Saturday, December 07, 2013
Sinking, Rising, Kneading, Knowing
ust start, Maria heard. The temples that were the trees let in harmony as the sun caressed and stressed the importance of its rays with the heat of life. We awoke with the brightness nearly blinding and watched transfixed as the light changed moment by moment as the sun traveled across the sky and the blanket of horizon deepened and moved and opened itself to the dark of night and the slivering moon with its silvery light.
We learn to roll with the punches of life, and as we do we learn that the punches are the tides of change.
Maria knew that all change would come to her as courage if only she was patient enough. She had learned that to wait is an art for the mind. Waiting is not always a passive act. Active waiting of an alert mind is a mind learning to be alert, to be open to the opportunities that present themselves in the smallest of ways.
Mark is the man she waits for, though he does not know it yet. She feels that within him is the fulfillment of many dreams, though she is not able to enumerate them.
To write each day is akin to being alert to one’s thoughts, to being open to the script that our thoughts, words, and behaviors become. Each page is a day of our life, and the script we live as we write. The skin of our body is our power grid, our solar panel, our sensor, our love. For some, our tattoo parlor, our body armor.
As Maria sits at her computer to write, her fingers hovering above the keys, she knows that each channel in her mind is awaiting expression. Which is ready to know itself in this new moment, to add to all of the experience she has expressed in her being of life?
I remember the smell of yeast, of bread baking, the way the dough moved as I kneaded it, the way the salt smelled and the way the oven seemed ready to swallow each offering and give it back in golden loaves. This repetitious act, in and out of the oven, sliding in, pulling out, became a rhythm she loved. The steadiness of it had its own hypnotic motion, and the ease with which all moved together to complete the motion was a wonderful reminder to her of the connective tissue of all of life. Each part of that cycle has its place, its excited addition to the ritual of life that bread reminds us of.
She saw his growing beard, almost a symbol of quick growth even in drought. There is something to his scratching at the hair growing just under his chin – both an itch and a distraction that occupies thoughts that may seek to go elsewhere, into new virgin ground.
I am the person I am made to be, she thought to herself. Cake-maker, dog-walker, ephemera-lover. There is so much to hold in the skull that holds my brain of quivering mass, the dark hair like my mother’s that clothes the bones of my head.
Dance, dance, the lightfish say, as my dreams come back and forth, full of the memory of water and of sinking and rising, of bread rising and falling, of volcanoes building earth and organism and heat and cold into an inimitable creation of explosion, hot lava rocks spewing like a mixer throwing cocoa batter like paint onto the walls and beyond.
Mark is a sauntering personality, wary and unsure except full of ideas and all he has heard, read, and relates to. His sharp eyes show tears, happiness easily yet fleetingly. His thoughts search his brain database, aiming for relations, curious about people’s faces, full of his own talk.
Sebald said once that he did not consider himself a writer. More like the writing is a dedication, an obsession – building a model of the Eiffel Tower with matchsticks. Exploring the nuances of the fog of the past, which reveals pathways along the moors and the cobblestone streets as the writing happens.
Maria remembers Sebald’s words, the “highway hypnosis” of the kind he mentions and explores – our being hypnotized by what we call life, the pull of sadness that is our destructive nature as we wander in a deep forest of glimmering light.
Mark would talk about this for a while, no doubt – his remembering all kinds of details of his life, throwing out bits and pieces of his parents, his siblings, days at school, the chalkboard, the keyboard, the bright blue car he drove and the sun glinting from the sparkling hood which made him feel happy and powerful. They were pieces, though, not with a fully fulfilled sense of life that let him feel he was born to be powerful, not beaten down, not having to prove that he earned the sparkling blue happiness as he lived, as he loved.
This is Maria’s view of him, even as she laughs with him, loves his tugging at his beard, at his slight pot belly, at his eager curiosity which flags easily but remains.
Bring me one more order, she calls to her friend – I can make one more cake today! Her latest joy is this German Chocolate Surprise, which has all the expected ingredients and also organic oats, coconut, and some buttercream with raspberries to add new surprise. The textured flavors were delightful to a lover of such things.
We are all heart, she says to her satisfied customer who calls, gushing over the Valentine’s Day cake she ordered especially for her one great love. Even he loved it! Her customer exclaimed. He couldn’t stop staring at it. Said he never thought about cake-making as an art before, except wedding cakes. There’s a lot more to life than weddings, I said. Think of everyday as a merging, as lists of mergers happening and lining up to happen as moments tick by. Bidding happens. Celebrating, weeping, highs, lows, and the drips, drops, beams, rush and touch of life- just watch. Listen. Learn.
Sebald said he was hardly interested in the future. We can be captured by illusions of the past. The past can tell us everything we need to know, if we open our eyes and keep them open except when we are sleeping. Then our many eyes will keep recording and we will awaken to more upon morning.
Maria touches Mark when they pass in the hallway. He looks up, distracted. She smiles into his eyes, reaching for that past which makes him up, the illusions which shine, the glimmers of truth which are so playful and ready.
Have your cake and eat it, too. She smiles to herself, but all who know will see it shining from her diamond mind. Mark tugs at his beard, deep in thought.