Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
This for sure death that stalks,
right beside holding
my flesh and blood,
maybe a dream or not, hand.
As I live, watching that
wonderful not having, in my
living room, till the
tedium of two minutes sets in
and I with but a gentle,
deliberate or not, lifting finger,
alters the world forever or not
till I flip knowingly back,
with not even getting up.
And every day have this great
wonderful vibrant watch of a life
not lived in colour and so lifelike
or not and between flips, it too passes
with a gentle, deliberate lift of a finger,
altering the maybe world, or not, but
as always Death, in his boredom,
still holding my flesh and blood
maybe a dream, or not, hand,
checks his watch.
There is nothing quite so still …. as death.
His face is serene, composed, the embalmer's art barely noticeable, the skill impressive as his complexion, devoid of the warmth of blood coursing beneath the membrane of skin, looks (almost) natural.
There is nothing quite so agonizing .... as death.
Composed they enter, a church-like hush blanketing the blandness of the room with its neutral tones and colours bleeding soft and flesh coloured on walls festooned with faux knots and an approximation of taste. Quiet murmurings as people converse in hushed voices and stifle the inappropriate nervous laughs. Walking quietly to the front where (brother), (cousin), (nephew), (father), (husband) lies, the casket raised to reveal his clasped hands and still features, reality captures them with a vicious, searing pain as the bleak truth of his forever absence slices into the composed faces and voices bleed out their agony into the quiet of the room, wailing to a universe which watches, unmoved the cycle of life continuing ....
There is nothing quite so perplexing … as death.
His sister screams her agony loudly to sympathetic arms which clasp and ears which listen and voices which murmur their caring. Cita, however, wife, friend, caregiver in the waning twilight of a life ravaged by lung cancer, sits quietly, alone – composed and filled with a palpable grief that isolates her as effectively as steel walls. She watches with neutral eyes the posturing of a sibling who cries out at the unfairness of death stealing from her a younger brother.
There is nothing quite so isolating …as death.
For each of us must, when all is said and done, deal with our own grief, our own pain; the searing agony of loss, the incredulous inability to accept that the voice will never be heard, the tread on the stairs forever silent, that the dawning of morning brings with it the profound realization of absolute change.
People also deal with grief in the manner in which they feel most capable – from the wailing, public display of pain to the stoic, composed retention of agony as too intrinsically private to share. Grief, after all, and how it is processed, embraced, rejected and internalized is so intensely personal.
Watching, from the safety of my poignant regret for a good neighbour gone, I watch and wonder at the isolation of those closest to him. In their anguish, like restless, darting crows they fracture and wheel around the creeping miasma of the gravitational pull of individual grief,
and the morning creeps in with a grey and looming need, clouds weeping a fine mist, coating my upturned face with a slick tongue, soft and breathing time into the humid air of a funeral day.
I sit in my sterile cubicle and find an ironic poignancy in a clichéd day of death and wait for the ticking second hand to start forward to departure and the final goodbye. For time, science aside, is not finite nor quantifiable but elastic and arbitrary … stretching seconds into incalculable agonies of elongated now and encapsulating hours into a fleeting moment of “what if”.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I find it perplexing (even confusing) why people blog or more to the point (because I am a genius at misdirection) why do I blog?
I blog surf, I do… I find someone I like to read, then almost compulsively go to their spots over and over (hell, that’s it, I’m a stalker!); over time, I begin to check out the blogs which THEY read. In some cases, you get a feel for the person blogging, the original blogger as it were – based on who they choose to read - but even that assumption can be incorrect. For people have personalities as varied as the individual behind the pixels …even the apparently transparent numbers whores – for ultimately WHERE does that need arise to feel vindication and to get some form of odd confirmation that you exist and that you count and that you have status.
For myself, blogging is oftentimes an exercise in masochism. The reality is that I truly am rather pathetic in many respects – I allow myself to be get caught up in the glaring headlight of obscurity and find myself bruised and battered by the shattering silence.
I think to some extent it is human nature to want back a measure of respect and generally, to feel that your presence (cyber or otherwise) has had a measure of impact on the rippling pool of reality – web-based or otherwise. There is a need in most humans to find some form of substantiation that they exist, that their presence is in some manner or form recognized, acknowledged.
Sometimes I think blogging is at its most simplistic, a straightforward form of narcissism. Look at me! Listen to me! Talk to me!
Which makes me uncomfortable in a lot of ways as when I explore the whys and wherefores of my need to write coupled with a commensurate need for people to read said writing.
From a rational perspective, I understand that the written word is almost intrinsically MEANT to be read; from that perspective therefore, it is hardly unreasonable to wish it to attain its ultimate purpose. Emotionally, I find myself mortified by my reaction to the approval and approbation of the few readers who take the time to comment ... a sometimes disproportionate reaction which disconcerts me.
