The tangible imagined

prag·ma·tism (prgm-tzm)
1. Philosophy A movement consisting of varying but associated theories, originally developed by Charles S. Peirce and William James and distinguished by the doctrine that the meaning of an idea or a proposition lies in its observable practical consequences.
2. A practical, matter-of-fact way of approaching or assessing situations or of solving problems.

I have attempted to start this post a dozen times. I know what I want to say but feel so limited by my abilities. My language, my machine, my heart and even my talent to speak. I want to sound brilliant and grandiose. I want to say things that leave you gasping and trembling like a post-coital embrace or an after orgasm gasp and shudder.  I want to shake your faith and belief. And make you love me. Want me. I want your women and your gold. I want to be Shiva.  Burn your existence down and rebuild it in my likeness.

But doesn’t everyone?

See this is a transcendental place for me. I have changed much in these past months. I have come to your temples and found them empty. I have knelt before your Gods and found them absent. And I have listened to the light. After an eternity of darkness I heard the creaking and moaning of dawn. I know now there are truths that are mine. You need not have them. Hey man, Pontius Pilate asked Ol’ JC at his worse hour “What is truth?” I think a good answer would be “The things that make sense.”

See Ol’ Hoss, me, myself, I am a pragmatist. Don’t tell me you’re wounded until you can show me the blood. Don’t tell me it’s over until it’s done. Don’t do any of the huffing and puffing all them big bad wolves do until you bring down the house of stone. I figure that most people are just people, lives, biological reactions. Ejaculations and spittle. There’s very little to be called unique or real. And them that are, well baby they’re brilliant bright stars. And not a one of them knows it for sure, that there is beauty. The world is full of people who will tell you how lovely, hateful, smart, cute, coy, interesting, individual, non-homogeneous, talented, bright, important, sexy, lovable or holy they are. But here’s how the dice roll, if you have to tell someone you are something, then you are in fact none of it. I will swear by that wisdom and will teach my child that as a valuable lesson.

Here’s how it goes. He that is, does. That’s all, that’s it. Pretty clear if you ask me. I know this girl, she’s not much of anything really. But boy oh boy! Will she ever lay the heavy  I am’s on you! And she acts it all out, the whole role. All the accessories and accouterments too. The slang, step and swing. And in truth she’s just a sad broken thing. I think of the Dylan song “Just Like A Woman” whenever I see her. She breaks like a little girl… And I know a fella who will bluster and puff up his chest and talk up the whole room. He will shift and unfurl at will. But the truth (the thing that makes sense) is that he’s just a scared boy. I almost want to say “Hey brother, put down the bullets and smoke. You will become if you give yourself half a chance.” Ah well.

And that’s the big thing, that’s how it swings. It seems people now-a-days shop for lives, personalities and attitudes in books, movies and records. They see what they like and then pull it off the rack and then Boom! They assume it. The clothes, the language, the manner. And they never try again to become. Until they tire or the trend changes or they get scared. Then they take off the old skin and grab a new one. Wearing it in just the right way.

So few people become. They never grow into their true flesh and scars. They never take the time to be birthed. Impatient and frightened they will not risk the time or wager the bet to say what they become will be something worth being, something they will want to be.  And it takes a long time in some cases. SOme are born into their skin. They’re the best kind, they are so pretty, so touchable. But the ones who take time, they’re even more…Even more everything. They’re warm and whole like a blanket you want to be wrapped in. Even if it is just for a moment. They walked a long way to get here and they are worn and broken in just the right places….This passage of the Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams is exactly what I mean…

“”What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

See what I mean?

So what are you? What do you want to be? What really matters to you? Make something good. From a tiny acorn a great oak comes.

Me. I think after many years and many miles I am coming in to my place. I have love and there’s plenty more where that came from. I am coming to a place where I can lay it all down, my love, my sin and the sad boy who has spent an age ready to sleep but never at rest. I guess if I could say anything to that boy now I think it would be  “Lay down boy, you’ve come so far and you can rest. I’ll carry the load now.”


Be well.

*Written while listening to the brilliant album by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds “No More Shall We Part”…So please excuse my verbosity!


7 responses

  1. ugh. I hate being the first one here all the time. *Stalker-lite* Anyway, maybe if I type reeeeaaalll slow like, somebody else will be first.

    So. This made me think of “She’s Always a Woman To Me.” Which is, ya know, crap.

    Also, I was buying completely new and different clothes as I was reading this, but they evaporated somewhere or the computer just ate them, and reading this made me feel all guilty about wanting to buy a completely new self anyway.

    So I’m a better person for reading it. My wardrobe, however, is not.

    My wallet and my Billy Joel ear worm demon thank you.

    April 22, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    • Ah Beth….I didn’t mean to impose some strange morality.

      I think buying clothes is fine, if they’re just that…clothes. Not the wrapper for an assumed personality.

      If you cannot bring yourself to buy new clothes for yourself you can always buy them for me. I want a Big Lebowski bowling shirt.

      April 22, 2010 at 7:26 pm

  2. amanda

    You know I read this site all the time but only occasionally comment.
    This post was entirely too….moving…spot on…perfect (I’m not the writer here) to leave with out letting you know how much I enjoyed it.
    I find myself questioning my being all the time. I don’t wear the costume of personality, though mostly because I don’t know which I would choose.
    Your writing reminds me that the living is the point. That the shit we are dealt and the shit we seek out is the reason for the being.

    April 27, 2010 at 11:17 am

    • Don’t question yourself as much as the things you let in. The dirt that collects on your lens.

      Live…That’s all. Just be.

      Thanks for the good words!

      April 28, 2010 at 6:16 pm

  3. NTM

    really enjoyed this post.

    April 30, 2010 at 10:41 pm

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