Friday, December 30, 2011

Final Metaphors For 2011

You have to pull all the weeds, clear away the rubble and the trash that came in on the wind. 

To pull a weed, you have to know which ones are weeds.  When clearing away the decaying piles, you have to know what to keep, what rusted engine part might come in handy one day.  You don’t know all of these things perfectly.  You do know them better with experience, with study.
Your garden will not grow all at once and not every sapling survives winter.  Not every bud will blossom.  You’ll probably want a foundation for your house, and it would be wise to draw up some plans before you begin construction.  In reality, you probably can’t build it alone, and you might have to fire your contractor along the way.
Everyone you know is a fucking asshole.  No one understands you, and you are completely alone.  Also, everyone is kind. They get it, and they are totally there for you. You have to filter though the advice and opinions.  You have to listen for your own voice beneath the static of the chanting pundit or the caring friend.  You must own up to who you are, not just accepting the shelves you can’t reach, but acknowledging your ability to climb up onto the counter.
You have to find the boundaries of your time and energy, play your cards tactfully (“yes” - “no”), knowing nothing is black and white (“yes, but...” - “no, though...”).  You have to see what kind of fuel is in your tank.  Loneliness burns fast in a crowded bar.  Running too long on anger will start a fire.  And you have to figure out how to be easy on yourself when you break down.  You will break down.  And you will break down again and again and again.  
You are fortunate.  Your whines are the whines of the sheltered and well-fed, with potable water from a fashionable pipe in your kitchen and all of the information recorded by mankind in a device in your pocket.  Also you are shattered, suffering, alienated, confused and lost and hopelessly in need.  Your “feelings” are physical firings within your body.  You are literally in pain, literally panicking and you usually have no idea why. That guilt for your existence is a burden for the nations, a burden for the gods.  You do your part. You have my permission to feel like shit if shit is how you feel.
You are being manipulated.  You are being used.  The subversive thoughts that crack these massive chains need not be violent.  Self-awareness is subversive.  Love is subversive when not a fairy-tale or some abstract vibe. Shock is just a great way to make a million dollars. A riot is a great way to kill your neighbor. We have to change within us before we’ll see a changed world.  We have to see past the guilt, the denial, that keeps us in an abusive relationship.  We have to see corruption beyond a war on terror, grief beyond a door we’re not certain we locked.  These things are in the open now.  Let’s keep them there.  Let’s go deeper.
You’re going to have to stop thinking only of what is wrong.  You’ll have to take that wrong and flip it, figure out its opposite, turn a not-thing into a thing.  And when you’ve searched for and decided on the antitheses of that cozy object of loathing, you must break it apart.  You have to map out its components, the individual pieces that are necessary for that good machine to run.  Which ones are broken now?  What is worn out?  What is stuck?  What is clogged? Where can you find replacement parts?  What can you sharpen or solder yourself?  Where do they do repairs?  
And when you’ve changed, your surroundings will treat you differently.  You’ll drive right past that old bar on Saturday night and circle aimlessly around a city that suddenly holds nothing for you.  You’ll spray us with tears as you release the hand of that beloved and drowning friend that is only going to pull you under.  
What I mean is, you’ll probably find yourself camping out alone on a vast and snowy plain.  You might be on your own to lay that foundation.  You may have no one to comment to on the palette of your garden in the vibrations of that first Spring.  You’ve made space and space is nothing.  It is very cold and the walls around it are coated with dust.  It is a shitty companion.  But you’re building something. Something honest, something that will be appreciated.  It’s just gonna take more patience, more hard work.   
So in the meantime, Thank you 2011.  Thanks for the laughter and pain. 
Let’s crack this new one open and see what’s inside.  
All my love,