Because ultimately, I think that too much energy, effort and emotional need invested in the internet is indicative of some unresolved issues in real life.
Certainly, writing has always been a passion of mine, oft neglected, relegated to scribbles in a hardcover notebook, stories begun and abandoned mouldering in the archives of a forgotten persona, insights and cries of agony staccato marks on a virtual page, lost, unseen and unmourned by anyone but me. But ... but while I would (and did, long before the advent of the internet) write regardless, I find myself caught up in the pleasure I get from how those words are received.
I recognize that the paucity of my real-time life in terms of opportunities to exercise my artistic expression is largely responsible, I have to struggle not to get too caught up, however, and invested (yes, perfect word, INVESTED) in my emotional need for approval because, in essence, to internalize as truth virtual words can cause confusion and upset real life emotional equilibrium.
Part of the issue, of course, is my damn pride – which cuts me when I find my feelings bruised when a piece of writing passes unremarked, unsought or read.
The truth is that once upon a time I had a form of recognizable status – I had a title and an assistant and an internally driven belief in my own abilities and worth. I had pieces of paper which confirmed to the world that I possessed at least a modicum of intelligence, and commensurate marks that reflected a professional belief that my scribbling had merit.
And that was a very long time ago.
My life for more years than I can recall has been a morass of want and need and tedium, of catering to mundane (if reasonable) desires and performing yawningly boring tasks in a work environment which provides a decent job and absolutely no intellectual stimulation. A direction, incidentally, embraced by me and a path taken freely and without coercion.
But as my youth slips away on the trickling granules of time which erode arroyos of regret along the sagging canvas of my body, I find myself rebelling lately... is that there all there is?
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Oh, we’re really on our way to Ballytore
and on the way we’ll pass through Narramore,
Ballytore, Narramore, Timilin and Crookstown Inn,
we’re really on our way to Ballytore
The tune dances in my head and images spill sparkling streams of memory, splashing jewel tones of reminiscence into a sweeping river of remembrance. I see him now, my uncle Jerry. His bristling hair, thick and deep brown, cut razor sharp straight across the top, his voice raspy and tuneful, making up silly ditties to amuse his nieces. Beside him, my mother’s eldest sister, my beloved Auntie Eileen, laughs, a cigarette grasped between long delicate fingers, blond curls blowing in the breeze from the open window as we wheel down the Dual Carriageway to Kildare.
Ireland spills into my mind, a kaleidoscope of colour and smell, weaving a tapestry of memory and reminisce that leaves me aching. I think of Rowan, now walking the crowded, narrow streets of Dublin and feel an aching, hurting regret at not being there to show my child the city of my youth. I feel the tug from the island of my birth, a hot, aching need to breathe the rich, moisture laden air, to have the green of my eyes fill with the lush verdant richness of its countryside. I want to sip scalding Bewley’s coffee with its steamed milk and trade flirting words with the bold Irish lads.
I feel tears swell as I realize I will never again sit on the overstuffed feather bed at 130 Lr. Kilmucud Road, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin nor toast rough slabs of bread beneath the broiler of my aunt’s gas oven, smothering the charred toast with slashings of butter and homemade lemon curd. My sister Kealin and I would cuddle in that feather bed on cool Irish mornings, then tumble onto the carpeted floor and run laughing into my aunt and uncle’s bedroom where we would give my Uncle Jerry his leg – a task we relished and fought over. My Uncle Jerry had lost his leg when young in a car accident and from the hip had an artificial one which caused him to have a rolling, swinging gait like what we imagined a sailor would have when long at sea.
I have not been Home in so very long.
I was 24 the last time I walked the streets of Dublin. So young, with the future unlived before me, when last I watched the Atlantic crash against the piers in Dun Laoghaire and felt the sting of the ocean breeze whipping colour into my pale cheeks. I remember the sting of salt and spray as I plunged into the grey, frigid Atlantic waters and the rough cotton embrace of thin cotton towels as I rubbed heat back into limbs grown numb from the frigid ocean water.
I wonder what Rowan is doing right now …whether she is walking to Kilmainham Jail where her great grandmother was imprisoned and her grandfather born.. or perhaps strolling through the Garden of Remembrance where Seamus Murphy (her great-grandfather) has a plaque honouring his part in the 1916 Easter Rebellion. Is she at Trinity, marvelling at the Book of Kells or perhaps walking through UCD, her grandfather’s alma mater?
I would have liked to have experienced that with her, my second child, child of the faerie that she is. While my heart is glad she is there, that she is grasping with all the fervour and delight that her beautiful soul engenders the experience of travelling, I mourn the loss of showing her my Dublin, my Ireland … from the painful harsh beauty of the west coast and Galway’s pristine salt-bleached streets to the shimmering glow of the lochs which nestle between the soaring purple hills of Kerry to the ancient cobblestoned meandering paths of Cork.
