autotelic, autistic, assonance-hole©.


I saw him today, Vulcan. I saw him side-wise, through hypnogogic eyes that I remained calm enough not to blink. I watched as he cast forms of creation and indulged the god’s play there, amongst the silt and shadowed deeps.

They say it is woman’s work to create, but I think the foolishness of ‘they’ is renown. It is man’s work to create and woman’s to bring forth and set into its rightful place and, even here, within the briny depths, Thetis made this evident; toddler first rejected, then accepted, set here no less deliberately.

And the pattern, long forgotten, is repeating.

Displaced, he is the son of the placer, within his underwater grotto fair, coal within the clam, bringing weight to bear, the oceans ripple for his efforts, shores trembling under the weight of frustrated foam, grabbing as well as moisture might, relenting as reluctantly, the act of innovation rolling outward and over the world like benediction; the last, whispered blessings before the end of day.

I stood quiet before the scene, heard the sounds of new beginnings and the resonance of echoes, returning. Conjoined, the walls trembled with their presence; flexing, almost breathing in time with the slow, certain strokes upon the anvil, there, epicenter, the altar of the titans, upon which eons have long since broken.

Head lowered, arms embracing metal, bringing warmth of life like rushing roses, with crimson heat, a binding force that brings forth the attractor – that which catches the breath and turns the eye and bids the heart a moment stop and then – the more fully beat for recognition of what it is to be alive, stands he. Breathing for the breathless, stands he, unknowingly including me, with calm, steady intention, relentless with reason and the deft deliberation of mastery; certainty in movement, stands he.

Striking me like a bell as he prods and pleads the form into being, until I too, give breath for lack of more to give, only that this be what pitiful collaboration I might manage, watching from the sidelines and yet, as much a part as the metal flowing under his fingertips, for he moves me with as little effort and builds in me the same forms for the witnessing.

And the pattern, long forgotten, is repeating.

I find myself thankful to be organic and whole and potentially part. I shiver for scraps cast (however lovingly) aside. They surround me and remind me both that no thing, ever part of creation, is ever anything other, and that all things, no matter how well belonging, eventually find all ends.

I tremble for beginnings and lean down to carefully pluck a forgotten scrap, marked by dual blasts and sharply spiked edges. Small sliver of previous attentions, I note its proximity and trace its uneven, burnt edges with my fingertips and shiver yet again for the tiny, twin marks of brief, but burning attention; the thought of such focus set my way is delight and doom, but a sweeter doom I could not in this moment imagine.

I saw him today, Vulcan. I swam within the secret grotto and, for a time, its wisdoms were mine, too. I dreamt a great and mighty making there, in the rock and metal caverns, not all of it upon anvil formed, not all of it requiring focused fire, not all of it needing the master’s demand, merely his hand.

And the pattern, long forgotten, is repeating.