Stopping to pay the toll on the road to self

At times there seemed to be so much beauty I couldn’t convey it, and at other times it evaded me for weeks or for months, for what seemed like forever. I sensed a link between my seeing the beauty and feeling inspired to write, and a form of depression that either prevented me from seeing it or became the only output when I could not.

There was the pattern of wrinkles on my skin that had changed where my thumbs bent. The sound of birds singing mixed with a jazz trumpet near dusk, and the calm of knowing I didn’t need to be anywhere. The ticking of an old clock, or the taste of grilled chicken. The smell of charcoals when they catch and the sense the grass would stay green for weeks, then the knowledge that even after it goes brown, it would green up again when the rains return come fall.

That all this around us will continue well beyond us, and maybe we will, too. That we might be relieved of this round of living with another go. That most things you can just burn and return to the ground, and in most cases it’s good for the soil. That one night out of the month the sky is devoid of any moon, but only 30 days later it’s full again. That kids leave the house one day (in theory) and return, if only to do the laundry or for holidays or to impress their friends. That no matter how bad we fuck over nature it seems to come back again if only we get out of the way and let it be.

I had the sense that something was wrong with me, and had been for a long time, but when I wrote and relaxed into the world the world relaxed into me and I was spared of myself, had even elevated to more of myself, to something more than what I could have imagined, as more a rendering than a physical form. An abstraction, that’s often more appealing than the actual account. The hope and belief in a soul that endures us well beyond us, that you could call self, that requires some paying attention to notice, and perhaps the occasional toll.


Categories: identity, prose, writing

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

15 replies

  1. I’ve got a well documented problem. Anytime I read something inaccurate about the moon, I need to inform the writer. I’ve done this with blogs and novels for years. Most authors take it in good stride, and some ignore me completely (Dean Koontz, Stephen King). Usually the issue is the phase and position of the moon compared to the time of the night (or on rare occasion day). In this case, if the moon is in it’s “new” phase, it will be full in 14 or 15 days, not 30. Please accept my apologies in advance. OCD is a rough disorder, but if I don’t send this, I’ll be thinking about it for days.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Been mulling over this one since I read it this morning. I especially like the first and last paragraphs. And I dig the Eastern vibe. There’s a spiritual teacher I follow who talks about truth, love, and beauty being just different words for the same thing, which is essentially the collapse of the sense of separation between I and other. I feel like that’s kind of what you’re getting at here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, nice. Just trying to work things out and decide where I belong. Life-long pursuit! Not sure the right stop, sometimes just gotta get off! Thanks for reading and contemplating with me, mate! Bill


  3. love the moon guy. haha. I have to say your writing has just got better and better. Mine….Meh. haha but I was not strong enough to do what I needed to do. I do seem to muster a long as well as I can though. Happy Summer!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. With Jeff on the moon thing, as a student of the ephemeris, 30 days a new moon. Nits, but moon in cancer means we are all crabby

    Liked by 1 person

  5. sometimes you just don’t have the cash on you for the toll and you have to finesse your way through

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This little tangent about the moon is kinda fun. A couple years ago, I read a history book about nighttime in the pre-industrial world, and then saw some old “nocturne” paintings in a museum, and so I was looking up stuff about moonlight, etc. I liked the terms like “luminous flux” but the science of lumens, etc. was too complicated for me – – but I remember being surprised that moonlight is less than 1/100,000th as strong as daylight, or something like that. And sometimes trying to write about the simplest thing, seems like that ratio – – that at best, we’re scratching out such a ridiculously faint image of what we’re trying to convey, it’s weaker than moonlight.
    Anyways Bill, always glad to read your essays. This writing really captured my interest this morning, even if I won’t pretend to understand some of the philosophy behind it. But I enjoyed reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve been reading Pale Fire by Nabokov. Nobody told me this guy was so funny! Anyway, the poem section has a lot to say about afterlife. I’m trying to piece it all together. The book is nuts. As is life.

    Liked by 1 person

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