Friday, January 3, 2014

besieged by wind and light

When churches fall completely out of use 
What we shall turn them into, if we shall keep 
A few cathedrals chronically on show
--Phillip Larkin

I sat in the middle of the dark chapel.
The only lights were the red lamp glowing several meters in front of me and the stray bits of streetlight filtering through the stained glass window.
Everything else was dark.
Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik movement 4 floated through the darkness, lighting it the velvet void up like a strand of the Milky Way.
The music filled the darkness, rendering it more like the darkness of a nurturing womb, less like a void.

Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience.
I can't even find the words to write.
I can't find a vision for the show.
I can't find anything.
All I have are these desires.
These desires.
Everything has become desire.
And how do I fix that.

This is a hungry country.
--Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian

I took a walk outside in the middle of a windstorm.
It was a murky night, the leaves that were still clinging to the trees were being torn off.
I sat under a very sad little lamp post, who seemed to be shining solely because duty demanded that light of it.
I sat there, without a sigh, because my voice was lost in the wind.
I sat on the stormiest of benches, a large pile of dead leaves underneath it.
Instead of crunching under my feet they squelched in a sad and pathetic manner.
I was tossed about, I felt, by a maelstrom of emotions, of forces, of swirling winds, of strange forces that worked their way up from my feet to my wrists, twisting my stomach muscles into knots.
I itched my wrist.
And watched the wind swirl.
The sound was the sound of a wind you had never heard before.
It was as if it was wind leftover from the week-old typhoon.
It was a wind that had unburied the dead.
That had buried the living.
This was a wind that had crumbled old churches.
Half a globe away, it had eaten up thick, old walls of brick, adobe.
It had eaten alive these red coral churches built in the Philippines by the Spaniards.
The Friday morning before, on my side of the world, it had been sunny and warm.
It had been a little breezy.
A gentle breeze.
A tease of a breeze.
But on the other side of the globe, that flirtatious breeze had been a deadly storm.
It is strange that one day can be two different days.
One day was filled with light and leaves dancing in the sunbeams,
another was storm-tossed, was dark, was thunderclouds that would not stop raining.

I put on my shoes.
I ran.
I twisted my ankle in the snow.
I ran faster.
Breathe in the cold air.
Feel the icicles crystalize in your lungs.
Your lungs are now caverns of ice.
Breathe out.
A bit of warmth in the frost-bitten air.
Feel your nose.
Now you can't.
Stand, out of breath, in the best spot in all of Indiana.
See the water in the lake still, silent. Stopped.
It is peaceful.
There is no music in the air but the light trilling of a pack of sparrows.
I am in love with this ground, this frozen water over and over again.
Your cheeks are red your ears are ice.
The wind bites your face, and reminds you that you are alive.
So you smile.

And led men from light to light, to knowledge of Good and Evil. 
But their light was ever surrounded and shot with darkness 
As the air of temperate seas is pierced by the still dead breath of the Arctic Current.
--T.S. Eliot, Choruses from 'The Rock'

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