devon phoned to say that lucas’ father died. she was in a relationship with lucas for 3 years before devon and i met. so they were lovers for as long as devon and i have been lovers so far.
devon said that lucas had a troubled relationship with his father, not unlike rhys’ relationship with gordon.
my own father is so far still living. for which i am grateful. as i am grateful that i am still living as a father to my 3 children.
this has been a winter marked with death. especially in devons world.
and by extension mine.
and i am sad. and devon is sad. grown ups can be sad sometimes. even though we may not be ultimately warranted.
i am interrupted by a noise from the sideway, a pair of pigeons are engaged in whatever passes for courtship among their kind. my presence startles the and they fly away. early spring late winter.
we speak of astrology in impenetrable and esoteric language, can we not muse on the seasons, on the time of year, in as sophisticated way? a more sophisticated way in fact, a way of subtlety and nuance, of postmen delivering the mail under a blue monday sky and warm sunlight. an eccentric in a van and trailer laden with junk or treasure drives by. why does the thought that this is my home town fill me with such dread? that this town like all the others has its tragedies, its calamities, that this home like all homes has its sorrows and its tribulations. and yet here i am putting the lie to the page. fiction. it must surely be fiction. for what can one say? and then what can one decide to write down of what one could say? fiction. it can surely be nothing more, this pale imitation of life? words on a page?
so one looks up from the page and takes the air. today is warm by comparison to a month ago, and the sun is shining through a blue sky with white, elegantly moving clouds and a breeze that is torn between cool and just maybe not cool but warm, and the trees are green and in blossom and pigeons attempt to make love and there are people walking by and driving by and at their jobs and at home and some of them may even be attempting to make love or attempting to make art as the world ends and our friends and loved ones and yes lovers even we, die away, to be reborn only god knows how, or the buddha, or someone somewhere once in a long ago story. and we keep trying to be better buddhists and make the world a better place, because it makes sense to try and heal the world and ourselves now, in this moment, because here is where we find ourselves, and the wounds are here and the arrows keep falling.
arrows of ignorance, hatred and greed, answered by our earnest and genuine attempts towards knowledge, love and generosity.
apparently there is a special ninja level move that the buddha pulled wherein he simply disappeared from the fray and if you believe the story, he left behind detailed instructions about how to do it, something about the breathing, at least initially.. and calming and concentrating the minds…
and the roots
but his instructions seem cryptic and self referential, so the practice of meditation is best practiced rather than overly explained. focus the mind on the respiration. be clam. remain calm, concentrated, mindful, aware, distraction is a phenomena to be observed, not to be carried away with, quite unlike writing, that aspect 🙂
it’s lunchtime. eat a banana.
i had a home down in texas.
that i tried to run with military precision.
but mars is not saturn.
and jupiter is not mars.
so i wandered off in search of a metaphor that suited.
i have a lover.
so i may know loss, it’s true.
but tradition says that love is great.
that love conquers all.
that love is one and love is everything.
it says free love.
so of course i have a lover.
and of course i might lose a lover or be my lovers loss.
and of course i am sad.
but who among us is not sometimes sad.
and still we must choose love.
still we must try to be lovers.
so much of the shining is about aesthetics.
and as i sit down to write at my desk.
in my home.
my writing desk.
no real warmth penetrates.
i was sitting on the porch.
where it almost felt warm.
alex bhathal gazes at me from below the sill.
a guide to wizards of the world sits on my chest.
my banana peel calls to me from beside my keyboard.
also maybe you need to take a piss/have a uti.
hoping that the acts of beneficence somehow outlay the acts of negligence. of course put like that is sounds irreligious from the get go if your a christian i guess, because who are you to judge right from wrong? only god can do that right? but then you think to yourself, who tells me what god thinks is right and wrong? and then you’ve got the bible. right there are veritable treasure house of story and nuance.
or you say your a muslim, and you have the koran, or a buddhist and you have the suttas, or a marxist and you have das kapital or whatever.
and then you figure you will have to try to work out how to be better, kinder, more beneficial, and less problematic, less negligent, less etc.
even with the instruction manuals. especially if you live in a world with a bunch of quite long instruction manuals from a bunch of different times and places.
my grandmother spoke at least 3 languages i think. she was native lithuanian, had french and published a book in english about her war experience.
now. i am not comparing my grandmothers book to the bible or anything of the sort. but i read her book. and it told me a lot about one persons life in the face of sorrow and conflict.
so we struggle on. i hope devon is alright. i hope devon survives. i hope we all survive, as long as we can, as well as we can. in the light of love, knowledge and generosity.
you see the buddhism keeps creeping back, and it is always welcome, because it rewards thought and reflection and when it arises unbidden to the mind in memory or inspiration it is a blessing that leads us from confusion to clarity, from a sea of trouble to an ocean of calm, from transient pains to atemporal truths.
