The High Life

The problem is, you’re looking in the wrong places. The problem is, you’re looking. But the body must be fed in order to persist in the dream of the world, and so that it may be fed it must see. Thus says nature. Thus says evolution. Higher lifeforms stand taller and see with greater acuity. And so that we may live something else must then die. A plant. An animal. Reaping and killing cannot be accomplished blind. We have looked so that we might live. Seeing has never been about believing. For our faith in our might and in our magic we need not see at all.

Behold. Something lies before you. Some thing begs to be named. The eye is the bestower of stories. The eye is the mouth of the river of names. ‘And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air, and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsover Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.’ See and name, O little god. For I give unto you the power of creation.

Truth is wordless and invisible and knowing this now I find I cannot see the same. I stand before a thing we name a tree and know it not at all. A plant, an oak, a life, a sign, I fail to any longer know.  The vanity of monosyllabic reduction. I do not refuse. I fail. Trained as we are to repeat words when flashed a series of pictures in a book. A cat, a pig, a duck, a dog. Expediency of communication has built a binary world in which everything not only is explained but whose explanations have become narrower, terse, headlines, Tweets.

The tree is. Context, condition, irrelevant now. Tell me a story and I can go on my way. The shorter the better. Use, if you can, small words with vague meanings. Distort those meanings, use them to exaggerate the mundane, to become the louder, more emphatic voice. Amazing. Homogenize language. Strip it of its power. Forget saying more with less, say nothing with less. Say nothing.

We are the exalted children who hold dominion now. It is true, we have risen above the muck and the slime, but only because we have lifts in our shoes. We are here and not here. We look and do not see. Ever deepr our attention drawn to proxy quarries and skeletal relationships held together with toothpicks and saliva. We see ever more ever less. It is the illusion of speed within the confines of geological time. Glacial time. Starlight and expanding Universe time. We are here and we are not here. No moment exists in which we are not distracted by something else. If swallowing a capsule is difficult the new drug is now available in a myriad of easily digestable options that most of the time do not possses a physicality, they exist as thought-forms.

Alright, dead tree. Branching, nerve-like, dendrite, fractal, metaphoric, doppleganger, canary, numen. Tell me what you know. Go ahead and give it to me. You hooked me and now I’m paying attention. Ephemeral, transient, fragile, cyclical illusion? Hubris, arrogance, self-importance, deluded? I stopped here to behold myself like I stop in front of store-windows to check on my reflection. Yes, still here. Yes, still me, alive enough to cast a fleeting translucent shadow. All photographs are mirrors. This is not an original thought but it’s no less startling to see it again. Am I really that tall?

o O o


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