Friday, December 08, 2006

A Long-Overdue Transfiguration

It's been a long time since I spent any real time looking up at the sun on an overcast day when its brilliance is cloaked in silvery clouds. There are, on the surface, of course, beasts drinking tea, perusing pamphlets on politics, leading much commoner lives that we on the less extraordinary orb. It is ironic, you know, that on a celestial body that only reflects light emitted by some foreign element--that this same light should be transformed into so many myriad forms. Those opposite dark spots, composed only of shade on a field of light, going about their business of monotony, and we, here, in the light of their shadows, run in a million directions, on a million errands, in a million guises, all just little captured beams of light waiting to refract and dissipate.

musing. forgive. I think I mentioned something about not being myself. Is that correct? Even if unsaid, its truth resounds as if said.

Negative thinking as defense against disappointment, A Critical Analysis in Limited Time:
One recriminates others in secret for their optimism. One suspects the bonificient of being baleful. One renders the joyous uncanny by remembering hallowed moments that preceded it, or by suspecting its permanence or motives; fusing dark memories with light so that they should always call forth somberness, tinting eternally all passions indiscriminately with the dark brush, so that whenever they are represented in the mind, they hearken back to despair. You perceive, not receive barbs and slings. Does not the fortified castle call out for siege, exist only in siege and never at peace? Does not "tinder" beg to be set afire, while "twigs" inhabit a different destiny?
It is, more likely, as a defense against joy that you prepare for pain. In expectation of sorrow and wrong, there is suffering as martyrdom, righteousness accrued from circumstance. In joy, one must forge one's own righteousness--a difficult task, as you know. It is one's sense of righteousness in joy that one must defend constantly; one's righteousness in pain is assumed. And so, happiness is the spoils of courage and requires it. Pessimism repeats itself, lives in itself, and foreswears all else.
And, tangentially, the most misanthropic soul is often the most susceptible to recriminations from without. It is, perhaps, what sowed the seeds of mistrust in him. I suppose I chalk it up to intrapsychic forces. I know not whether I make use of this, or act in reverence towards it, we are poor judges of our own character always. In any case, I seem unable to let the patient alone.

Your sister's unheimlich verse puts me in mind of a novel I read recently. In it were a terrific menagerie of impossible people. Intersections of types and nations, strange monstrous conglomerations of bodies stitched together as characters running in front of my reading eyes like acrobats, trapeze artists. The author was a woman, I can't remember her name. I think Ophelia is right. You are an impossible creature. And I myself as well. I only wonder in what rings we perform, and if you and I are in these distant rings, what centerpiece is being staged between us in the intervening circumference. I hear it thundering; I can hear the pipes of the accompanist; I hear the applause; but, trained as my eyes are always on my own act, careful not to miss a beat or a trick or an "ahh" from an observer's lung, I cannot steal a glance towards it, nor hope to discern your own routine on its far side. Are we always to be so consumed by our own performances that we miss the main attraction?
This is perhaps all I can say of it. I have never been one for poetry that does not concern chivalry. Sometimes I fear my humble intellect is too fallow or too frozen to understand messages not couched in narrative.
Still, it is not you only she seems to be apostrophizing, but some function of yourself in relation to her mother and herself. Perhaps a reference to some social contract between you three (we are truly in mind of contracts, no?). Have you broached the subject, I wonder? If it is professions of love that came to you secretly, perhaps this is the cause for your shame, love being loathe to bring itself into the sun for fear of being left shivering unembraced. Surely this is not your situation, but the behavior takes on the character of habit by a young age. One always blushes, after all, whether love be requited or no.

Your three cards describe my life, my story, my stories.
I wish I had paper enough to describe to you their pertinence, but I seem to have run out, damnably. It is so cursed hard to come by sometimes out here on these journeys. Perhaps your next missive could contain some of that in addition to the tome you mention sending? (I impose too much, I am sure, but the threat of a cessation of our correspondence will no doubt induce you to find a way) The book you have already sent is a delight. I read it daily in small amounts in order to preserve the pleasure I derive from it, in order to prolong it, and forestall its discharge. I do have to pass the time while I await and consider my intercourse with the local Don, whose sinister visage is ever present in this hamlet. It is as if all the children in the village share one half of his brazen dichotomy, each of them complete yet grotesque, he motley and terrible.

Sancho and I are staying put for the time being. An interminable rain has made traveling difficult, not only because it has eroded our initiative.

Stick to your painters, they do your image justice.
Don Quixote De La Mancha


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