Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Shattered Paradigms and the Caldron of Chaos

So many changes in so short a time! I can’t seem to adjust. I never did like change. Mom reminded me recently of the time they remodeled the bathroom when I was about four and I confiscated several of the nasty old floor tiles and hid them under my mattress. I cried inconsolably when they took them away from me. My reaction was the same when I grew out of my clothes, when the lawnmower gobbled up the dandelions, when the vacuum cleaner salesman took the old machine away with him, when the clown with a painted-on smile and bright white face spoke to me with the voice of a man in the aisle of a supermarket. That last was not so much about change as it was about the totally unexpected, the shattering of a paradigm. I had no context with which to interpret the phenomenon of a person in disguise as a storybook character, having yet to be exposed to TV, movie theaters, fairs, parades, school plays, circuses, or malls.

But that is what this last month has been about for me. About changes--some of them wanted as much as others were unwanted--and about shattered paradigms. About the new and the old in juxtaposition, in a clench like that of the twist in the center of a pretzel. I am reminded of that old Star Trek episode with the character(s) named Lazarus--two who were one and yet, not. The premise was that they had encountered their counterparts in alternate universes and became each other’s arch enemy. The encounter had so shattered the paradigm of one Lazarus he became insane and hunted down his nemesis as Ahab had the white whale, caring not who got hurt, what local rules were broken, whether he himself lived or died, not even that if he ever were to lay his hand on his Other, both of their Universes would be annihilated since one was matter while the other was anti-matter. The other Lazarus was just as determined to capture his anti-self, but only because the Other’s obsession was endangering both of their Universes. The solution was the ultimate in self-sacrifice. The two must be trapped without exit in the interstices between the Universes, held in the fervid embrace of eternal enmity.

The first time I ever saw that episode, I was reminded of the story in Genesis of Jacob wrestling with the Stranger AKA ‘angel of the Lord’ all night and at the break of dawn receiving, as a parting salute, a limp and a new name. And I was never to hear or think of that ancient story again without coupling it in my mind with that modern day space opera. Later when I encountered the myth of Tiamut, it mixed in my mind with the other two, tinting and being tinted by them. Into that mix went also, Captain Ahab and his Moby Dick.

It is these stories and their interwoven themes that best reflect the state of my mind this past month. And still. There is this sense of a titanic struggle underway in the depths of my spirit. There is a coalescing in the abyss of my subconscious of a plethora of themes and memes, of meanings and dreamings, of memory, history, mystery, and story. It is only tangentially about my Dad’s death. That might have been the catalyst but these things have been brewing for years. And they will out. If I don’t provide them a proper forum for forming themselves out of the energy of chaos into coherence and a structure with which to create an ordered expression of themselves, they will turn on one another and on me and with a great thrashing of limbs and bloody dismembering they will take the substance of self and life and feed it to the caldron of chaos.

Am just getting started but must stop here. All this alliteration and rhyming flowing this easily is a bad sign. An indication of severe sleep depravation. 29 hours and counting. A case could be made though that this is exactly when pushing on could provide that very forum for creating order out of chaos. But I think not for a blog post. Not for public display. The proper forum for it would be my private writer’s journal. I am letting this stand only because it is still at least marginally comprehensible (at least after extensive editing) and because I haven’t posted since last Friday morning and have spent hours on this so giving up now would be unacceptably demoralizing. Besides, it still makes my point and still sets the stage and provides an intro for coming attractions.

0 tell me a story:

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