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I hate to be so dismissive, but the rise of political extremitism is easily accounted for in current western society - frustration. I believe that it is a result of the contradictory reality that is society. On the one hand we carry a thing of dreams - a phone with access to anything we want - and are told that what we don't have is a result of our own shortcomings. While on the other the glossy dreams of a high life are still just as unobtainable, let alone an ordinary life. Houses are harder to get, work is less reliable.
I'm sorry but I don't know where else to put this. I have run out of other compartments. I have run out of other places to scribble words. All the walls I see are filled with notes from other people who passed through. Some of them are positive, some suggestive, some such nonsense that even the person who wrote them must have lost the meaning as they wrote the letters down. So, I am sorry. There is nowhere else, there is nothing else. It is just this in the end Ė this ever increasing bank of words adding up to something.
Maybe the weight of silence can be measured by the number of books in the world, or the extremities fanaticism has pushed definitions and semantics. Maybe it can be measured like the changes in the skies Ė one minute blue, infinite, the next filled with planes and clouds, like there was an explosion over the horizon, like somewhere out there someone is dying painfully, a bullet or a piece of metal stuck in their midriff, blood seeping out, staining their clothes, while clouds rise from their mouth and fill the skies over us, lying in the grass pointing at their show.
There is a memory in here somewhere, a memory of something that actually happened. Sorry if I hide it too well. Sorry if it seems to strange to be real, or to real to be real. I think it is still here somewhere melding with the others, taking and giving freely, changing into some other memory, changing into some other shape, in some other time. Iíve tried to hold onto it despite the confusion, despite the difference in the details when someone else tell the story. But how can you know the colour of a catís eyes in the night?
She dreamed of war while cutting vegetables in the kitchen. A slice of zucchini was a swift movement of troops cutting through enemy territory, prowling the streets, house to house, calling out the empty rooms. Stirring the pot was the passage of planes, low and loud, shattering the few remaining glass windows, shaking dust from the disturbed streets. Lives passed and were cleaned up while potatoes and pumpkin roasted in the oven, cremated to ash, while those alive cried with the memories before the carnage started, before the whole country was diced and cut to pieces. Before the endless heat.
But the real fun was in the editing, when we left people to be people. Messing with them was too easy (all that was needed was a hint that they might be a part of some religious ascension, or superhero story, and before you know it some will try to fly from building, and otherís will fall to their knees before an altar) Real subtlety came through editing the information that they came into contact with, a constant rubbing out of significance, to the point where every path had been trod, and there was nothing but endless, eternal insignificance. Freedom.
Then there was the time he decided to throw daffodil bulbs out the window while I drove the streets late at night. He threw them by the handful as we swept around corners, into gutters, down alleys, and onto lawn. I didnít have the heart to tell him that they wouldnít get anywhere lying on top of the soil and the tarmac, that the only way that they would survive was if an army of squirrels gathered and buried them. Or maybe the ones that rolled into the sewer would find a home amongst the filth. Daffodils growing in sewerage.
Try to imagine the exotic all its smells and sounds, vibrant colours, and smiles. Try to imagine it chiselled from the dead wall (where people come to stare, pray and die, like a passage in any book: trying to cling to you for life, trying to sculpt, in the clustered sky Ďhere and only here some birds liveí) spread across the floor, dust plumed, blown by the breath that carries the occasional childís laugh, or some sound of happiness, a dance lead by the drums. You can just make it out as you look through the hole, on your knees.
If you could listen who's voice would you hear? And I guess, more importantly, what would it say? Put me out. Put it down. What was that? Where do you go when you want to be alone? Would the voice be trustful, low and powerful like those sounds that come from trains or distant thunder, always coming closer, always threatening to bring the prayed for rain, the prayed for relief, and the prayers of tomorrow, and the prayers after that, now that they finally do something, now that you can hear your prayers answered? As a voice that freed itself.
The hair of an adult, on the head of a child And she floated in like fresh washed hair or soap unrinsed from skin and armpits the smell of a new day, the smell of a prayer made up from a thousand words syphoned from a thousand stories told to the sleepless as their eyes glaze over pages in awe of all the scratched marks, the hints someone else made in some other image in some idea of some idea of a God, or a secret they tried, for an afternoon, to show, had given up like caged singing birds.
