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|