Saturday, May 14, 2016

May 14: Scarred and Broken, Sewer Again, Tracy K. Smith, "The Universe: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack"

Is this what it's like, I thought then, and think now:  a little blood here, a chomp there, and still we live, trampling the grass?  Must everything whole be nibbled?  Here was a new light on the intricate texture of things in the world, the actual plot of the present moment in time after the fall; the way we the living are nibbled and nibbling--not held aloft on a cloud in the air but bumbling pitted and scarred and broken through a frayed and beautiful land.

Dillard is musing on the violent beauty of the world.  She has just witnessed a mosquito land on the back of a rattlesnake, drink its fill, and then fly off.  She marvels at this sight, the rattlesnake not even responding to the annoyance of the feeding insect.  It's all part of the broken and scarred nature of creation.  The world after the fall.

I am thinking quite a bit about the brokenness of the world this morning.  You may recall that a couple days ago I had a little problem with my sewer.  I paid $150 to have my sewer line cabled by a couple of plumbers.  This morning, as I was going about my morning ablutions, I flushed the toilet and heard gurgling in my bathtub drain.  My sewer is blocked again.

Being the son of a plumber, I have a good idea of the implications of this second blockage.  There's probably something a little more serious going on.  This isn't a minor annoyance.  I can't swat this mosquito away.  Of course, being the eternal optimist, I am thinking about how I scrounge up thousands of dollars to get a sewer line dug up and replaced.  (Yes, I know, I know--I don't even know what's wrong, but I like preparing for the absolute worst.  Then, if anything better than the worst occurs, I count it as a blessing.)

I have called the plumbers who came on Thursday, left a message.  I have not received an answer.  I called my brother, who is a licensed plumber and lives about an hour away from me.  No go on that possibility, either.  So, I am sitting in McDonald's in a kind of sewage limbo.  We can't use the bathroom in my house.  Can't shower,  Can't wash dishes.  I don't really want to crap in a bucket and use it as fertilizer for a garden.  (I don't think my neighbors would appreciate that, either.)  So, I'm stuck at the moment.  Not moving backward or forward.

The world is a broken place.  When Adam and Eve messed up in Eden, they kind of screwed the rest of us.  If it hadn't been for that apple, I would be lounging, naked, on the banks of a river, eating chocolate off a chocolate tree, enjoying another perfect day of warmth and peace.

Instead, it's snowing and cold; sewage is in the air; and Saint Marty is thinking of going off the grid.

Maybe a poem will help . . .

The Universe:  Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

by:  Tracy K. Smith

The first track still almost swings. High hat and snare, even
A few bars of sax the stratosphere will singe-out soon enough.

Synthesized strings. Then something like cellophane
Breaking in as if snagged to a shoe. Crinkle and drag. White noise,

Black noise. What must be voices bob up, then drop, like metal shavings
In molasses. So much for us. So much for the flags we bored

Into planets dry as chalk, for the tin cans we filled with fire
And rode like cowboys into all we tried to tame. Listen:

The dark we've only ever imagined now audible, thrumming,
Marbled with static like gristly meat. A chorus of engines churns.

Silence taunts: a dare. Everything that disappears
Disappears as if returning somewhere.

I know how i feel--shitty

1 comment:

  1. Much sympathy on the sewer.
    At moments like that try and remember, you're also the awesome guy who has given people The Best Night Ever.
    Mortality means we get to keep ricocheting between awesome and awful, often in the same day.