If a voice could fill the universe. Wind moved through the grass. Passing through the night a couple followed the rays of the moon, the crash of the waves, the animals who call out into the open darkness. Their eyes reflected any glimpse of light, any hint of life hidden over the hills, crouched in the grass, behind trees. They hummed to each other, recalling songs they might both remember from childhood, songs of love, songs of loss and sorrow, songs without words, where bodies move among each other in darkened rooms, being lead from one to the next, eternally.
We watched the stars explode. Together in a field of computers all switched on and ready, we searched a fragment of the universe because something was going to happen something smaller and quicker than any of us could catch, some phenomenon, something like a star dying, a distant explosion, a universe wiped out, all the orbiting planets scorched and burnt to ash shedding chunks of rock to join the rest of the asteroids floating freely through space, heading towards the other stars and the other planets. It happened so quickly I think I missed the explosion. Next time. Next time.
Somewhere in this labyrinth I see myself, lost, wandering around with a torch. I want to ask where he thinks he is going, what he thinks he is doing, where he has been, but Iím scared that he will show me too much about myself, that he will look exactly as I think I look, and I will get lost looking into my own eyes. So, I follow him for a while, waiting until the flicker of the torch fades to black, around the corner, before stepping out, and moving on. Somewhere along the way there must be a torch.
If I could I would tell you all the secrets of the universe I would write them on beautiful paper. I would learn calligraphy. I would find a rhythm to rhyme flawlessly like they were an unwritten song sung by your mother to you when you were a baby and the world was still enough for a thousand lifetimes. But I am afraid if I do they would only become a warning, like those times the sun was bright enough to burn away the clouds, the sky. I am afraid they would only lie on the page like an apology.
I know it is out there somewhere - the photo that is meant just for me. The photo of home. In it will be everything that I need and nothing else. In it I will be happily posed amongst all the things. On the wall will be all my books, that I know by heart, word for word, and can recite beside the window where the soft sun pours in. In the photo I look like I was meant to be, like I was meant for this place. In the photo you can only see a fragment of my face.
I am in here somewhere, I think. Something like an emotion, I think. Or at least I felt my heart pump something thick and warm around my body, something that felt like it belonged somewhere else to someone else, like long trails left by snakes in the desert in all directions to and from the sun, where ever it might be, disguised among the yellow grains of sand and brittle dry shrubs, their spider- web shadows, the places those things go for a momentís rest, out of the heat. And I am there curled up asleep in the shadow, resting.
Did you hear the story of the clouds? Someone once told it as we waited for the depth of night where it was possible to sleep, where the moon dropped behind the hills, and the fire had died down to a low comfortable level. They pointed up to the few tufts floating through the sky and said that they came here by accident, that they came here from the extremities of the universe, as a thought, as a collection of thoughts out to discover what other thoughts existed in the universe. The smiled as thoughts can, when they reached earth.
We managed to calculate the number of times this simulation had been run. The number was so low it surprised us. It made us happy, there was still hope for change, there was still hope that in some other iteration there was a change that things would be different. There was still room for a lot of change. The whole thing seemed less like an inevitability. So, we celebrated. Drinks flowed, someone produced some drugs, and the night was good. A couple of days later we looked at the algorithm again. That is when ____________ saw the misplaced decimal point.
Maybe if I think about this enough it will become something exotic like the juice of summer fruit in sticky lines over my chin and down onto my chest and shoulder. It will become the scent of an unknown flower filled room, the breath that carries a word that sounds like poetry spoken in a foreign tongue made only for verse and song made only to break the world apart into mouth sized pieces, to be spat from the highest cliff into the wind and the clouds, into the endless water, and the waves that slowly carry the rocks away.
On the 24th day of the third month of the year something happened that changed the way that the sun rose. We noticed it first as a few rays being cut through the trees, and the way that they reflected off of the water, the way that they made everything seem luminous sort of like there was something special rising with the day - a hope, or a prayer, or an army marching over the horizon, shields flashing the sun, their feet rising dust and shaking the branches of the trees, sending the birds to the clouds, turning the world.
