Friday, April 4, 2014

The Life of the Ego

The ego is a nebula contiguous to a bell. It is the facetiousness of detour followed by constant rain. It is a symptom of prepositions. Up, down, inside out, over and under, above and below. The ego is below the hair and above the neck. The ego is inside out on a sleeve, expanding involuntarily into sculpture. The ego is a kettledrum in the midst of a symphony. The pounding, the hammering, the rage for release, the irksome garlic of worry, the need for attention, the dashboard’s buttons and dials glowing with fulfillment on the way to the store.  

The ego causes itself to exist by posing as Bach. It is arranged in purple at one level and physical as steam when under pressure. Some of it is pertinent to coffee and some of it is represented as a tirade on the other side of a wall.  

The ego is an egg of identity in which gasoline parachutes through its imprisonment offering fuel for the teasing velocities of a non-ego state on the other side of our skin. This is where magic happens, and alabaster and paper.  

Here is an ego lifting the spine of an idea: note how it growls under the weight of it, muscles bulging, biceps and quadriceps rippling with alliteration. The ego likes alliteration because it filibusters the garage of vowels in which stacks of National Geographic eddy in a cardboard box labeled fishing gear. Fishing gear is a mistake. The ego feels that it, too, is a mistake, and that consciousness is easier without it at times. The burden of identity is lifted in art. It is analogous to the little fire in all of us that crackles like a morning in the orchard when we feel the pain of exclusion.  

I write sonnets with lightning, says the ego, knowing this is untrue. But the effect is exciting. Sometimes a lie is a pleasure, a lie to oneself in particular, and occasions when a lie first approximates a truth, then becomes a truth and the former things we held as truths become lies, and the cycle continues, lies and truths morphing in and out of another, until life itself is a fiction, the ego a dream, a product of words, values pounded into us as children to be later relieved by drugs, angels of creativity coming to us unexpectedly, but always welcome. 


Pablo Saborio said...


This line struck a chord: The burden of identity is lifted in art

John Olson said...

Thank you, Pablo. I do find that it's true that an immersion in any creative endeavor is a release from the bounds of the ego and its clamor for attention.