I was only 19, when I dodged a working-class bullet (feat. Redgum)

I just realised I am perhaps the first and only person whose publishing career began at Port Augusta power station, scribbling stories in an Atco hut between shifts involving the use of heavy-arse tools we called ‘handbags’, which are made from spent uranium and designed to spew radiation on to welds to take photos of their insides. I was given The Unbearable Lightness of Being by one of the NDT technicians on that job ~ NDT stands for ‘non-destructive testing’, which is irony at its finest

(we had to wear radiation detecting badges … because the testing was non-destructive, because in the old paradigm, seeing is believing).

The rest is history, and to quote Redgum out of context, I was only 19. As it happens, this song was made 19 years before I was 19. I also just realised it’s March 19 today. 10:55AM.

orca-image-1489866873625.jpg_1489866877964

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the grief we cannot yet own

in which I pondered
(with questions)
the approximation of alchemical transformation,
of suffering into joy,
this beautiful mo(u)rning,
answer free until the end of so-called illusory time

I cried in child’s pose just now, this mourning. I don’t know what it was really, except I was thinking about a friend I miss very much and who I suspect may be suffering with chronic depression. I dunno … it’s vomplicated. The tears were that kind that erupt from your face before you even really know what’s happening, emptying your belly of the soul vomit. I allowed it and continued to breathe, and moved out of Child into Cow, casting my Face upward in all of its glorious grief to be seen. I howled then, and grunted relief, gratitude, a bit more grief and then tim-ally … composure, a bit more grief, then something vaguely approximating equanimity. In Child, the grief had already transmuted into joy and I could somewhat sense that this, therefore, was not grief specific, but grief general. As far as I understand it, this is what they talk about when they talk about alchemy.

I had thought the grief might be for my friend, because that’s who I was thinking about in Child, but I wonder: do we ever really cry for anyone other than ourselves? I think we like to think we do, but this might be because it’s easier to cry for others than it is to cry for ourselves, but ultimately it’s a distraction, a deference, a displacement of owr/oun grief, the grief we cannot yet own. It’s a mutated and insidious kind of codependency.

I suspect that when we cry for others it’s because we see reflected, in them, something we don’t yet want to see in ourselves. I dunno.

Something I do know is I love this young woman very much, and I miss her terribly. I write to her sometimes, but she doesn’t write back and I don’t know why. I know she loves me too, and I know it’s not the kind of love you might be thinking due to our collective conditioning and the reality that English has reduced love to a single four-letter word, as though it were some kind of molecule that could be smashed at CERN. Maybe if they did put the word “love” in the Large Hadron Collider and proceeded to try smashing it into smithereens, those smithereens might shatter our belief systems like shrapnel in the pre-frontal love, I mean love! Shit, it’s like a compulsion over here … remember, the ‘v’ is right next to the ‘b’ on the QWERTY.

I dunno.

I really wish I did, but I don’t, and right now it shits me to tears. Because what I love about this woman is her qualities, not her vagina (which I have never even seen) … I love her innocence, her naivety, her addiction to boisterous laughter and wanton tomfoolery … I love her soul, her heart, her mind … she also has tremendous breasts (which I have never even seen) and can ski double black diamonds, both of which are utterly irrelevant …  what is relevant is that she loves to talk about poo ~ that’s why I miss her, really.

She is a self-described “poo person”, and she excels at doing awkward poos. (My handwriting now is turning the second Os into tiny little turds, soft-serve caricatures with stink lines latent, about to emerge into a stencil fart, no doubt …)

There is a passage somewhere in Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being about how our lives will forever be characterised by kitsch so long as we continue to shit in cubicles. He describes kitsch as a reluctance to accept the unacceptable, such as a man crying in child’s pose. Personally, I not only accept this, but actively embrace it, and/but what seems paradoxically sad is that I no longer really know whether this is healthy or not.

It seems obviously healthy to express sadness if it is blocking you, if it is inhibiting your growth because you’re storing it somewhere hidden in your bodymind, but what if it’s not? What if you’re actually mostly existing now in a near-constant state of equanimity. IF this, THEN when you cry for someone who may just be a reflection of yourself, what if what you’re really crying about is your story, or maybe theirs.

Because your story is not you, right? We are told often by therapists, accomplished meditators, and in spiritual literature, that we are not our stories. But what if we are? What if there is no difference between the stories of our individuated soul, encased in human flesh, and the story of the cosmos, encased in what? Where does the universe exist?, and where therein do our stories fit?

I don’t fucking know, and it shits me to tears.

Something I do suspect is that this poo-person friend of mine may know more about the answers than she thinks she knows, for reasons I can’t go into right now. [I did just find this, though, an audio CD about “depression as a call to spiritual awakening”.]

All I hope <~~typo … All I know is I miss her painfully, and I hope know she’s doing okay.

I’m doing okay ~ at least I like to think I am, but I suspect that really I’m not doing okay until I uncontrivedly write, with this here B Staed,

I am being, okay.