Monday, August 17, 2009

A Fractured Reflection: Limbo


Whenever I rock a sufficient exit from my home—or from my bike; not quite sure which—I get this dull sense of being displaced. Like maybe there is a psychic rubber band gently tugging on me, pulling me back to the spot where I sip tea. It accompanies the strange feeling that I get of being deep within earth at whatever place it is that I am visiting. Like my stepping off the plane or bus created a crater that I have sunk into. Its edges provide a kind of cover, a high wall against which I can rest and peep the shapes of new shadows. It occurs to me now that these complimentary feelings form a kind of limbo. It is a sense of being out there and nowhere, a feeling of suspension from my regular style. In this new place, the rules that normally guide my style find themselves attenuated or changed altogether.

Here in Atiak, I get such a feeling more so than anywhere else I have been. My purgatory is a respite from the anchoring statuses and responsibilities at home. It is a place of excitement and apprehension. But it isn’t a place of forgetfulness. Though I shovel rocks, record births and haul supplies, I dont really experience distractions. No text message summoning me to a hot spot. No motorcycle race to happily disrupt a workday. Even the movies on my computer seem deficient in their ability to slide me off into a dreamworld of magic. Yeah. On this scene, a thought sparked is a thought aflame and there isn’t much I can do to extinguish the conception. Not even go to sleep.

The Jewish homies say that dreams are one sixtieth prophecy. On this score, I wonder what fraction of my life is concerned with abandonment. Maybe I don’t wanna miss my next plane, maybe I don’t wanna step out on a great life project; I don’t really know. I know only that the dreams remind me that death can force the objects of our love to leave us. It is a reminder that few who have lived life need to get. Perhaps I have not yet lived.

Limbo is no more a place to get clear on things that any other site of reflection. It could be the place where you descend further into the icky depths of opacity. It could be the spot where you rock the eureka-like epiphany, sure. But to assume that it will be that, as the man said in No Country, is vanity.

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