Friday, August 29, 2014

skunk perfume

Sashaying through the crisp light of dawn today, a local skunk unwittingly tints the neighborhood silence with her scent.

It's not as if s/he cared or as if s/he didn't. Like the rest of us, s/he may carry the responsibility, but paying attention to every jot and tittle of import and impact is wasteful in the end: A skunk smells -- get used to it; what is vast importance to one is not all that important to another.

The desperate search for something of cemented importance may be desperate indeed. Check the human landscape. Check the bathroom mirror. Things refuse to stand still, the little fuckers!

Imagine the horror of World War II's D-Day landing in Europe. Imagine the horror of the Holocaust. Imagine the pain of a splinter or the sweetness of a kiss. The impact, the importance, the value of -- of anything at all ... it's no damned joke and yet it may as easily be a joke: Who, for example, can slip on the shoes of the poor soul shot dead on a Normadie beach -- cast casually aside after mother, father, sisters and brothers so lovingly raised him up and loved him and helped to instill the love-ability that raised the horror to its screaming status.... or know the sigh within that tiptoes behind a sainted kiss?

It sounds so wise and yet smacks of silliness: "He knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing." Don't be ridiculous! Skunks smell. The most far-reaching god or saint or notion of importance ... it doesn't work everywhere and always, no matter how desperate the search for cemented importance. And yet the longing is there and the insistence can be worthy of bloodshed.

Today, for example, I considered the possibility of selling the Buddha statue that stands in the small zendo behind the house here. The statue is about two feet tall, is made of African Wonder Stone, and
was an unimaginable gift from a woman with whose son I am friends. I imagine it weighs 50 pounds. It has been with me for years and weaves in and out of my gratitude glands ... Jesus! what a present! Jesus! What an impact! Jesus! The importance! I cannot begin to compass its cemented meaning ... and yet ...

The roof on the zendo needs fixing. I am getting old and will die and would like to think my family might get some use out of what does not interest them in the way it interests me. The statue's cemented importance -- like the cemented importance of all household gods -- is strictly skunk aroma on a crispy dawn.

This is not a bid for sympathy. Whether I find something vastly valuable or dismissively ordinary is simply something I, or anyone else, has to cope with. Still, the idea of selling the statue came as a bit of a surprise. The present was such a blessing in its time... full of implication and love and friendship.

Now, a little at a time, it is rock.

A bit like skunk perfume.

A D-Day landing.

I haven't quite learned to laugh at myself yet.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sometimes surprised to find i'm human, and as likely to suspect i may be less.