“The struggle for a free intelligence has always been a struggle between the ironic and the literal mind.” ~ Christopher Hitchens
“We’ve known for a long time that it was no longer possible to overturn this world, nor reshape it, nor head off its dangerous headlong rush. There’s been only one possible resistance: to not take it seriously.” ~ Milan Kundera
“To paraphrase Oedipus, Hamlet, Lear, and all those guys, “I wish I had known this some time ago.” ~ Roger Zelazny
“With every mistake, we must surely be learning.” ~ George Harrison
Lately I’ve been trying to take life less seriously. To sorta accurately quote novelist Tom Robbins: the world situation is grim, as usual. Ya just gotta laugh, right? I would, if I were you. When I look at this Trump Ukraine Giuliani Pompeo Bill Barr weirdo clusterfuck I see a bunch of clowns stepping on each others’ clown shoes; shoes that are always big enough that it’s hard to miss when you stomp on the other guy’s feet. And the makeup, and the sinister eyes. I’ve not read Stephen King’s “It”, but I’ve seen enough snippets from the film to know that some sinister clown keeps trying to drag people down into the sewers. Come on, Mr. King – ain’tcha got no better metaphors than that?
Yikes. I just took a break to step outside under the stars. Mr. King is a star. He’s an international bestselling novelist and I’m an unknown self-published writer. Why would I wanna pick a fight with him? Sorry, dude. This morning has one of those dazzling starry skies that New Mexico is famous for. I won’t bother trying to describe it – I’m just not in a poetic mood today; I’m drawn to intellectual stuff. A couple of months ago my massage therapist said that I am an intellectual. There I was, naked and face down on the table, listening to lute music on Spotify, and feeling somehow disappointed at being seen as an intellectual. I told her that I am a mystic as well. Not that it matters. I’m of the mind that women don’t like intellectual men, especially those who work for low wages at a retail outlet. It was a poignant moment for me. Now I can see the irony in it. For me, when I get a thirst for intellectual writings, it usually means that I am depressed, clinically speaking. It is sort of a caution flag that pops up to let me know that I need to be mindful and self-forgiving right now. I turn 65 in three weeks, and this fact is stirring an intense longing in me. It’s that Celtic kind of Longing, where there is no real object or goal, because the Longing is a drive and a teacher; no more than that. It’s a Spiritual thing . . . and intellect can’t touch it. If I sit still, to calm the aches and pains and creaky bones, inside, I am still that barefoot island hippie boy. A woman I know said she is creeped out by the peace, love, and hippies schtick. And I was like “come on, lady. You’ve been reading Stephen King, haven’t you?”. Just kidding. I said no such thing. No, I keep going back to the houseboat, moored at a diagonal in the corner notch of the marina at Smuggler’s Cove, across Snake Creek Channel from the Coast Guard Station, in Islamorada, in the Florida Keys. To the west, out over Florida Bay, the slivered Moon was capped by Venus, and we had 13 of us atop that boat. We hippies had a band called The Matecumbe Minstrels, and we had some guys from another local band, called Nasty Habits, sitting in. There was an aura of beer, weed, and coke, in the air . . . 13 of us, atop that boat, playing Willy’s “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”, and the boat was literally rocking back and forth in 3/4 time. And now I live in the American West. No, I’m not a cowboy, but it is ironic. We were all just babies on that boat, having a good time and stirring the crowd up into party mode. We were good. We were feeling good. Geez, am I getting wistful or what? Today at work I will be that barefoot island hippie boy, creaky bones and all. I don’t give credence to wistfulness and/or nostalgia, because I just don’t think that time works that way – because to me time ain’t linear. Atop that boat we were all in the here and now, just as I am in the here and now as I sit at this messy desk with my trusty cat at my side. How is one here and now different from another? To me they are one in the same, and it cannot be otherwise. Maybe my massage therapist was right? Yeh, she’s a smart lass, and her strong suit is that she knows where it hurts. Geez, I wish I could afford biweekly massages. My next massage comes on my birthday, then a casual dinner with my ex that afternoon. Nurturance. Plain and simple. I may never defeat depression, just as I may never get over my intellectual proclivities (not that I actually want to). ‘Proclivities’?! What a great word! My Grandma Olive would be proud. She was a closet intellectual, absolutely brilliant at Scrabble. The Grandmother is with me these days. The Mother Goddess Brighid as well. And Hecate. Hecate is an interesting goddess. She rules the night from her vantage point at the crossroads. She was Persephone’s guide through the underworld. And she is the Queen of the Witches. Dag nab it, that friggin bruja is really starting to get on my nerves! Soooo . . . exactly where is the crossroads, where Hecate stands with her two hounds at her side? It is, simply put, where the Longing begins. It is a timeless place. And here I stand puzzled at it all. Hecate smiles and says “Nurturance, child”, and Brighid just giggles. She’s the one I listen to the most. I like giggles.
All is well. Goof gloriously.