Yarning about true fiction

There once was a girl who had a bit of a different start to life. For a long time, she listened and considered what she was taught by the people around her. She felt there might be an easier way to live. She had seen something like that once.

It’s hard to say whether it really happened or it was a vision she was working on building along with the rest of the world.

I can tell you she thought about the whole world often, wondered where it ended and began again, where the line should be drawn. Is it the everything or just everything or EVERYTHING?

How do you make two things when we can’t be sure where even one thing ends? This is how she came to feel connected to everything, in trying to find the precise distinction that made you entirely separate from her. It seemed like true fiction.

In a similar way, the thing she heard most frequently about herself was that she was black, while in the early days (when she learned this stuff), almost everyone around her was white.

She did not like being named black, even when she repeated it herself and they all clapped. Another true fiction. To her, nothing in existence was black. Nothing was white. It was just an idea. A dance partner for her era. Whatever the point was, it did not feel right.

After several decades of struggling futilely against the sense of oppression that these ideas with their consequent array of deleterious actions and reactions engendered, she surrendered to the inevitable flow of life – overcoming this and that crisis until she finally lost everything. Friends, family, home, job, belief, security — identity.

Her entire social backpack crumbled under the weight of conflict against a system she was dependent on and had been trained to replicate. A system she didn’t like, but could not escape. A system that qualified, quantified, carved up, dissected, categorised and used life in such ways as to threaten the survival of most things she cherished.

She could not conduct a one-person war. That much was obvious. What could she do to un-train her mind, to stop perpetuating the same arbitrary classification system used to decide who gets sacrificed next? She surely knew whether she opposed or supported it – either way – she would have to move from this position to stop engaging with it.

It seemed very strange to her to do nothing at all. To watch and wait and watch again.

Although no movement was apparent to anyone, it felt to her a lot like she was something tiny getting ready to begin, on her way to the start line – a dandelion seed. A dandelion seed after a small child has inexpertly blown a few of them to the breeze and she is half-clinging, half-leaving, flapping this way and that, just waiting for the wind to bring her home so she can grow roots.

So she can grow roots and sing this word – fellow.

because the world is so beautiful
and the way we are moving through life
we’re all seeing it a little bit different
we’re each building something unique

when someone brings us in
when we want to do the same
because we’re seeing each other
and we’re working on living our art

it’s when you hit me over the head with it
force me to make mine look like yours
we get this deluge of soul-breaking, life threatening, impossible-but-true events

moment to moment

if we would move through our living without diminishing anyone’s world

there’s a way they all connect

have you seen the way light travels?

we are part of that

– 2018

We don’t know how this story ends, perhaps it never does…

We don’t know how this system can be dismantled, or how this cycle ends and the next one begins. Perhaps it never does.

Whatever you call it that has people justifying the denial of rights to anyone, whatever it is that says to us that we will not be destroyed by the very same ideas we all perpetuate, that is some true fiction right there.

Rising

It’s all about the sun rising
the earth spinning it’s face to the sun
once — every day,
a little bit different each time,
a little bit of a skew.

I like to call myself the master of the skew
– in truth or reckoning
I haven’t come close to anything
resembling that particular symphony

or any other. Profoundly ordinary,
I’m just here for the show, which
suffice to say, is better at
5am than 5pm in these parts.

And the point I wanted to stick you with?
Nada. Life is cyclical,
let you and the cycles continue.

I can’t give you the words
I only have language
if you wake with the birds, before 5am,
then you already know

the life I have fallen in love with
despite everything that is society –
civilisation and commodification
be damned, we still get a sunrise.

In the time of small changes
no decree, governmental or otherwise,
can change what is fundamental
to living.

And while we’re on the subject,
I am yet to meet a single person
who has fallen in love with
the society that’s been built here.

I’m not attached to it. As though
a deep grief cannot be reconciled,
5am is not always joy, always truth,
not always vanilla, No. God!

Two days ago it was this simple.
“Where is our song?”
Our songs have been lost.
Not all of them for every nation
but enough for me to feel it like a ghost limb.

We are scattered to the twenty-seven realms
calling, no white man can ever cognise what he has done.
And we’ve still got the jump — we keep existing.
Sunrise and all that.

So the sorry business keeps repeating
and we are exasperated at your inability
to learn from experience.
I don’t relish the task of writing new songs.

It doesn’t even fall to me. I know a
poofteenth of a hair’s breadth of a percentage
of what could be known about this land
yet it is more than any book might ever convey.

Walk it. Start with the birds
who like to tell me when the sun will rise,
and the heavy between state, when I discover
how I am without categorisation.

In one world, I am broken
for crying about lost songs
instead of being alone.

In another, those lost songs
are the history of our people.

And in yet another world, my skin
is too light from all that raping
and breeding out that was done here.
For that sin, I lose an entire continent of relations.

In the only way that matters to me
I show my face to the rising sun and
it has no problem with any of how I came to be
or what you might think of me.
So it’s OK to look up

When it’s just me and the sun rising.

Bip

A special memory I would like to share with you…

He was truly delightful and made me giggle a lot, but mostly I was awestruck by his performance, watching from the wings. His old mate Rudolf was there too and I met him, but I did not understand the significance of that until this whole event was a distant memory.

I sometimes tell people I grew up on the stage, but they can’t picture what I mean until I share with them the odd memory such as this. It is possible to be both very open with people and deeply secretive. I am.

marcel-bipObviously he inspired my blog photo. More importantly this memory represents something about me that I have never let anyone mess with. It is elusive, it is not “on-call” nor greatly on display, but it points to my very essence, to what has proved consistent throughout the years. It lives at the wellspring of my joy.

