Archive | Quoth the Raving

Zoo York Is Not Enough

I had such a lovely break from the city–sunrises by the sea, swanning on tree-laced hammocks, cartwheeling in big fields–and such a bumpy reentry. On the drive back a glass-encased candle–an uncrossing candle, no less–exploded in my car, my phone abruptly went dead and still is not fixed as I type this, and so many serious accidents took place on the highways that the normally 3.5-hour trip took 7 hours. It’s not just that my nerves were shot; it’s that I could feel everyone else’s were shot, too. Finally somewhere in Connecticut I broke down in tears–the messy kind, not the pretty kind– and had to pull to the side of the road. Aloud I said: “Okay, higher spirit. You’ve secured my attention. What do you want me to know?” In response I could not just hear but see the Rilke quote: You must change your life. And here I’d thought I already had, though I guess thus far said change has been inflicted rather than invited.

I know some of what I need to do but if the rest were obvious or easy, I’d have done it long ago. This is, after all, the human experience: We learn by expanding our horizons, by stepping out of our comfort zones, in this case literally. Living so isolated from nature drains me to a degree I only acknowledge on the rare occasions I’m by the ocean or beneath a tree by myself. Yet the craving for unadulterated fields, for the noisiness of birds and wind and crickets, pulses beneath all the decoration of my New York life no matter how I try to drown it out, and it grows stronger in the shadow of dystopia. Even as I zoomed back to the city I no longer love monogamously I still heard the heartsong I breathed in that big air, and how to return to All That now looms as my biggest question though others should take precedence. Being middle-aged, it turns out, teaches us to heed older rhythms and wiser notes than what our tiny brains can measure.

Grace is glad I’m back, anyway. My friend takes my absence so seriously that I could hear her weeping as I climbed the stairs to my apartment. Witches and their familiars should never be parted.

The Church of Rilke’s Door

It’s been a while since I played literary tarot, in which you randomly plunk a finger on a page of a book randomly opened and read whatever turns up. But after a hot, clattering Saturday in the city, I had a beautifully unfettered, beautifully long sleep under freshly laundered sheets, and I’m feeling magical.

Here’s what a page from Rilke’s Stories of God has to say.

The moment they passed out of the door they were changed men. They walked in the middle of the street, a little separated from each other. Their countenances still showed traces of their recent laughter, that strange disorder of the features, but the eyes of all three were already serious and observant. They understood at once.

This I love, for as much as I hate hallways, I adore emerging from them, and open doors have been featuring prominently in my superconsciousness. I read this passage as a confirmation of my last dream and of an omen visited upon one of my favorite sirens recently. I’m tucking it my pocket as I venture into this cool, dreamy morning.

The Future Is Now

child laborerI can’t sleep because it is illogical to sleep when the dystopia has begun. It occurred to me as I was tossing and turning tonight that in the twentieth century, science fiction mostly concerned itself with then-inconceivable gadgetry like videophones and pocket devices that could connect you to the whole world –all of which is now real except for time travel and personal spaceships. In the last fifteen years, sci-fi has become dystopian, full of ravaged planets and people. This also is now real. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy