Human Song

What would the world be like if we, like birds,

Preferred to sing, not utter words?

Played instead of typed on keys

Spoke not sentences but melodies.

Banged a drum or blew a horn

So in rage, swords not be drawn.

Bereft of music all language fails

But on string or wind somehow prevails.

Our muted sorrows in phrase concealed

Now in concert to all revealed.

No more vying for supremacy

Discordant voices back to harmony.

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Haunted

In the early days, after moving into No.44 with his wife and young son, he’d wondered if the place was possibly haunted. He’d heard from the previous owner that one of her parents had died in the property (she’d originally bought it for them as an easier place to live in for their ending years). He sometimes felt watched and sometimes thought that things had been adjusted.

Crouching down picking up leaves in the front garden, he’d often feel as though there was something standing just behind the front windows, hidden behind the passing clouds, perhaps the old husband checking up on how well he was tending his beloved little garden. Other times, back from work, he could have sworn the big wooden shutters in the bedrooms, though; now pulled closed, had been left open by him since the morning rush for school and work. Perhaps the old wife pulling them across as she used to do, to keep out that full moon which could be so big and bright.

More strangely, though, was how in recent times, he’d begun to feel as though he was a ghost too…as though it was he, not another, who was haunting No.44. Perhaps he’d been the ghost all along, looking out over the front garden, hidden from view by those dark, high windows. He was beginning to be unclear about whether or not he was really still here. His memory seemed to be tiring, losing its elastic strength to bring him and others back, letting them drift so far, far away, so the threads stretched thinner and weaker.

Sometimes, he’d wake with a start in the daytime. Where’d he been? Where was everyone? How’d he grown so old, so quickly? It wasn’t an easy transition, becoming a ghost. That, after all, was what was happening. Yet as he overcame the initial resistance and adjusted to being less clear on his limits, it started to feel more natural, more like when he was a child, when there was no room except for everything. What did it matter, he thought. He was still himself, wasn’t he, just like always…just a trimmed down, lighter version, let’s say. He could still keep an eye on things, just as well. Make sure the property was maintained and those large windows were kept clean and clear.

The Only Possibility is Completeness

Don’t immediately take your life, being here as an excuse to start telling a story of personal incompleteness.  There is no need to subordinate this Situation into a story of partial living or to water down being into becoming.

That story is impossible.  It is in fact impossible that you are a known centre in a movement towards completeness.  It is an utterly impossible story that has never made sense, and certainly has never been proposed by life itself.

Thought comes back and back with the feeling and storyline of progress, decline, optimism, pessimism, and that familiar feeling of glancing experience and urging time.  But thought’s story began long ago.  It has no single home and no single master and it’ll continue long after you’re gone.  Time is simply how we refer to life spent from within a story. The thought-less, time-less world is always here, however, as if left alone, unnoticed, private.

The truth is that the only story there is, is this empty centre, a vantage point over and conjoined with everything.  The story is no story at all, but an unchanging inseparability with everything, with completeness.

So being here, is only an immediate view and a being of everything with no story at the core, no deferment, no creation of time, no distracting tale of an incomplete “liver” trying to be as complete as the life it finds itself within.

Bubble Bath

Time for a bit of dying, he thought.

He’d generally push it to the side, all the way to the end.  But it would always come back, like a pet that doesn’t want to go outside, and curl around his ankles.

So, for a change, that evening, when things turned to their familiar strangeness, he lay back in the bath and sank down, among the bubbles.  Nothing would get better, he knew that very clearly. The crisscross-framed window ahead made floating diamonds ripple above his tummy, small faint cloud-shadows hung an inch or so below. He watched them. Watched with them, into them, from their start to their finish, right to their limits.  Died with them.  Then there was the sound of rain outside.  He died with that sound too.  Ended with it.  Then the car wheels swishing by.  He stayed with them, kept them company as far as he could hear, and as they passed, so he passed.  Then his wife and child across the hallway.  Their laughs and lives trapped forever inside the bell jar of that day.

Living is so overrated, he thought.  Remembering to continue, remembering to survive, struggling to make linkages between spells of being.

Because nothing around him was going places, had better things in mind, ambitions beyond him.

Nothing in his bright glass could be lifted up and out, carried over, could get across.

Living was always missing the point.

Time for a bit of dying.

Fair Price

It was a strange question to think of asking.

He mostly thought of it when standing by that particular window when there was just a little light left in the day and hushed sounds in the garden outside.  Thinking of it seemed to beckon, and, like a shy animal creeping forward, in his love would come, uninvited, but always invited, the softest, softest of breezes, curling around him, over his chest.

“How much would you cost, if you could cost, my breeze? Don’t you deserve a price like everything else?” he’d ask.  “Surely if you could be, you would be expensive, more expensive than anything.”

It was worth everything, that moment, blue dusk, breeze carrying liquid song.  He’d pay any price right then in that instance, his life’s savings without a thought, intoxicated, and if everything he had was to just disappear or turn out to never have happened, his loved ones, his home, his whole past, standing there by that wedged window, spellbound, he wouldn’t have minded at all.

Falling Things

He was, now, plainly hollow.  Hollowed out for the world to see, by things as they fell through from nowhere to nowhere.  It was as if he looked out from within a very deep well.  Perhaps he was an actual well, into which things were dropped or fell, and fell forever without obstruction, all the way through him, on and on. He’d never know what the next thing would be.  That breeze, this shine, that sound, that dancing inch by inch square of light on the ground beneath a shrub.  In and down each went without explanation, without warning, only a flutter inside to know something had entered and passed through.