Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Breathing Cold Air

Walking not quite aimlessly in Aylesbury this February day. Grateful that the light is coming back: underneath the beautiful high austerity of the cold, the spring is returning. The light at the end of the afternoon is vague; taupe but inherently luminous like something away in its own head that won’t pay attention. The Time is rapt in memories and subconscious ideas of growing things: ‘Where are the songs of spring, aye where are they?’ the Year mutters, shuffling about the house searching for the way you grow things and make them live again, the music of beginning.

I am also away even beyond my own head, spiralling out to a cloud, striving with no success whatever to stay connected and find some form of passion. I am supposed to be writing a book. Perhaps I can call it ‘The Book of Excuses’ Ha! ‘The Ultimate Guide to Advanced Level Procrastination’. Every day I start tomorrow and tomorrow never comes.

I can’t fasten on to anything – any community, any ideology, and group that marches to any band and chants in any kind of unison.

Making it up as I go I descend into mere biology, watching the shadows of branches on the snow, staying still enough to observe the eyelashes of a hen blackbird, enjoying the cold on my nose, tasting life life life and losing all taste for human society. I forget who I am and get preoccupied with my hair growing.

‘Cold’ is such a magical idea. It comes in the same pack with ‘frugality’, ‘solitary’, ‘thinking’ and ‘water’ and 'echo'. But as soon as you open the bag they fly apart to the outside edges of the stars because they don’t like being close to anything.

I am a little terrified that a representative of final authority will notice the life I lead and redirect me to a supermarket, a nursing home or a church, there to fill my days more profitably and industriously.

I think, ‘I must offer to edit a book’; and then..... I don’t.

I love the air. I love blue and green and colours that slide between definition; of twilight, dove, cloud, shadow, dusk, bark, whisper and uncertainty. I love silence, and the sensitivity of finger-ends. I love the complexity of the ear, and the diversity of personality defying regimentation.

And I wonder what and where God is, and if I am supposed to know, or if ‘Mystery’ means that you never would.

‘If you gaze long into the abyss; the abyss gazes back into you.’ That’s Nietszche for you!


buzzfloyd said...

I think God is in these things too, but it's hard to see his face.

PollenHonesty said...

"...While others rush to get things done, I accept what is offered.
I alone seem foolish, earning little, spending less.
Other people strive for fame; I avoid the limelight, preferring to be left alone.
Indeed I seem like an idiot, no mind, no worries.
I drift like a wave on the ocean.
I blow aimless as the wind..."
Tao Te Ching

Ember said...

Fab translation of that chapter of the Tao! Which edition is it?