Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Apocalypse Not Yet

“I bear a weight of terrors, and dark hosts
Of phantoms haunt my steps and seem to lead.
I walk, compelled, behind these beckoning ghosts
Down sliding roads and under skies that bleed…

“Far from your kind, outlawed and reprobate,
Go, prowl like wolves through desert worlds apart!
Disordered souls, fashion your own dark fate,
And flee the god you carry in your heart.”

— Aldous Huxley, The Cicadas and Other Poems (1929)

Now it’s all well and good to subscribe to the ‘whatever will be will be’ school. But there’s your benign indifference of heaven, and then there’s your bleeding skies.

Time is the blindness of justice, the Scythe that harvests us all after our season. Time is the clock that started running when Eve tossed the apple core on the Path and God stepped on it.*

We’re all here such a short time, so sad. Coyotes prowl my front yard as the fire season looms. Our fate is to die. That whole thing about Paradise is a crutch to wave impotently at Death as he looms above us in the bed each night.

And yet, we have the saving grace of joy. We have the consolation of being able to laugh to keep from crying. What I love about this otherwise bleak vision of judgment day is the hope in the final line. Huxley spells god without the big G.

We who have all the time in the world have no fear of Time. We each carry the light in our own hearts that can shine on us while we’re alive in the world. I build my own garden in the world. The first picture above is the view outside my back door in September, 2004. The second picture is that view today.

*This lovely metaphor is from Philip Booth, “Time Was the Apple Adam Ate”.


walk2write said...

I never could figure out why the apple got the bad rap to begin with. Maybe some grape growers' association wanted the price of grapes to skyrocket by kicking the apple growers out of contention. If you don't believe in Paradise, well, the crutch of a garden sure helps ease the uncertainty. You've sure made some progress on your little slice of heaven in the past several years.

Wendy said...

Love that second pic. You've done well. Must be frustrating to garden in the desert. I'm having a hard time here in Montreal, Canada because we have sandy soil. Can't imagine trying to garden where you are. I've given up and just use containers.

chaiselongue said...

The apple ... why do women always get the blame? The whole Eve story seems to me like a male plot. Your garden seems to have done well in Time, though. Yes, our fate is to die, but in the meantime we can enjoy our gardens and, most importantly, laugh!