June 29, 2011
I am awakened by the violent itch between my toes at three in the morning. I get up, go and put some cream in the cavity there between pinky toe and its sister. The cream is old; the doctor prescribed it for me a few years ago. I use it anyway, wondering if it will work, if it will kill the thing that is trying to eat me..
Yesterday I was in my yard trimming the rose bushes and I saw that one rose bush has a disease. The disease is such that the roses turn brown before they open. It's a sad thing to cut a rose bud, brown and wilted, before it has bloomed. But there they were in the bucket, those fat buds, brown with ruin, like rotten eggs.
I wonder about people who don't bloom, who walk around with their claws clasping briefcases, who move toward money and little else. What happens to them? Do they die like the rose bud, closed and brown? It's a personal thing, blooming. Who can tell, really, if another is blooming or not. But who can bloom in a world that is trying to eat you, when you are always trying to run from a hungry mouth? It's frustrating to have to always take a pill for this, lather on the cream for that. And then there are the monetary hungry mouths, the bill collectors, the credit card companies, the charities. Just a little piece. Can we have just a little piece?
This is a crappy way of looking at the world, from the perspective of a piece of meat.
Here is a stanza from Bert Stern's poem “Counting Crows”. I find it fitting:
As for me, I take pills to breathe,
pills to be happy, but, still,
spitting venom, snakes rise
from brown paper bags
in my dreams.
So I praise the four crows,
buzzards riding thermals,
squirrel lice, and the squirrel
on the maple limb,
scratching her gold grey haunches in pale sun
with a rear foot that drives like a piston.
I think the point of the last stanza is to accept the buzzards, to let be what is trying to eat you. Why get all upset? You will be eaten by death in the end. Better to go willingly and with a sense of compassion.