Wednesday, May 30, 2007
The Air is Electric with Elephant
“The air is electric with elephant.” Joy Williams, Safariland
The accessibility of memory belongs to the care taking of the mother, the long line of songs that tell the story of each feeding, each day dying, each birth from its moment of creation through its tangle of thoughts into tissue and liquid, flesh.
What we forget is how this pattern is made, and how it continues eternally, through time. As my father walks slowly into rooms, lays himself down onto beds, beneath covers, sighing that sigh which is only his and smiling a little in full contentment, I feel every rhythmic move and bent of this elephant line, the dignity and precious nature of life, the nurturing of both flesh and memory. We are triumphant in our small ways, in this contentment of life, when we reach it. Knowing, now, is to remember the long line of generations, in their motion and change, the dignity of bearing and creating each life, linking to more. Even knowing that “matter” is more energy than visible density, even as we see it, we require more “proof,” wood we can knock on, to let our thoughts go, without interference of some kind.
I think of my beautiful mother, her strength and indomitable spirit, all the while as her cells are bombarded by chemicals sent in as special forces, to take out insurgents. I feel the fields of sounds wave as they ripple, and remember that without matter, there is no sound. Matter makes sound? Moments when a worry flutters through like the shadow of a bird across her face, the feelings spread themselves like water, deep, through her, and through all her time. What songs are these, how many verses, voices? Their beauty is eternal. The joy of each moment together, of thoughts touching, of urges and bangs, sparks and waves, brings the colorful changes to light.
Mine are joys specific and general. A friend said one thing she appreciates about how we communicate is that it seems we never have to land. I feel the truth of this and the crest of waves with the rise of air. I have written to find the flow of my life, the threads that make up the beauty of fabric sewn to use, appreciate. The details, like the fruits of the garden – knowing which leaf comes from which seed, the character and life of each breed and presence – determine the flow of life. Now I know this, new. Chemicals carry the messages, the love notes, we write to ourselves every moment, cell to cell, circling, tribe to tribe, cluster to cluster, family to family.
Outside the airplane window, I see a cloud standing free like a giant snowman, and a wisp like a fountain of water spouting. My passion is for mining these trails of life, an explorer at heart, but this time, of artifacts of a different kind. I feel no need to descend into caves and pits with tools and kits to precisely remove dust and centuries of accumulation. This I do internally, following the trails of others in their identifying tracks and making meaning from them in new ways. What a curiously deep satisfaction this is.
I can’t quite reach you,” people have said to me in years gone by. Some clutched more, dug deep, but with different tools. Follow me in, I say, and I’ll do the same with you.
Friends are a gift. "Confusion is resistance to seeing oneself in the energy of another. The vision is not loved if you are not loved by you. Understand you to understand me. Love yoruself to love me. We are one, you and me." Sharing, K.O., 213