I get up and go down, get up, go down, get up, go down. Everyday I get up out of bed and go down to the kitchen. Life is in the stairs. I get up and go down, get up and go down and in the blur between bed and breakfast I see my entire life is here in the winding stairs. Here is all there is for me because I can never be where I’m going nor wherever I was.
The brain, home of man’s magical mind, is always in a whiz, always on the go. It dashes off here or there without warning, maybe to China or back to the swimming pool scene of its favorite movie. It travels fast, light (despite its personal baggage). Time cannot hold it down. The mind jumps backwards and forwards with the same breezy ease. Always darting from one spot to another. It doesn’t know how to be still. An old song floats out of the radio and, oops, off it goes again. I’m at my first dance in the junior high school gym. Here it lingers, but only for an instant. Flighty, floaty, flaky, fluky. The mind darts about everywhere because, formless, it can never actually be anywhere.
Professor Snowball is the snowball tree in my backyard. He changes with the seasons, like we all do. In November he is a dying fire with his last red embers drifting down into dark days. In January he stands stark naked. In spring he begins to bloom. By May he is covered with heavy snowballs which pull his branches down low. Then a brownish tint starts to gnaw at his glory like slush on the side of the road. This morning (like every morning) he is in full mutation. More brown than white. Soon he’ll be covered in luscious green leaves, then fiery red flakes, ending with his skinny stick branches covered in winter’s white frozen ash. I observe Professor Snowball as he evolves, dissolves and revives. He continually changes his outer cloak, but never what he is inside.
This day begins gray like yesterday. So I just assume it will be like all the others. Then I go into the garage to get a carton of milk and accidentally knock over a plastic bottle of detergent. It breaks instantly into a creamy white lake on the cold concrete floor. Now I smell like a load of clean laundry. (But it is still a smell.)
There is this inner knowing that we are not what is depicted by our outer shells or stitched on labels. We pick and peck at our uncomfortable skin covered coating. We rub the unsightly spots, scratch where it itches, bite off the dry flaky bits. It feels awkward to wear flesh that just doesn’t fit.
Don’t think we are in the same world just because we all see that chair over there. It isn’t the same chair. My chair is real for me. Yours is for you. Inner conviction makes the outer world come true. And this truth dissolves upon the death of the body that believed it into being. Reality is not independent (there, whether you are or not). Your presence is its umbilical cord.
The paradox is in the cracks, the leaks, the pores and holes. We are filled with empty spaces. We are stuffed with vacuum and void. The paradox is that we work relentlessly to fill in our blanks.
Closet of clutter, stack of shoes, pile of pretty postcards. We rush through the aisles of life loading our carts with stuff to fill us full. One more framed achievement nailed up on the wall. One more important appointment squished into the already tight schedule. One more flat face liked on the screen. We always need just one more, just one more. Just to get rid of that gnawing feeling of lack.