As a small child, I discovered one of the best ways to guard something intangible is to never let it descend into the realm of language, whether it be spoken, written or thoughts/mental dialogue. I can mention this now because, like a tree that has already grown, I have already taken form.

Everything about me that deviates from this natural course is merely a performance in some way related to survival. Do not judge your inconsistencies. After a couple of years of investigating “the shadow” and allowing it to come into the light, as it were, I can honestly say that it was/is chock full of really good stuff. After the initial shock and displeasure, I find it is the place where so many wonderful, unique and heartfelt aspects of me are born, live and die, only to be reborn again.

If, even for one minute, you’ve ever thought you have spare parts to who you are, things that could be improved about your basic nature, I beg to differ. You only have things that could be discovered and embraced about your basic nature. Everything else is just a performance.

Obviously I am not composing a Dummies Guide to Being A Conformist in this life.

marcel-autograph

Taking a pi break

Got a quick story for you. I shared this with a great friend who laughed a lot, but the thing is… most of the people I communicate with seem quite peeved by this story.  So now I have to share, because that seems an odd response to something I find delightfully funny. Feel free to share your joy or disgust in the comments…surely there’s something for me to learn here…perhaps?

I’ve actually been quite ill – some kind of infection. Nearly over it now. On Friday I read up on how the antibiotics are supposed to work and decided that I needed to be still for an hour after taking each one so my body has the resources available for a full scale attack. Being still, yeah right!

I started thinking about pi. Someone mentioned it on TV the night before. Jewish guy we rescued from destitution years ago used his ability to recite pi to 14 places as part of his argument for why jews are genetically superior. My friend Greg can rattle off pi to 12 decimal places.

I recalled that 22/7 was a representation of pi – something I was told in school, but I ran the numbers in my head and quickly discovered it’s completely wrong. So I looked up the decimal representation.

Ten minutes later I have memorised pi to 27 decimal places. I thought that was enough considering I was supposed to be relaxing. What can I say other than it’s an intriguing number/concept?

An hour later in the shower I was reciting pi however, after the 27th number I found myself saying – “and the last three numbers are 279.”  As in, to round up to 30 places.  Cracked myself up.

Thus far I have no use for this info. I will laugh even more if I do find a use for it.

pipie

 

Story #1: Accidental Empathy

I wrote this story 22nd July 1995 with the title Story No. 1 (pretty original huh?) It was inspired by images from the media at the time.

This man comments on the sanity of the woman who drowned her children. He would be the best person to ask in this situation, given the tense, victim-like dishevelment he portrays. He is wearing glasses and he appears to struggle with the load he carries on his shoulders.

“I try not to see,” he thinks. “I became a psychiatrist to find the truth! How can I declare the rationale for one woman’s actions, when she personifies my pain and I hers? I wear her anguish, her misunderstanding and her guilt. She commits the crime in such a real and tangible way that I envy her. I envy her freedom of expression. We cannot harm the children, the innocents, the newborn and as yet unformed ideas, dreams and goals. Just as I murder my own self and every truly creative thought, dream or ideal__”

He blinks. “Too much analysis has gone into this life of mine. She represents that one true desire that was born of pain and sublimated beyond all recognition. I question my life at this point, when I, once again, determine someone’s sanity based on their decision to act.”

The American media are very interested in this case. The people have an opportunity to voice their objection to breaking the rules. The media seem to be very attracted to the public demise of individuals who are driven to express their disharmony without the benefit of acceptable options.

“The news is rarely ever good these days. The news doesn’t rejuvenate and uplift us, give us hope for our lives. I am a man who has studied intensely, the reality of the mind and human behaviour; yet I am not left with any more tools or particular human advantage than this woman, and pure chance separates our destinies.”

“I have children, two sons, beautiful boys and I would never contemplate their death by my hand. I don’t see my sons often enough. I work hard. Their mother is wonderful, I love and need her in such a way that I can’t even begin to communicate with her. We don’t get much time to talk. I work hard for my family.”

“There is no room for changes in this life – not for me, for my colleagues, my squash buddies, my patients or my family. There is a delicate balance, an unstable equilibrium to maintain. To upset this balance with nothing more than a desire for change, a desire to act, is futile and merely causes chaos and crises such as these. I cannot act upon, merely accept and live with this runny nose, this aching back, my crippled toes and immobile sternum – for that is my lot and who am I to question – to judge?”

The thoughts that run through this man’s head flicker across his face momentarily and though he has already submitted his written report to the court, for a brief instant, he is not quite sure what he is going to say. He is not quite sure what his pronouncement will be.

The end.

Marley

“I hate it when you do that. I can’t read you.”

“What does it matter? I had nothing to contribute.”

“But it always happens and I don’t like it,” she said. “It shuts me out.”

“Out of where?  If it helps, I’m not doing anything in particular but I feel kind of weird.”  The fleeting image of a football flies through my mind towards invisible goalposts. “I suppose it’s a response to what you’re doing.”

“I’m not doing anything.”  Continue reading

Murder on the TV

The wine is sweet
Tart richness against
A velvet backdrop

The voice is sharp
Cracked blitheness enshrouds
A silent heartbreak

The room is stark
White coolness surrounds
A seething tumult

The glass is svelte
Clear brightness reflects
A bloodied dreamscape

The hair is strewn
Death’s freshness presents
A lovely nightmare

The face is sad
Love’s braveness amidst
A mortal outburst

Her life is spent
Hurt weakness beneath
A broken mindset

His life is spent
Eye witness compels
A final judgement

!

From the grace of the deep, easy
Swimming up to the light of nothingness
We care about how we are, guilty

Neglected we flee from the world’s darkness
Love arises from nowhere, crazy
Impossible to control and endless

We scream at the wrong people, empty
Not knowing if we deserve happiness
Sentenced by those we judge harshly…