Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

I had no intention of cooking this year until Kyle weighed in, reminded me, "You said that living well is the best revenge, and why shouldn't we do it right since none of know where we're going to be next year."

Eyebrow up, Spock position... hard locked. Very interesting.

He was of course, right. I did say that. I say a lot of things and often too much, but he's going to catch hold of something there are worse he could remember and hit back at me like a spinning forehand hurtling way down the baseline where there was no chance to recover and volley.

No regrets. His sentimental lead brought us to a moment of normalcy, and the Fortress of Solitude filled up with the smell of turkey and the percussive bubble of spuds on the stove--a proper, quiet sit-down in a warm home.

And now it's Black Friday and I'm on a news blackout while I sort out what follows us to the next spot, and what gets passed along, passed down or simply discarded. There are six and a half years of sorting out the other kind of baggage, discarding what no longer fits and stowing away what should be saved. Six and a half years of trying to get things in order, and amassing new clutter, and some days it seems as though I exchanged the old clutter with new messes to be collated and filed. Most days though, despite the complex hassles and the ensuant pains and discomforts, are pretty light with a sense that I am spending most of my time on the right road... no destination but forward.

The notice that we would have to leave The Fortress of Solitude, although coming along at a rotten time financially, seems well-timed with other changes that we are surfing along with. It is time to leave the cocoon and its restorative history and make a clean break.

And so the purging... it started with books that I've dragged behind me, some for thirty years or more, living with the comfort that I had read them, and could again if I needed to. It's more than plain with many of them that this isn't going to happen. There are some that I cannot part with. Getting rid of them is as unthinkable as exiling an old relative. And there are others...

The music is a somewhat harder task. It's a task akin to going through endless photo albums or slideshows. They are full of friends and family and ghosts, and the odd devil. There is a visual archive of my entire life in all these songs. I remember with utter clarity where I was and who I was with and what I was doing when I first heard these... and with laser focus how I felt in those moments. It is of course dangerous to be too attached to material items, but it's impossible to consider these material items. It feels sometimes that if I were separated from the music I would lapse into amnesia. I would risk forgetting who I am and how I got here.

Dangerous, no? It is what it is. It's the Dewey Decimal system of my entire memory. There are quite a few that can go, in the same spirit that a person can eventually part with clothes that are out of fashion, or love letters from someone you can no longer remember.

And riding back on the holy metaphor... I disassembled an old computer that was sitting at the back of my closet. I remembered the panic when it began to sputter and die. There was a wealth of... something... on the hard drive that seemed at the moment to be irreplaceable. That was not true, or at the very least I don't seem to be missing anything. It was quite a task to pull out the hard drive today... just in case. How unpleasant might it be if someone else revived the information! It came out eventually though, a 5 pound block of aluminum and silicon bits. It's on its way to some landfill now and what's gone is gone.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On questions...

As a young man, and certain that there were men on Earth... my heroes... to whom all the answers to the important questions had been mysteriously gifted, I came across this. I was more than certain at the time that it was a condemnation of God and faith, but I've come to know that it was a condemnation of man.

Look where we worship. -- Jim Morrison

I have, upon reflection, decided that nobody is endowed with the big answers by a benevolent higher power or by stroke of fate, but by long, often painful treks through one's own reflection, and more often only by smashing the mirror.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I have long admired those that can lower themselves to their knees, to supplicate before their personal God, rather than hidden beneath the covers in a shamed fetal position, begging for answers that are already clear.