Born Into Death
My grandfather died on December 10th 1975. I remember that now. I was in the womb. I was in the belly of the woman who had lost her father. I was inside there, being rocked to sleep by the gentle waves that pulse through an abdomen when the crying quiets to a shudder. Every time I get upset my mother tells me to take a warm shower. I refuse her. I don’t want to take her advice. It seems so desperate to think that a warm shower could do anything at all to soothe me. And then one day she told me that when she was sad because her father was dying and my father didn’t know how to help, she would just cry in the shower, let the warm water wash it away. And I can remember that, in a weird way that is more like a tapping into the akashic records of time. Because I was inside the womb. Sheltered in filtered darkness by muscle and fat and amniotic fluid. But I can remember a woman leaning forehead to the wet tile wall wailing inside. And me, a pendulum weight pulling down from the center of her belly. I have always been an element of gravity. I pull people to the ground.
Living With Death
There is something about shamans. They walk that middle world between the concrete and the spirits. They hear things at night and know how to learn things from plants. And there is a lightness in them. And dirt. And drumbeats and magic feathers. Sometimes I think I am a shaman. I don’t even know what that means. All I know is that death has no fear of me and I have no fear of it. We are constantly testing each other’s resolve. There are lightning bolts in my past. There are cliffs and cliffs and cliffs. Birds commit suicide in my dreams and then again in the light of day. Sacrificing themselves on the altar of symbolism and prophecy. I have known three deaths. Edges of lives. I have had last handshakes and hugs. I have had last rights. Jimbo, I was with him as he died. The last act between us was him, covering me with a blanket before I fell to sleep. And there was a time warp in that house. I was with him, last sunset, last fire and the wheel of time slowed down and the ether around it warped so that some of the shapes were contorted and there was no way to tell what was happening. And I told Jimbo about that, and he said he was there too. He laughed as if he already knew something I was only able to see from a distance.
Dying To Death
There is a moment when everything tears apart in your brain and you see the silliness of your own existence. I am an illusion even to myself. I would pinch myself awake if that’s what I wanted. But I don’t. Because I have flown head first into the abyss and all I saw was the white light of all things. Rocks and trees and blades of grass and mountains, all white to the edge of their frame. When the illusion falls apart the whiteness shatters into a million boiling colors. Pastel flowers on a patchwork quilt. And there is a creature there that could eat you if she cared.