When the world was so young that the smells hadnít appeared yet, there was a person discovering what it was like to walk, what it felt like to feel the different textures of the earth press against the soles of their feet, what it felt like with the air pushing through the fine hairs of their body, what the sounds of the world were trying to say, what secrets they whispered, the rustle of a leaf could sound like a voice carried over the horizon, over the hills, from civilisation, far away, where the smoke was rising into the clouds.
I am beginning to think that I am not even the tip of an eyelash, keeping dust out of an eye, not even a hole in a paper pricked by the pin that held it to a wall. I am beginning to think that I am not all here, that bits of me are scattered around like cars exploding past the wreckage left by the collision of a few cars, their bodies twisted, pieces of lights shattered and spread across the road, reflecting a few rays of the sun through red, yellow, and white plastic. I am beginning to think.
And still the world spins like it is waking from, like the clouds are being thrown off from the half closed lids, like it is throwing off the thrill of lost dreams and the dance of things that come and go in the night, behind closed lids, behind the walls that were built to keep the weather out, to keep the animals howling at a distance in the dark where silence seems to grow between the trees woven among the grasses and the shrubs where the faint gathering of dew shines a few glimpses of the moon through the leaves.
I had a thought of a poem. It came and went quickly. An outline hung in the air, caught on your breath from one side, and mine on the other it sort of danced, before it evaporated to this memory to these words and the faint reminder, each time a breeze passes over my skin, of you seated talking to me, of a poem you once read and how it touched you like nothing you had ever felt before, and how you know that it is still out there which is why you keep searching for that one little poem.
The stars were brilliant that night when we went out into the fields when we felt the touch of dew as we brushed through the tall grass. I looked up and saw a few twinkling there like they were trying to communicate something from so far away, that as they travelled little bits were eroded and scraped away, leaving only a single point of light shimmering in the atmosphere. And all of them up there, those points of ice, cold and indifferent, seemed close enough to touch, to reach up and pluck from the sky and held in the hands.
If you could pick one word and write it somewhere where everyone for miles could see, what word would you write? How would you write it, in large cursive letters, or in block? What would the people who see it think as the pass by, or fly over? How long would it last, this word? Would it see through time, to the point where nothing and infinity meet, or would it melt away in the rain, or be slowly blown away in the wind? And what would you say when people ask you why you wrote that word so big?
I wiped the crumbs off of the table. They were the last remnants of her presence in this house: a few crumbs on the dining room table, and a circle that may have been left from the time that she spilled her tea while putting it down. Of course there is still the ghost of her in the bedroom, at the window looking at what the sunrise had to offer as it rose over the roofs of the opposing houses, or looking at her faint reflection, arms crossed pushing up her breasts, expressionless in the face of a new day.
I had a dream - in a croud, lifted from their seats by cheers I stood, listening to the different voices that made up the sound, it was like trying to pick out a drop of water from a wave, like trying to pick out one particle from a gust of wind. But somehow they were all there individually. Each voice had managed to find its own place among the other, each was distinct and separate, each voice found a way of sounding different while saying the same thing, and they all roared when the ball passed between the posts.
I had a dream the other night you were there, and we both pointed out towards the edges of the dream out towards the blurs and inconsistencies where there was still the hint of the infinite hidden in nothingness draped in black I think you said something about a nightmare or something about the possibilities that might lie out there. So in a dream we walked, and our limbs never got tired, never once thought to rest, but the dream curled around us as we moved. Eventually we decided to go different ways, and I lost you in the possibility.
It was only when I followed the slime trail that I realised I had turned into a snail, and the only thing that surprised me was once I realised that I was a snail I didn't really care, I mean the world was still the same Ė the clouds still floated past care free, the rivers still swelled and dried up, the tides came and went, my only problem was peoples shoes, and the general opinion that snails are bad for everything, there isn't a place on earth where snails are welcome, at least not welcome alive, not covered in butter.
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