Monthly Archives: January 2012

A Title Of Awe

My photos, in dim light are impressionist era paintings. Bodies climbing, falling, dancing under the low light. These images don’t seem to transfer to large lenses and bizarre aperture values. Years ago, when I had moved to Western Washington for the first time, I put away my fancy camera and forgot how to use it. “The rain,” I thought, “would surely destroy the electronics.” As a compromise, I promised to learn to write in a manner more vivid than any photo I could capture. The reaches of my attention were to be expanded so that I may fully appreciate a moment above one static image. I’ve moved many miles about this country since then.  I can’t say weather or not that promise has held true.

After learning more today about cloning, the applications of embryonic stem cells, the potential use of mushrooms for synthesizing important pharmaceuticals, how wood growing fungi snare nematode worms to consume their Nitrogen… after contemplating the remarkable chemical reactions that humans catalyze just by chewing on a piece of broccoli, hell, even just by living. I went out to behold the world for the evening. Three events later…

-tense shift-

The sound of my patella popping as I push into my bicycle petals is unnerving only for an instant. Two clicks and I’m alright. I’m supposed to be healing, but where is the “use it or lose it” line drawn? I could do one whole pull up today, an improvement upon one week or so ago. Water is falling from the sky, kissing my thighs, soaking into my coat. I feel a rain droplet hit my lip, the bridge of my nose, my left cheek. My dress flaps about in the 3AM air that I rush by, a feeling of utter content with the rain.

You would’t even hear a ghost whisper along the main street of this town. All that is left over at this hour is my Breath, a Bicycle chain whirring, my Spider mind pulling strands of the day together.

Closing in on my living quarters, the sound of rain bouncing off of carports is an amplified reverberation. Water flowing into the drainage proves an underground river. I circle and circle around the parking lot until utterly dizzy and then zoom on past my home to admire the lake, the rain, the night.

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The Sound of Ice Falling

“Would you give me five minutes of your time?”

It’s at the end of an evening, a small poetry reading. I tell him  that I will share five minutes, but not give them.

He leads me out the front door of the house and around to the side car port where my bicycle sits waiting silently.

“Listen…”

Rain bounces off the roof, the trees speak as ice bursts off their weighed down branches. “This is Poetry,” he says. Would you like to go further? I nod. He takes my hand and leads me into the snow covered field.

I have barely spoken a word, trying to stand with the beauty of the moment, but also attempting to assess motives. Mist holds court as trees stand sentinel. The rain is catching in my hair, on my coat.

Still holding my hand, he narrates, “This is Poetry without Ego. This is nature present, and calm. Listen…All of this breaking and crashing, the land is experiencing so much pain right now, but it continues to speak…The trees, look at them, so firmly grounded yet they reach for the sky…And you, you shared your poetry and I can see you are so brilliant. Yet you have so much fear in you…” His voice sounds of the theater.

I think of how these ideas of nature are affirmations I immersed myself in years ago.

I think of how I almost cracked up earlier in the evening as a mutual aquaintance cued up Such Great Heights on the stereo while He and I stared into each other’s eyes talking. The line goes “I’m thinking it’s a sign, the freckles in our eyes are mirror images…” He said something along the lines of “You need to trust others while still knowing that they can not be trusted.”

And I’m still piecing together a jigsaw when he finds a knot the size of a tennis ball nestled in the blade of my shoulder simply by pulling me in for a hug. Mind you, I have a winter coat on. “I think my five minutes are up. Are you ready to go back?”

*
“You have so much fear in you.” is such a funny phrase to hear describe me. But mainly, what these human’s call fear, I call a skepticism of intent teamed with transient anxiety. How much naivety should one wrap themselves in while riding on a great big orb that constantly falls towards the sun?
Perhaps those trees aren’t reaching towards spirit & sky. Perhaps they are clinging onto the earth for dear life.
The joke of physics.
The joke of spirituality.
Perhaps it is time I finish reading a book my dear friend gave me. It’s name is The Gift of Fear.

Sabotage and Science

Today, being a snow day, was spent in a combination of studying and slacking. In the process of looking for free e-books to read on fungi, I found a short manuscript called “Simple Sabotage Field Manuel”. This was published by the US Office of Strategic Services back in 1944 and discusses simple ideas for citizen subversion in enemy territory.

This, I may not have found noteworthy to blog about by itself, but alas, my professor found time to share with the class some memes which have root in the history of the 40’s and relevancy to today’s latest news on copyright law. Imagine, all this while setting us up for laboratory practice in molecular biology!

The above video is a scene from Downfall, a 2004 film, which I probably have never seen. In the memes which my professor shared, the subtitles are amusingly rewritten with relevancy to class content. Watching the original, however, took me back to high school. I was in a class called “Facing History and Ourselves” a year long survey of the Holocaust. We watched numerous films full of Nazi propaganda, and annalyzed them, read books such as Night andInto That Darkness, and integrated current events into our curriculum to examine the phenomenon of “bystanderism”, the act of standing aside and allowing an event which we oppose to occur while we watch.

It’s Funnyhow these neurons fire together, isn’t it?

In which weakness is exposed

Play This (Pour Some Sugar on Me)

I hit shuffle on my music box as I run out the door and on comes this song, which I don’t quite ever recall loading. It reminds me of a cross country meet in High School, maybe upstate New York, maybe not, perhaps in the winter, but I want to think it was hot. So long ago, that the I have to use my narrative licence to make things up. We, a team of girls in our red track suits run with a Boom Box to cheer on the male track team blasting their chosen song as they run by in sweaty packs “Pour Some Sugar on Me” wails away. But back to here and now. I’m jazzed happy, on some kind of high. To be under this blue prism sky, sticking my tongue out at the children creeping home from school as I run by, watching them crack up. Then, the catch, somewhere around 12 minutes my knee starts speaking in a voice that’s all sorts of sharp.

I nearly limp home, but I stop at the play ground to do some pull ups. Hanging on the bar, I reach for pull ups that never come because all the muscles from my arms have somehow been eaten away by cloned canine olfactory receptor genes and sketchy human-e. coli hybrids that live in the labs I’ve learned from in the past three months or so. I settle for some core engagement instead.

In my life I don’t recall one time where I could not physically manage to perform one pull up (could do 8+ in multiple sets only a few months ago) but mark this, I have met that day, and do not intend to live in it.

Night Ride

As I carry my bike down the steps from my second floor apartment, the full moon light brushes my cheeks in silver. A soft atmospheric pressure change envelops my body. The night murmurs an ambient tone giving voice to this small city. The sky is clear for this one moment of awe and my mind is walking along a tightrope close to sleep.

As I glide through the parking lot onto the street I revel in the feel of my sore thighs, overworked abs, and aching shoulders. This is the proof that today I worked towards the closest thing I know to flight. The vertical climb of fabrics, horizontal occupation of the trapeze, and the rough hold of the rope were all embraced. Just so, the breeze on my face is proof that I am traveling through space much faster than I could ever walk.

I wonder about the year ahead of me, all of the possible futures, standing silently by the urgency of now.