the histories of things are often embedded within themselves. the beauty of nature is demonstrated best by its subtle replications, the way the universe constructs an elaborate self portrait out of each of us. for instance, i love that broccoli looks like a baby tree, i laugh about it - and my veins are vast and serpentine like branches, and we make a mockery of the resemblances. and it’s all well and wholesome, truly, but it’s barely a consolation to know that as the sun rises here elsewhere it sets, that all truths take turns making examples out of us. i am a terrifying mix and match of miscalculation and perfect accidents, and...when you look at me, you reveal every borrowed thing: my name, my mother’s crooked smile that she gave to me, my father’s patience which is past due and waning, the footsteps of my grandmother, the hair, the skin--all of it is somebody else’s. i am. a quilt of quirks and qualities.
so now comes the heavy lifting, the part where you have to undo it. come clean. wash with the good water - it may not be holy but it will do, and it will hurt. as if over the years, every time my inner heart emerged from below the surface, i had to wound her to drown it out and now it is time to pick at the scabs. to unearth her. there is work to be done.
in my dreams. things are only half themselves yet fuller. which is a curious thing. a 4d world scaled down to just lines and implications and yet it has become more honest. in my dreams the people don’t even have faces yet i always know exactly who they are. i recognize everything. i come back to that realm as if it were a continuation of a longer journey - like i made a wrong turn somewhere but i’m somehow closer to home.
so when we talk about art. and there is art in all things, poetry in all things, mind you. we speak under the assumption that all things aspire in some way or shape to be other things. to be else but better, and newer too. yet are doomed to fall flat, only ever peaking as approximations at best. mimesis. a copy of a copy of a copy. and something always gets lost along the way. Gotta sacrifice something, right? So what is it this time, which aspect will it be: the form? the essence? the truth?
and so the question we have to keep asking, when we attempt to create - be it life or art or ourselves is: is it true enough? sure, it’s recognizable if you squint real hard, if you tilt your head, if you forgive the crudeness and zoom out a little. but. is it true enough?
it might not be. and i think that’s the part that breaks my heart. it might not be.
i think i was a sun in a past life. one without a solar system, i think i was - this bright thing looking for a mirror so it could bask in itself. but this is the best i can do instead: i can touch you, knowing it will never go back to the way it was, once i do. i am an irrevocable thing, and if you let me in, you have to decide for yourself if it’s true enough. the sun. the light. the story the universe keeps telling itself, the song it sings to itself every night, on you, an instrument whose strings it plucks for pleasure. and because it is the only way it can be heard.
Song Credit: "Rise / Set" by Sam Gellaitry