Sunday, December 7, 2014

I guess a book is, as we are, an emanation of mind.  Subject to wave properties.  We come to life, give forth our light, and we can never come if we then do not finally disappear.  Life, death.  Talk, wisdom, kindness, and then silence, stone.  And so a book comes, and it is written, as a kind of tinker hobby, then it is written, and then it pulls with it a great silence behind it, complete obscurity.   It had its own reasons to be, that have nothing to do with a lot of things to do with life, and yet maybe everything.  Its irrelevance, its difficulty is the same as its relevance and its beauty.  It should not have any meaning, at least any conspicuous meaning.  It should not claim the limelight.  If it did, well, throw it on the mighty scrapheap of all things written by egotistical minds, look at me, look at me, I will occupy your mind...  with crap, with mental activity you don't need.

So a book comes, arriving in a quiet grace, basically unnoticed, properly, and then it bows and off it goes into the mists of time and graveyards and forgotten people who once were much alive and had whole stories but now are utterly forgotten.  An author knows this.  He knows that the great affairs of the heart, the loves, the family, will fade, and be lost.  It is proper for the author to carve out a memorial, indeed, to these great loves, and all the essential realities of the heart.  The memorial is a portrait of a universal reality, the deepest stuff we'll ever know.  It speaks of the great mysteries, why...  And this is heavy stuff.  Not for amateurs.  And yet the best know somehow that they must approach such tasks as utter amateurs, but that to do the work of it is somehow natural, similar to walking.

And so when they wake up, still having light in them, its kind of natural that through their gloom they would sit and write, not for any particular reason, but just like the basic urge to eat breakfast or have a  cup of soothing tea and a hot shower.  Like going about the acts of old farmhouses and the old people who live in them.

Then the writing becomes like the fruit on the vine of a growing season.  Every day, it expands a bit, picks up some more juice, some more energy from the sun, a few more minerals from the earth, absorbs a few more compounds from the flora and fauna nearby, the skin expanding and contracting, in rain storm, in sun, in the cold of starry night.

Then, I suppose, the master of the vineyard comes, picks by hand the fruit, puts it together in a big barrel and lets, again, nature take its course, which happens, again, in time, attended patiently.  Then it's bottled and shared and enjoyed over future dinners with conversations imaginable and unimaginable.  The vines themselves, upon whose shoulders the grapes were borne, well, they stay where they are, out on their rocky slopes, doing their thing.

V., V., why?  There we were, we'd gotten through the night, the rookie, myself, even the boss admitting we needed the pro busboy tonight, not the fill-in, the assistant manager calling in sick with swollen gum, the fill-in switched to food runner, thank god.  The clock approached ten, and the six schoolboys were ordering dessert and the table in the back was getting ready to leave.  Then some selfish chubby little guy who used to work with us calls six minutes before the kitchen closes to order appetizers...  And I get this news right at 10:30 when I'm pretty much saying myself, my god, this happens so rarely, the night ending without that last party messing with you, hanging on, oh we're not keeping you are we?  "there is a party coming...  I ordered appe-TIE-zers for them."  You've got to be kidding me.  "Are joo KEEDing me," is a favorite expression of hers.  The fool then arrives up the stairs with great ado, singing in his high-pitched way "hi!" expecting me pleased to see him.  Hi, he says, several times, a little louder.  I turn slightly around, and nod.  Yeah.  He approaches the bar's mouth and enters, wanting a hug.  I put my hands and his chest and push him back just enough.    He goes sits down, surveys the five plates of food that have just arrived, starts eating.  The rest of his party arrives ten awkward minutes later, one young fellow arriving loudly and knocking platers askew with a clatter as he sits.  "Play some Christmas music," he shouts.  "Is this all we can order, I mean..." gesturing to himself, "because it's me."   "Come have a drink with us," he sings at some point when he realizes I am heavily ignoring them.  "It's a Saturday night."  I want to avoid them.  Silently, I bring them more bread.  The rookie is breaking down the school kids checks into separate checks.  I bring them six glasses of water.  I am trying to be polite.  I'd like to spit.  I grit my teeth.  A former neighbor of mine, inexplicably, is with him tonight.  No one pushes for anything to drink.

The lovers have long ago parted, without consummation of their relationship, and one is left standing as it all fades away, fades away, to be left on a shelf tucked away gathering a dust that belies its once great significance.

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