Giving Melancholia a Go

Oregon rain

“I would stop celebrating loss, if I could figure out what replaces it”

Lynne Tillman

            In the way I describe the barn, can you feel it?  The barn is rugged and old but stays dry.  Light would find its way in if sun ever broke through.  But the world here is moist and grey.  A totaling overcast with a ground and a sky making one thickened thing.  The green of the trees turned so dark that the world peers back black and white.  That austere, filled with that many increments.

A perhaps melancholy is more like a humidy cold.  You can perceive it in your clothes.  They cling, they hang, they weigh.  And saturate skin, that feels parched with age, like wax in its melting, still and gone down.  You slow there.  Drudge, trudge, move (if you move) like a worm at its creep – that claustrophobic a wriggling.

Almost struggle, but lacking the fight.

A zeroing out – the observance of something undoing, with the added false pretense of fate.

Resemblance: tectonic.  Some slow, massive shifts, imperceptible morphing, glacial advances – a grind without wounding, pulverized and smothered with a winter wool blanket, a lowering lid made of iron.  And you sit there: gaze through the cracks at the drips from the eaves, life runneling away and absorbed.  Inconsequent with only replenishing leakage.  A purgatory.

As the greying deepens to charcoal.  Vision unhinges, becomes soft streaky fades, you were never looking at or out, your eyes simply open.  Somewhat.  Toward nowhere.

In full dissolution.  Not staring, not gazing, not perceiving – what to call it?  The mechanics are working, if asked.  There is a park, there are trees, there are children, playing in rain like a sprinkler.  The bars of equipment are red, green and blue, but really they’re grey, just not actually.

A world made of asphalt.  The windows, your flesh, the skein on your eyes.  Grey-gravelly sky without markings, just mottled.  Movement has slowed to match outlines of concrete, the grasses are cracks, and the trees, the trees and the trucks, buildings and cars – simply humps, objects unleveling the vastness of road.  The endless.  The nowhere.  A world made of asphalt – surely some ass’s fault.

And that’s where you are, granite soldier.  Sculpted in the belly of earth, steady to the line, so much of you crumbled to time, and yet faithful.  You take up the spaces you’re supposed to, supposing…what?  That there must be a reason you sat down.  Feel this way.  With capability only to stare.  Without seeing.

You wonder if something has come or has gone, like a season – expected but oft overlooked as it passes – until another takes place.  Like that.  Like waiting, without anticipation, there being there for which to wait.  Is that really waiting?

Endurance as endlessly patient.  But patience expects changes as well.  No change occurs here.  Here just continues, inconsecutively and vague.

The owl at its nightly watch.  The worm at work in its tunnels.  The mayfly at its twenty-third hour.  The one that never ends.  It goes on.

“In my room on 32nd Street…

…words dissolve as they’re spoken…”

with all that drizzle

and no intent.

If it were loss, you’d have lost something or had something to gain, but that is not so.  It continues.  Everything here, nothing to replace = now.  You bow your head slightly, just off to the left.  Your hand curls about the armrest.  At one point you swallowed a drink.  Your legs have crossed and uncrossed.  And that is all.  You wait without waiting.  The barn is so old but stays dry.  You probably just sit in your room, the barn imagined like memories.  Still you seem dry to the touch, though you feel drowned in a heavying damp.  You sit, you go on.  You look, it’s unclear.  It is dim.  It goes on.

N Filbert 2012

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2 thoughts on “Giving Melancholia a Go

"A word is a bridge thrown between myself and an other - a territory shared by both" - M. Bakhtin

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