and the platonism too, and all the rest.
it approaches half past one. my eldest son elliot will finish his school day at 2:45. i will pick him up. go to the aldi for some groceries. and then pick up arlo. perhaps i will pick up sasha too. perhaps not. i might ask the boys advise.
i smoke sometimes because it feels like huge tectonic forces that pull people and families and communities apart are delectably balanced in the fulcrum of my own poor personality.
i smoke sometimes out of a kind of malignant self pity i know i should uproot.
i smoke sometimes because i have a history of sometimes smoking.
i smoke because i am sad. mostly. i think. and you can’t be sad too much around others because its harmful or hurtful or something. so you should be happy. cheer up. don’t smoke! what what? no, it’s fine, i’m sure it goes through somehow, quit smoking, bask in the sunshine, get happier, more healthy, more active. ride your bicycle. take the iar.
it’s worth trying not to smoke.
about an hour left of the writing day.
another balancing act performed. what did you do today joe? well i wielded my effective political power as wage labour to create a window of time when i could be alone in a large, comfortable california bungalow home with a porch and good wifi and some tobacco nd some weed and a kitchen and all to myself i spent 4 hours, more or less, just writing down words as artfully as i could, and i think it was worth it, abundantly, weather or not anyone ever reads this print, sees these sentences, or not, I’ve said them, constructed them, done something, i don’t want to say i like i think that these words immortalise me somehow i don’t think words do that even if they are read by a wide audience for a long time i just mean that i this discipline of this text the transformation of mind occurred and this is the remains of that not its essence or its antithesis. or something.
i would love to find someone interested in my writing though. my lover is not interested, as far as i can tell, she never asks for a reading or a print out or anything, or expresses even the hint of a sustained interest in the actual contents of my work. My father says he would be happy to read it, as does my sister, and while i admire them both very much as artists i struggle to see how their nearness to the material wouldn’t corrupt their artistic impressions of it. no. what i need is an editor. perhaps someone i know. perhaps someone i know knows someone. or something.
i’m not really hooked up with the literary world here in melbourne, or anywhere else for that matter.
never really had any call to be.
now that i want a reader, well, thats different isn’t it?
well. back from a little faffing around. shoes and socks. little tidy up here and there. washing. now it is almost 2. at 2:30 i have an alarm set. thats one of the difficulties. changing roles. going from writer to father then when devon returns to lover and then to worker again tomorrow and then home after work to be son to my mother while she is grandmother to my sons. the shifting of gears.
all the while not wanting to be part of the machinery. except for the good. and then trying to tell what is good from what is bad. and losing loved ones as we go is bad. what else could it be?
but it is only bad in as much as we love. and love cannot be bad in the end. for if we lose faith in love what then? lose faith in truth? in trust? we must not lose faith in each other, even though we must all pass away.
so today the first monday of my four day week the day lucas’ father died. the day so many people must have died in a world of 6 billion people. but we can’t let that stop us can we? if we let that stop us then we join the ranks of the already dead. or perhaps i am coming on too strong.
after all, today the grass is green and the doves are cooing. or if they are not, birds seem to be up to something.
i have not written much today about my worries for my relationship with devon. sometimes things set their own priorities. and devon if she needs me needs me this winter and this spring. and i want to give of myself to her and be the sort of lover i aspire to be, kind, generous and not greedy. but of course i know that i am greedy, and thoughtless, and made of all to mortal flesh and all to feeble mind, a kind of … something.
but i want to do my best, and i want to support my lover. i am in a poor place to do it. we have only been together for 3 years. this is one of those times when we are tested. i hope to be a part of devon life that holds.
but we can do no more than hope and do our best to keep faith.
the hour has past 2.
i am ready to pick up my children. i am worried how i will find devon when she gets home. i think mercenarily about how many words i have spewed onto the page on this changing day. 5000 words more or less. 5000 words i said alone in my house today. or did not say. but rather wrote down. because i thought it was the right thing to do. or something.
it is a reasonable chunk don’t you think? what should i do dear reader? should i slice and dice it or just keep swimming, just keep swimming, of course.
the estate agent calls back to break my concentration and tell me that i am, after all, on the lease. this is an important point, as my plan to salary sacrifice some of my 4 day a week wage is crucial to my plan for survival. stylistically it is important to note that douglas adams style narration is what i was going for here.
dirk gently. hitchhikers. gaimen and pratchett.
i met lucas a couple of times. he seemed like a lovely guy.
and devon dated him for years and she has great taste in people i think. or hope.
the wind rustles through the shrubs at my porch.
the sun still warm.
in melbourne it is often the case that spring is fleeting and summer long and hot.