I’m in a rather pensive mood right now. I can explain it. It was hot as hell this morning in Central Virginia and the grass needed cutting and garden weeds needed pulling. I did that. Then, here is where the “mood” thing comes in, I vacuumed the pool. Now, I don’t use a pole with a vacuum head on the end. I strap on a weight-belt and a mask and snorkel, grab the hose and head to the bottom. It takes a little over an hour. It provides a kind of “anaerobic” exercise with a lot of breath holding. The essential added benefit is the ocular-cardiac effect. It’s how our mammal cousins in the sea who dive deep for a living stay down for so long. Put a mammal’s head underwater and the water pressure on the eyes slows the heart. Having done this for decades and despite my age and a lifetime of respiratory abuse, I can still, with no difficulty, stay down as long as an average south pacific pearl diver. It the end of an hour covering every inch of pool bottom with due diligence, sucking up dead bugs and dirt, I emerge with a greater feeling of well-being than I ever got from any, traditional, meditation technique. I think I invented it. Even if I didn’t I’ll take the credit. So, I got that going for me.
It’s what happens in my head while I am down there that this is about. It’s mindless work. The thoughts take flight, or fin if you like and a degree of timelessness sets it. It’s time spent out of time.
This morning I ran into Yeats about two feet to the left of the main drain. I had been thinking how fucked up the world is. More people starving than at any time in mankind’s history. A dominant economic model predicated upon producing and selling and sending to the landfill as much plastic garbage as humanly possible… as fast as possible. A multi-cultural planet just discovering that if someone doesn’t share your God, your magic and the cultural bullshit you use to construct reality they ARE, by definition, destined to get under your skin. Because they exist they challenge your carefully constructed comfort. They are the “other” you read and hear about that are wrong. Simply by “being” they are saying… “You are wrong”.
Yeats was waiting for me there with this:
TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
I am saddened to report that a fatality had apparently taken place some time during the night. Beneath the solar cover I discovered the limp remains of a mole. I knew him well. For months I had played the role of Elmer Fudd and he the part of the laughing subterranean scamp tunneling at lightening speed between my legs and in corkscrewing circles inches beneath my manicured lawn. The word “mole” begins with a M to remind you that they eat meat. Voles, with a V, eat vegetable matter. That’s how you tell the difference.
I had played the part of Bill Murray in CADDYSHACK for so long that I had, in spite of the damage caused, grown to respect the little guy. I used no chemicals to deter his dining. I just crushed his tunnels hoping he would move on. Some mornings I actually thought he was trying to spell something out on my lawn. I never figured out what though.
In a way, it was war. So, I gave him a full military send off. I launched him into space on the end of my skimmer pole. He flew high into the sun in the direction of my neighbors roof. My neighbor claims to be a Minister of some kind and I don’t like the looks of him at all. His wife is a fat condescending bitch and he appears to be a ninny. None of the neighbors can stand either of them. The rest of us get along like peas in a pod.
Not knowing the religious beliefs of the mole, I gave my neighbor an opportunity to practice what he preaches and show me the light. What better place to be “close to GOD” can there possibly be than Up on the Ministers roof?
I await a miracle. So far… nothing.