I love this country, Canada, and would choose no other but a small but vital piece of my soul yearns still for the land of my birth and my youth, a rich, mythic land of faerie and legend, of harsh realities of poverty and the quixotic, complicated Irish people themselves, with their passion and their anger and their enveloping, sincere warmth and humanity.
One by one the ties to my homeland have been severed … death and the implacable march of time and history are erasing the increasingly tenuous links that bind me to that small island and I feel the loss with a yearning regret that leaves me mourning the realities of a life which keeps me bound and tied to tedium and day to day demands.
I sit here at my pristine desk and complete plebeian tasks and with all the passion of my Irish soul, yearn for more.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration. The possibility of a McCain/Palin election victory is prompting the exodus among left-leaning citizens who fear they'll soon be required to hunt, pray, and agree with Bill O'Reilly.
Canadian border farmers say it's not uncommon to see dozens of Sociology professors, animal rights activists, and Unitarians crossing their fields at night.
'I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood producer huddled in the barn,' said Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota . The producer was cold, exhausted and hungry. He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range chicken. When I said I didn't have any, he left. Didn't even get a chance to show him my screenplay, eh?
In an effort to stop the illegal aliens, Greenfield erected higher fences, but the liberals scaled them. So he tried installing speakers that blare Rush Limbaugh across the fields. 'Not real effective,' he said. 'The liberals still got through, and Rush annoyed the cows so much they wouldn't give milk.'
Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet liberals near the Canadian border, pack them into Volvo station wagons, drive them across the border and leave them to fend for themselves. 'A lot of these people are not prepared for rugged conditions,' an Ontario border patrolman said. 'I found one carload without a drop of drinking water. 'They did have a nice little Napa Valley cabernet, though.'
When liberals are caught, they're sent back across the border, often wailing loudly that they fear retribution from conservatives. Rumors have been circulating about the McCain administration establishing re-education camps in which liberals will be forced to shoot wolves from airplanes, deny evolution, and act out drills preparing them for the Rapture.
In recent days, liberals have turned to sometimes-ingenious ways of crossing the border. Some have taken to posing as senior citizens on bus trips to buy cheap Canadian prescription drugs. After catching a half-dozen young vegans disguised in powdered wigs, Canadian immigration authorities began stopping buses and quizzing the supposed senior-citizen passengers on Perry Como and Rosemary Clooney hits to prove they were alive in the '50s.
'If they can't identify the accordion player on The Lawrence Welk Show, we get suspicious about their age,' an official said.
Canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants are creating an organic-broccoli shortage and renting all the good Susan Sarandon movies.
'I feel sorry for American liberals, but the Canadian economy just can't support them,' an Ottawa resident said. 'How many art-history and English majors does one country need?
THINKING OF MY AMERICAN FRIENDS THIS MOMENTOUS DAY - VOTE RIGHT
Monday, November 3, 2008
Scent.. pungent, aromatic, musky, slippery slidey, slipping into mind and soul, his scent, the hot sweaty masculine pheromones ..wafting, silken, sliding into her mouth and her ears and her eyes, coating the long length of her, the soft hills and valleys of her and her undulating hips increasing their dance of need, strong arms and flexing shoulders glistening and shining in muted light as scent spills one onto the other, slipping to lick between thighs until the smell of him softens and prepares and silkens her skin and her pores open and the scent of her in the tangled sheets, tousled curls, damp droplets of her kissing the silky soft skin of him, mingle and entwine until the room pulsates scent and want.
Sound ... his sighs, her moans trembling beneath pale swollen breasts and the crimson tips of nipples yearn toward him and the throaty sound in his chest resonates deep within and tugs her further into the frantic, tangled limbs and his mouth against her neck, biting until he feels the thrumming rush of life between his teeth and his growls against the sweep of blood erupting deep within those secret places and between the taut thighs she trembles and floods until the sound of their coupling like a great heart beats the rhythm of want and lust.
Sight... eyes glazed, fevered, meeting .. boring deep into her soul, sparking want and need, clinging, talking to her body, urging her, encouraging her, demanding, insisting until trembling, shaking, she sighs her capitulation and his eyes capture her and she dives into the moss-green need of his gaze and he, enraptured at the spring green of eyes gone soft, acquiescing to his want and desire and they sink, one into the other and their bodies jerk and dance the dance of need and find in each other a fleeting taste of nirvana ...
and in the morning, she rises and between her thighs she feels him trickle, sticky and pungent, delicious scent of their coupling wafting in the close muted blue of the room, trailing fingers along her spine, and she puts her fingers between her legs and brings them coated with the essence of their want and need and the detritus of their complicated psyches and closing her eyes, she breathes deep and pulls into her soul the essence of their humanity and in the dusk of a new mourning she feels things tighten deep within her ....