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Bargaining with Desire: Week 4: Blogging for Survival

Throw a barley cake to the three headed hound of Hades or pull the weeds in my garden?

Saturday morning choices.

Most Saturdays offer a mixture of tantalising desire peppered with ritual obligation. I enjoy bargaining. All self righteous that I agreed with myself about mowing the lawn before resuming the position. The pondering position. Thinking about the nature of desire.

Sometimes I will fend off the Mysteries until after lunch. All acquainted with civility and hanging out the washing. Speaking nicely to the nudist neighbour and refraining from growling at his three midget wookie dogs. Who throw proclamations at me in churlish, yipping metaphors as they pooh on my flowering plants. And then strut off, regal and autocratic in a shaggy, smelly way. The failed kings of azalea and geranium.

Before the sun hits its apex, I can be more or less counted on to answer a knock at the door, wearing my polite neutrality. If you call by, I may even offer you a cup of tea and ask you how you are. Enquiring after your health, your family, your weekly tabloid. Depending on how near it is to my curfew, I may throw caution to the wind and peel away a layer of my own self discipline and ask if joy has found you, and what, if anything, did you dream of last night?

On occasion, stirred by the cries of famine from my family, I will expose myself to the fluorescent lighting in its zenith at the local supermarket. Furtively wiggling through the produce, balancing my body weight in bananas and weet–bix.  I refuse to get a trolley. That would indicate a commitment I don’t feel. Or want. And then it’s only the guardians of the gate I need to navigate. Asking me how my day is, and if I want to participate in an online survey. I try to avoid eye contact. I sense the portal closing. As much as I feel their weariness, from their sensible shoes up, I feel mine more.

My pomegranates are ripening. Until today I hadn’t noticed that while I was edging my way around Cerberus, my garden came alive. While I nibbled on my seeds of regret, whole seasons passed me by.  The winter of sleep, and the spring of revival, came and went, unheeded and untended.  Today I look. Weighing possibilities. Stay in the light? Brutal as she can be in exposing my hairline cracks. Or retreat into the darkness, bribing the furies and ferrymen as I go.

Drawn to desire, I strike another bargain. The pomegranates will ripen without me.




Open enemies. Week 1. Blogging for survival.

The ancient Astrologers had a name for those who would bring you undone. The ones that wished you harm, the ones who would happily see you slip on a banana peel during your campaign speech or inaugural oration. The ones who have heat blisters from their boiling core temperatures just thinking about you ever being happy, the ones who just loathe you. Publicly, loudly and daily. These charmers they named ‘open enemies’.

I have a compelling kind of admiration for these guys. They are the burlesque of the hater world. Lots of colour, some snappy moves and a baring of the breast when required. So open are they about the pursuit of your painful and embarrassing demise that they make no secret of their hopes in the matter and often share their vision of a better world. Without you in it.

It’s the hater pantomime that curdles the milk in my morning tea. The benign seeming someone who is really an icy machine, calculating the ways you can be made to suffer. The quiet achiever who during their work hours is researching how to hex you with interminable itching and have you buried alive with your hands tied behind your back. The one who is not in a hurry because they have all the time in the world to think about you. And not in a, shall we say, really uplifting kind of way.

It’s all energy. And I’m thinking a lot about energy lately. How to keep it moving. A bit like a pass the parcel. So even if you unwrap a real stinker, you don’t have to hold onto it for too long. Not so much about shifting responsibility but more a strategic feint. Just moving sideways so that energy doesn’t hit you like a medicine ball.

Open enemies aren’t my beef. I stand a fighting chance with someone so transparent. And although war games do not appeal to me, a couple of strategic hip and shoulders are never out of the question. It’s like bringing in Lion pooh from the Zoo and sprinkling it around your perimeter to ward off the tom cats. I’m not big. But I’ve watched the movies.

So it’s these other someone’s I’m learning how to be in the world with. Learning how not to share my energy with, or send my energy to. Trying to master the Zen of ‘that felt really bad and I’m going to teleport myself to somewhere else right now’. And you know, I really think I’m getting somewhere with the energy thing. Which is good.

Because I need all the energy I have to practice untying myself while buried alive.

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