive what I have just perceived. Courses of action are suggested and examined based on these new theories and then it comes down to a simmer, to a vaporized mass of memory and desire.
But for one instant I pulled all of the desire overflowing from my cup back into the vessels and let it boil. Too much. It overflows like water from a bubbling fountain and my focus is lost, a sailor adrift in the fog, waiting for the disabling conditions to pass. I do as much as I can with the situation as it is and wait for the mists to clear again, some time.
I sit up and drink the ginger beer. I slide back down into the water and it sloshes over my face, disturbed by my movements. Again I gaze upward, but this time I am thinking about what I saw before. I am thinking about the previous experience so that even if I am having a similar experience now, I don’t notice due to this trick of effleurage.
This is how I birthed my children; by rubbing my fingers on the bed sheets so that the sensation of doing so was carried to my brain, and due to the extreme sensitivity of the nerve endings in my finger tips, that message was received and processed by my overwrought nervous system before the notification that something tremendous was going on below the navel, thereby deadening the sensation of birth pains. In the same way, the mind froths with postulations based on the past and makes projections extending into the future to escape the intensity of NOW, the now that, like a star, is too brilliant to hold onto for too long. But if you can manage it, then for one moment the world is startlingly clear. And deathly quiet. And starkly radiant.

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