Thursday, October 27, 2011

Waterfall For A

Where the wandering water gushes
Waterfall
For a million days
Fall with me for a million days
My sweet waterfall

- Jimi Hendrix/Emmylou Harris, May This Be Love

* * *

A million days is just shy of 2740 years. Might as well be forever.

* * *

The difference between a simile and a metaphor is the difference between saying Joe runs like a deer and Joe is a deer, is the difference between saying love is like a waterfall and love is a waterfall. There is no qualification. The subject is the embodiment of the metaphoric image, not merely a reflection of it, but the thing itself. This is poetry's great gift to anyone who would bother with it: the thingness of the world holding the mystery of the world deep in its pockets. Lazy, approximate thought assumes metaphor is a humbug, mere semantics, a rose by any other name and utterly misses the knife-edge clarity, the unsayable rightness of a metaphor offered, understood deep in the pockets of your soul and then lived out in the field of time.

By what metaphor or metaphors do you understand your life? What image are you the embodiment of? is your life the embodiment of?

* * *

I can see
A rainbow calling me
Through your mystery
My sweet waterfall

* * *

Images litter our lives. We are heirs to millenia of struggling to find the words and images to describe what it is to be alive, to know we'll die, to organize our lives around something. We trip over the easy analogy, the worn out metaphor and move in a trench of no insight, no second sight, blindness and fear because these images that litter our lives have all been turned from their metaphoric powers into facts that are to be understood historically: virgin births, crosses, bodhi trees, mountains on the move, bangs that are big.

We fuck ourselves by demanding facts, expecting facts, historical, agreed upon facts, where there are none to be found. There is only the metaphor and what it means, what it can mean, how it can produce meaning in our days. Historical events pass out of existence with every breath. All that remains is the image of the event, the story of the event. The event itself is as surely gone as if it had never existed. All we have left is the memory of it, and the means by which we can recall it: image, metaphor, story.

* * *

When I go
When I go down deep
I want you here with me
My sweet waterfall

* * *

Living historically, moving from point to point to point, accepting only the actual, what you have witnessed, what you have done is impossible. It cannot be done. You always have to accept someone else's image, story in order to function in society: this food is clean, these lights control traffic, there are soldiers dying somewhere on my behalf. But that is the trench of images, the tumult of images produced and accepted and never re-examined. Living through metaphor, through the language of images, the thingness of the world revealing the mystery of being alive, knowing you will die and living by what light you have anyway is how you unfuck your life. A focus on the immediate, the tangible without the ability to find, or build a context for it is to live fucked and stuck, world without end. Amen.

I'll ask it again.

By what metaphor or metaphors do you understand your life? What image are you the embodiment of? is your life the embodiment of?

* * *

Waterfall
Nothing can go wrong
Nothing can go wrong
My sweet waterfall

* * *

Boom.

___________

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