Then there was the full moon, on top of the return of the Gaul. The music came out, and I ran through my Pogues repertoire, put some of it up on Facebook, feeling the joy of being an amateur at it. The singing bartender, as a colleague put it when I got back to work after my lark into the world of MacGowan.
Then the work week. Rising slowly, fortifying myself with lamb sausages and hamburgers cooked under the broiler while sweet potatoes toasted in the over chamber. Steaming collard greens and kale, green tea, hot shower, fold a shirt, no time to do yoga, bearing the poor offerings of the employee meal, the egg white only omelet, the sharing of the chicken wings with the rest so that one could eat three, no more... And the adrenaline. The constant interview situation, the meeting of minds, faces, the dodging aimed precise art of service, a yoga itself. Leading up to the long one, the second Jazz night of Wednesday, the motor revved for a good nine hours straight, the best conversations allowing themselves only at the end. Home to flop into bed, but then unable to sleep as the light rises.
At the end of history. One third of the planet covered, one third of the coastal oceans fished, all the results of human evolution and development, manifesting into the world, upon the earth, in three dimensions, the plans of better existence, the agricultural settlements, the cities, the infrastructure, the advancement of ego in the wane of the communal, the ideologies, the organized religions, the marching of armies, the quest for power, mineral rights, national economies, the burning of fossil fuels to make it all a constant on-going thing one hardly should question more than the nose on one's face, seemingly. Specialization of skills, jobs, the rise of the computer to fit the settled mindset. Natural the brain surgeon who works over matters of life and death should garner more of the society's stuff than the waiter who's primary skill is efficiency, marked by politeness, organized, allotted a bicycle, perfectly happily. The monkey pecking order.
And so yes, of course, the rise of the amateur, the idiot, when there is no more space left in the world to push human enterprises into, when there is a great outweighing of newsworthy stuff to market and report upon overwhelming the individual ability to begin to digest it all meaningfully.
Then, what do we all do? People clamber to send their children off to the limited resources of higher education, hyper competition, that begins to make meaningless the privilege of institution.
A woman, in tight leather pants, with laced high heels, wonders aloud at the end of a boisterous night of mom's meeting out for a drink, a bite to eat and cake, why it is the children of just such a comfortable affluent life of highly educated parents who are beset by problems of the mind, medicated as they go off to school.
So then what, of space, of the attitude of bringing our enterprises for profit and success into the world when there is no more space to be healthily enjoyed, without the cost of finding space so high as to make the enterprise's worthy questionable; when only the wealthy, invested in the whole top-heavy system built upon the burning up of natural resources, can selfishly afford the vacation, the visit to pristine nature? How then do we treat space and time and measurable areas of the world we live in?
The healthiest answer seems to halt and take stock. What if we were to take what we already had. What if we made the whole thing not a matter of competition, but a matter of developing something out of the spirit, out of the hidden inner voice, to bring higher meaning into the daily activity and work we do, to do what one does in a thoughtful way...
To put it into the terms we already employ seems to not make much sense. More a matter of gut instinct, or a sense of the peace which comes from sitting under a tree, by a stream, listening to a bird.
The last day of the workweek, I ask of the two good school teachers, British, seated at the bar with wine and charcuterie, what is Whitsun, as in Philip Larkin's "The Whitsun Weddings." And I then have something to smile about as I ponder the great poem of modernity and time and the loss of communal life. Whitsun, a Sunday in May when church-goers don white garb, in honor of Jesus returning in holy light before the Ascension, the return of the communal archaic of high consciousness to 'the rented world.'
"Culture is a plot against the expansion of consciousness," I find Terence McKenna saying in a lecture found on youtube. "And this plot prosecutes its goals through a limiting of language. Language is the battleground over which the fight will take place. What we can not say we cannot communicate." To step outside of culture can be a good thing, a worthy experiment.
And who can do it but the old shaman, or a wordy old bachelor librarian who takes weekend bike rides stopping by old churches and church yards, or the bartender who's allowed his work week to open, flourish, and then patiently to come to a close, speedily passing by in retrospect. You can't do it if heavily invested in society or in art such as it is. You have to look outward and skirt around the edges of culture, probably in a way where nature is never out of reach.