Saturday, April 7, 2012

Armchair Metaphysics

The heart leaps to its daily declarations. One: I want the world to groan with inconceivable pleasure. Two: secrets make no sense. Three: it doesn’t make any difference what you do the important thing is to completely and utterly enjoy the holiday. What holiday you say. That makes no difference either. You can celebrate anything if you put your mind to it. Me, I’m celebrating the beautiful angst of the car wash.

I yearn for nowhere. For anywhere out of this world.

Especially the car wash.

It was a special day that I suddenly realized that Baton Rouge was a French phrase meaning Red Stick. Who would ever want to catch a bus to Red Stick, Louisiana? People would think you were visiting a giant stick of licorice.

And so Baton Rouge attaches itself to the earth like a colossal organism of bagatelles and hot dogs and yearns for the caress of tolerance in the harsh glare of the Louisiana sun.

The head is connected to the heart by a highway of nerves. The mind is not the brain. The brain is something different. The brain is a greenhouse. The mind is a vapor.

Consider, for example, the thoughts involved in everyday visual recognition. The simmer of stew on the stove. A raspberry newly ripened on the vine. An invisible maître d’ eloping with a subterranean gourmet. And what about desires? For example, my desire to attend the wedding of the invisible maître d’ and subterranean gourmet. I have no invitation. And yet it is something for which I feel an inexplicable urge to participate. Shake hands. Converse. Eat food.

Imagine being greeted by an invisible maître d’. You would hear a voice. You would look around. You would hear a voice say: follow me. But follow who?

Here we begin to discover the full and mysterious nature of human perception. Birds to be looked at, pills, a hot shower, letters to be written to friends in distant places. The practice of botany. The practice of bowling. These are exemplary pastimes. Like wearing weird hats. Or painting Jack London’s great blue eye on a light bulb and singing a bronze German song in the key of Gin.

I yearn for the plains. All that space between the sky and the ground. And clouds. Always changing. One minute hungry spirits, dragons, gods, and buddhas, the next just clouds, rags of mist, wisps, whispers, wistfulness in a thousand guises, silk, bells, big palaces near the sea.

1 comment:

David Grove said...

Armchair epistemology: I really don't know clouds at all.