Tuesday, June 19, 2012

one of Rilke's sleek angels


 for some reason the inside of my Camry reminds people of a confessional. i think if anyone wanted the "dirt" they'd have to bug my car. i know i've admitted some painful, scary stuff to myself out loud and alone as i cruised around in the car. props to the engineers and designers at Toyota, i guess for ensuring that passengers feel so secure. M confessed her "freakin' out" about meth stuff....which i understand since any meth stuff goes down anywhere in her vicinity she could end up doing 5 yrs. minimum in the federal pokey. #2 finally admitted how important and necessary i was to him. Ivy admitted to some neurotic indecisiveness, and Luke admitted that despite all his UU bravado, lots of the time he felt "completely lost and alone in the universe" which is a heavy admission for 23 yr. old know-it-all geography nerd.
i think for me the process of a driving emulates or mimicks the process of escape and that sometimes makes it ok to unburden the soul. it also is some kind of captivity, too. i mean, when i had to lay the heavy shit about "i love you but i don't need you and i want you to stay in Atlanta 'cause i'm going because i i love you so much but you're only believing i love you only as much only as far as you can hurt me so i'm going away and no matter how much i love you i don't need this and i can't stand to be near you anymore." kevin surely wasn't about to run away and implement his 10, 000 avoidance strategems when the doors were locked and i was clocking 85 on the 170, was he? lo, i am become the turd in the punchbowl of love.
i like to imagine myself sometimes when i'm driving late at night and illuminated only in the greeny-blue light of the dashboard LED's that i'm like one of Rilke's sleek angels cooly gliding thru the night in a golden car like something Klimt would paint. but i'm daft....meaning crazy in a non-threatening, funny, endearing way. i hope. Denn das Schone is nichts als des Schrecklichen.....Ein jeder Engel ist schrecklich. sorry, rainer...i just...can't.......stop!
i shouldn't read Die Erste Elegie........'cause i get hung up on the phrase about the "loyalty of habit" and i try to think it thru to something about the comforts of addictions which would be wonderful things IF only they didn't cost soooo much. my addictions? sad songs and cigarettes. is this a gesture to feed those "deadly birds of the soul?" (*i shouldn't allude to Die Zweite Elegie but it just slipped out*)
hope is an addiction, i think. tho' i tend to think in simplistic forms such as restriction-modification addiction modules in bacteria. fascinating to think a gene "says" i will hang out with "you" and if "you" don't maintain "me" "i" will kill "you" or at least chew "you" up so bad that "you" might or might not "die" what separates death from senescence anyway? is it only "self"-awareness. i heard a friend who cared for multiple Alzheimer's patients say that "oh, they've all gone....they've all "died" long ago......now they is just 'lovely cabbages'" it is terrible to think tho' that these cabbages light up from within when she brushes their hair into downy haloes and plants them on the lannai to get some sun.
but how is hope an addiction? because it hurts but nobody seems to be able to really stop. i mean "really." even the suicide holds to a hope that the hurting stops. Monette had it the most right imagining or envisioning hope as a dark, powerful, and gnarled thing digging deep into the soil/earth of us. just thinking out loud.

"Look at the flowers, so faithful to what is earthly,
to whom we lend fate from the very border of fate.
And if they are sad about how they must wither and die,
perhaps it is our vocation to be their regret.
All Things want to fly. Only we are weighed down by desire,
caught in ourselves and enthralled with our heaviness.
Oh what consuming, negative teachers we are
for them, while eternal childhood fills them with grace.
If someone were to fall into intimate slumber, and slept
deeply with Things--: how easily he would come
to a different day, out of the mutual depth.
Or pehaps he would stay there; and they would blossom and praise
their newest convert, who now is like on of them,
all those silent companions in the wind of the meadow."---from The Sonnets to Orpheus

the hardest nugget for me is the end of Rilke's Tenth Elegy:
"But if the endlessly dead awakend a symbol in us,
perhaps they would point to the catkins hanging from the bare
branches of the hazel-tree, or
would evoke the raindrops that fall onto the dark earth in springtime.----
And we, who have always thought
of happiness as rising, would feel
the emotion that almost overwhelms us
whenever a happy thing falls.

i should be smart enough to point out some deeper meaning to the fact the the German for "falls" sounds like the English word "felt". but i'm not that good and any attempt to make something of the mere coincidence feels like too much of what Bonhoeffer called "cheap grace."