Saturday, July 30, 2005

Incense, Snakes, and you

It was a rough time for me ya know bouncing from job to job, looking for something magical to happen. Some spark of love or success. Some reward for all I had done. I really was in no position to negotiate either way.

I had so much on my mind and nothing to say. Really say that would set me free from my current circumstance and introduce me to a more uplifting or appropriate one. Then again at second glance my silence was a kind of inner strangling that gave my mind time to focus on a deeper perception of well the situation as it was undisturbed by my personal preferences.

Shy in the way that I am shy.

I just knew for certain my limitations like the time I tried to play the clarinet. Piano, percussion, and strings .. no problem. But my true love the clarinet, my adoration or epitomy of ideal that left me alone.

Each time I blew the sound if any was more like torturing of felines than anything that could be considered melodic.

I put down the clarinet after several months of effort with the same result. My band teacher never said a word. He must have sensed there was no point. He let me go with a passing grade and no hope of over coming my disabiity.

I knew about limitations and vulnerability then at the ripe old age of 14. 14 for me then was more like 24 by comparision now. Because I was raised in the harshness of reality rather than the slumber of dreams. Real things changed you, moved you, and occaisionally abondoned you for more worthy patrons.

After that I learned to burn incense. Sitting alone in the silence of what should have been a room filled with sweet clarinet produced sounds of blues was more than I could bear.
So I would burn incense. As time went by I began to prefer the more acient scents of India to that of the fruity or flower scents of Africa and the islands.

Just an expression of scentiment that had no sound or utterance.

Something for my solitude.

I prefered the old sacrosanct scents that were serious and heavy like the bottom of the ocean or the floor of feeling.

Catching the tip on fire and letting burn just that way for a second or two before blowing it out with all the sincerity of birthday candle wishes. A prayer for poverties release.
The bright orange tip slowly consuming the long dark brown stem like chocolate sticks from the Peppermill.

Wathcing as the smoke trailed off in some unpredictable direction; toward the window, the door, the fan.. sometimes appearing a pale blue in the sunlight.

It was a way to dream.

Death and True Love

The deception of perception that I sit with, sometimes things appear one way only to reveal themselves another. It takes time to see it that way. To sort out why it happens at all, but it does happen.

Just as often as misunderstanding.

I started keeping snakes initially in another life. Because of a promise I had made to my sister. Though it was a kind of danger it was only love in my mind. Back then you did what you felt you should as a prayer for the light of the future. So I did.

But recently it was something else. Another illusion of mine lingering somewhere between a memory of then and a wisdom of now. I tell myself.

Sophia and Joseph were just these two brown snakes at the pet store. They were like other snakes they weren't large or aggressive, they weren't mysterious or tempermental. They required no special feeding arragements and I thought everything would be fine. Because in the moment it was all spelled out.

Until I rememebered my painting. My painting was more than 2 years old. But I had painted it from someother part of my mind. The part that sees the future but does not know that it is the future that it sees. The part that only realizes that what it sees is poignant and should be expressed or described. That part of me that lets me paint when I don't know what to say. Sometimes I get stuck in these parts of my mind for weeks sometimes years.

I am there. Witnessing everything quitely.

In the painting there was a mask the divine mask representing the point of view of the enlightened. Fire omits from the top of the mask extending by implication to infinity but below and along side it are blue ocean waves. Sitting below the mask in the belly of the waves are two snakes. One male one female. Face to face they pose appearing to be looking into eachother but really the reflection of themselves sits between the gaze tongues flickering in curiosity. Only tales intertwining in a familiar coil. From this pose an energy or spirit glows in different shapes around them cupping them, celebrating them, inverting the pyramid between them. The girl is heavy with eggs or food that has been eaten the male is thick with muscle and strength.

I did not know myself what the meaning would symbolize for me, though I painted it from a pure place I never get tired of reflecting on how it was all said and left unsaid.

Like a religion, somehow.

Sophia died with a few months. She never showed a natural interest in food and snake things. But lived with me like she was seeing another kind of life. She would move in such a way that seemed unsatisfied with the limitations of being a snake. She seemed at odds with her life from the beginning.

Joseph was different he was happy being a snake until he realized how miserable being a snake was to Sophia. Curiously he would try to coil with her, play with her, show off for her, and impress her. He did but still the fact that she would not be distracted from whatever really haunted her eventually was an obsession for him. More and more her point of view consumed his own. Even when she died some part of her lingered with him. Until he began to emulate her styles to his own demise.

I had never seen such a thing. But it was as if in his soul in what could be conscious and thriving in the reality of snakes he was compelled to follow her lead. I got the impression that though he could have been content with any life he could not be content to life without her.

He had to be with her. It was why I brought him home. I sensed that they belonged together and that somehow with him she was content but less. Then I brought him in and that was when another story began. The one she meant to share with me. He was so different, believing that I could never understand their story until he realized that Sophia was wiser than he.

Her death was the thing that took him. He died to follow her. Whereever they end up next that is where their story will begin again.

From time to time I can feel them here. Though there souls are now free from physical things.

Nature could be some kind of magic that the rest of life only gave way to question.

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