Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Songs in an old house: the King of Swords

Summer evening. All day the light’s been shifting between blue and silver, some cloud, some rain, cool bright sun, never dark enough to be gray. Solitude is different in an old house. My new apartment is in a house that’s more than a hundred years old. It has its own voice, the floors creak, you can feel it deep in its own thoughts. It was once a residence for nuns.

I am listening to music and using a Bosu ball and a treadmill to work the last of the gout out of my foot (dream on, Bill). Listening to Three Dog Night (“One is the loneliest number) segue to Judy Henske “The end of the world is a windy place/Where the eagle builds her nest”). It feels like sadness is one of the support beams of reality. Projection? This is just about me? Probably not. Spoke this evening to a friend whose partner died this weekend. We’re like needlework. The picture’s gradually emerging, but every stitch requires two stabs of the needle, one coming, one going.

Jewel’s singing now, with that amazing been-around-the-block-too-many-times little girl’s voice, “Who will save your soul, if you won’t save your own.”

It’s as if we were hurt into consciousness. I think it was Yeats who said “Mad Ireland was hurt into poetry.”

I feel ancient and alone and still, like a lace doily in an old lady’s house where no one has come for a hundred years and no one ever will, but each stitch of the doily has to be held in consciousness just in case. In case of what, I wonder?

I shuffled and dealt the King of Swords. Holding the pattern from the centre, extending outward to the edge of consciousness in stillness, no action possible or required, just the sharp clarity of consciousness with no objective correlative, holographic beam made conscious of itself.

I walk on the treadmill, asking my body to remember itself, to offer balance to my long life’s disembodied palimpsest of thought, memory, desire, sorrow, understanding. And suddenly Phil Collins is singing “In the Air Tonight”.

“I can feel it coming in the air tonight, Oh Lord
I've been waiting for this moment, all my life, Oh Lord
Can you feel it coming in the air tonight, Oh Lord, Oh Lord”

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