autotelic, autistic, assonance-hole©.

Ramble on everything and nothing at all

The state of a moment, passing, is not one upon which most think. So many are born, live, and die in any given day that to keep track of them all; to celebrate, savor, and mourn them all would be more than most humans could bear. And yet, bear it we do; usually thoughtlessly, mindlessly, ignoring the thousands of them in any given day. Only the ones that mark a shift in the path; the actual point of transmutation or “noticeable” change gets the marker; the sigh or tears or smiles or laughter that are pebbles of memory set along the path. Like breadcrumbs and about as easily taken; nourishment of the story, of history, and of life.

The metaphors are many and all of them apt, for they change as well. In one moment, analogus of birth, of a seed, or of bread; things that are new or carry the pattern of the thing within themselves, endlessly repeating; the humble crumb of bread, the gift of eternal feasting, enjoyed again and again without ever seeming to truly lose its flavor.

I am often mildly obsessed with the analogy of bread. The sheaf of wheat, uprooted, milled and pounded out of its form into the formless powder that mixes with water, with still other seeds, the less flora kind; Life’s nourishment in a silken, white stream folded in; the formless gone to form in a thump, lumpy paste that, radiant heat applied, transforms once more to become that crusted loaf from which even crumbs sustain life. There are so many ways to form the metaphor, and all of them are as nourishing.

I am trying to reach the sense of the moment just experienced, and yet it has already passed me by. I stand upon the path, looking backwards, and find the tender morsel of even the last one already departed; some hungry thing carefully pecking in my footsteps has found it before I thought to give the glance.

No matter, really, the shape of the thing is still here; memory formed and hardened into a pebble. I place it in the knapsack that is this page and regret only slightly that I cannot better shape the splat of mud retrieved from the road. It is not a perfect image, this crumb, this memory, this pebble. It is a silly and likely pointless thing. I should laugh to try and capture it were the feeling that drives the effort any less beautiful, for all it is flavored with the same sorrow that gently limes every passing thing.

I used to think melancholy a terrible waste of time. But, like everything, it too has changed. It is not the regret of things that cannot remain, nor is it the weight of sorrow for not having a thing but its natural span. It is not the yawning sense of absence, nor the stinging feeling of wrongful loss. If I had to pinpoint it, I would say it is most like the feeling one has to watch something wonderous and joyful disappear from sight. The heaviness of it is somewhere between contentment and wistfulness; the former to have known it whatever and the latter, to realize there are some things that humans simply will never be able to follow, to know utterly, to hold or to carry until departing.

The memory flickers and changes, as it is wont to do. In this moment, now, I am reminded of many things and most of them precisely of this nature. The sensation is beautiful and is unending sad, all at once. As once a precious friend put it, “The delicate beauty of a transient thing.”

I did not know that I didn’t understand it at the time. And I was angry for quite some time for the feeling of realizing my ignorance. Eventually, I was sad for understanding too late. Today, now, I am nothing whatever; empty and void and able to let whatever rises be as it is and then, it too, no more.

Crumbs and seeds and pebbles, rattling softly in my mind; as transparent and ghostly as morning mist. Delicate beauty, indeed. Transient, indeed.