"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

14 December 2010

Orbital Angst

The last time I was so eager for a calendar year to be over was the Year of the Dog, 4704, on the Chinese timescale, which was 2006CE in Gregorian timekeeping. Sorry, the western calendar has never used another species to mark the passage of orbits. Perhaps Pope Gregory liked to kick puppies. Or he was just plain homo-centric.

That year was a time of transition, and those are never easy. There were some good things, but there were also some really horrible fucking things too. I remember as the world froze over with an especially stormy early winter, I was so anxious for the calendars to slough their chronological skins, like when timekeeping said it was 2007CE and/or the Year of the Pig, 4705, everything would suddenly be all better.

I know better. Even back then, deep down, I knew it was all just a dog and pony show. A symbol. A fetter. Delusion. But I was allowing myself to be hoodwinked. It's amazing the little lies we sometimes tell ourselves in order to maintain a relative level of sanity.

Sure, things eventually got better. Or at least more tolerable than the events that had convinced me to despise a stretch of monkey-made time. Perhaps it could be debated that there was a bit of self-fulfilling prophecy, or things just evened out. Choose your superstition and worldview to find the answer that suits you and get ready to debate it until the stars fall out of the sky.

The last time my daughter visited, I mentioned my angst toward the calendar year. She could remember the last time I was so anxious for the calendars to slough their chronological skins and how thoroughly deluded I was by human timekeeping. She even spoke to that point.

"Didn't you tell me time is an abstract?" She asked. "Doesn't that make the new year just a symbol?"

Yeh, out of the mouth of babes. Well, a sixteen year old. Be that as it may, all I could do was thank her.

Like that last time 'round the sun, this has been a time of transition. There has been some good things, but there has also been some really horrible fucking things. That's just the way of it. For me to place so much stock and faith in a calendar, be it Chinese or Gregorian, is pure delusion. Time, after all, is an abstract.

I know better. Like, deep down, I did back then. The difference being is this time I refuse to allow myself to get hoodwinked. After all, things have only the power one gives them, and find myself refusing to be thrall of monkey-made time keeping.

Here and now, the awful things seem to overshadow the better. Memories and recent events. I meditate upon the reptilian, allowing the cold blood to wash over me, to try and look at things in a more objective light. Aside from the lyrical wisdom of Roll the Bones, a set of Live song lyrics have played within the walls of my skull like a mantra;

"I'm burned to the core
but not broken..."

In the past I have said I am unbreakable. That I've yet to encounter the force in the universe that can do that to me. I once thought about having unbreakable tattooed upon my flesh, but find myself no longer in such a hurry for such things. A little bit of spite and punk-rock angst, perhaps, but it's kept me going in through the tougher times. Get kicked, get back up. Adapt or die, the imperative of biology.

Perhaps through the prism of orbital distance the angst of this time of transition will fade. Either that, or I will laugh uncomfortably and try to change the subject. One can never be too sure until they are there.

I do know that here and now, I attempt to take joy in those little things. Soft flurries and mild days when wandering about in the bush. The majesty of the tall peaks of the valley and the brilliance of the stars at night. Brewing tea and home-cooked meals. Music and books. My daughter, Sabina, and the three other species of quadruped we share the house with.

These are the things, which keep me from screaming as I listen to the rhythms and rhymes of the cosmos. Sometimes, those winds of chaos can be bumpy, blowing with the gale-force of a maelstrom. Sometimes, it can be just a gentle breeze that playfully ruffles one's hair. Flip a coin and roll the bones, and ride it out. It's the only thing that can be done.

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