Wednesday, May 13, 2015

what is not

Like children who went to bed the night before, brimming with anticipation at what tomorrow might bring and then waking extra early and somehow outflanking the snailpace arrival of Christmas, the birds start in at about 4:30 a.m.

It's just one at first and you can imagine some parent somewhere, rolling over resignedly but thinking, "Go back to sleep!" But there is no going back. One leads to two and suddenly all the kids are awake and chattering and knowing that there are presents under the Christmas tree. "Wake up! Wake up! It's Christmas! Hurry! Hurry! Let's go!"

Somehow, somewhere, someone has put a thumb over the neck of a selzer bottle and shaken it vigorously and then slowly moved the thumb and allowed the rollicking announcement, "FFFFSSSSSSSSTTTTTTTT!"

In the East, the sun is not yet up, but the kids are up, asserting their control and delight in a world the sun has not yet graced: "Get up, lazy bones!"

And the sun complies ... patient as a still-drugged parent.


Is it less or more freighted, more or less easy, to take a break in the world that is not -- to take a break from the world that is and discard the knowledge and understanding that infests what is and, well, just float and relax?

As far as I can figure out, there is no community in the United States called "Urgency." Nor yet a place called "Applause." And yet why is there not?

Urgency, North Dakota, or Applause, Louisiana ... it sounds good to me and I can imagine both having a ZIP code. Each carries with it the namelessness of things that then are named for whatever reason, usually something pretty mundane. A baby exits the womb and is named. It's not that the baby actually has a name any more than Urgency or Applause had names before they were named.

Everyone has a name or a marker or moniker and yet isn't it worth the price of admission to stop from time to time and realize that before the Manifest Destiny of exploration named Urgency or Applause, there were pine cones on the forest floor and the baby had no name, not even "no name."

What is it that is forgotten when what-is-not is remembered?

Perhaps it is like a visitor to an art museum who ambles among the chosen works, mingling with the men whose fingernails are manicured and the women in ridiculously-expensive and impossible shoes and then finds a nondescript door that leads down to a basement where equally worthy art is, for the moment, stored and forgotten. No one goes to Urgency or Applause and yet here they are, as yet unencumbered by what is known, by what is.

Perhaps it is just an old-fart tendency to tire of what is and amble into the cheek-by-jowl arena where nothing is freighted with meaning and explanation. Besides the terror or wonder, it's lighter here and somehow fun. But it may take an old fart to seek it out and giggle and marvel and then, sure as falling raindrops, come up with a moniker.

Wake up! Wake up! It's Christmas, for heaven's sake!

Go back to bed, kid!

But there is no going back.

Lighter than air...


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