Wednesday, January 21, 2009

As Long as Water Flows, Grass Grows

A philosopher once said that reality is it's own reflection. We talk of reflecting on one's life when older, we say a deed reflects well on a person's character. This concept of passive reflection is also held in the Hermetic saying "As above, so below. As Below, so Above." The first condition of Earth was water below and sky above, one reflecting the other. An early symbol of the Divine Feminine holds a mirror in Her hand. Another early form of the Goddess was the Gorgon Medusa who could not be slain because her gaze would freeze you into stone. By using a mirror you could approach Her and slay Her. By seeing Her reflection rather than her Person you could slay Her. By reflecting on himself a man was able to remove the head of the Goddess. Shamans the world over have as part of their essential set of amulets small mirrors.

Sometimes people wonder why I reflect on problems of divinity when I refer to this blog in terms of caregiving, parenting and art. But in order to care, to give care, it's a good idea to understand what you are caring for. What you care about is also important. So when I talk about Jon and his state of mind, or lack of mind, I have to understand what exactly is "mind" and why does it matter. (Did you know 'matter' and 'mater' are related terms, one referring to the stuff of the universe and one referring to the divine feminine, She who is the stuff of the universe?)

If my son is dead and the flesh that moves and excretes, coughs and falls is not human but mere flesh. After eight years all the flesh has been recycled and made new. Jon is mostly feeding formula from a tube now. No more steaks and enchiladas, no more beer or water. This mass in the bed that looks almost like my son but nothing like my son might be nothing of interest to me or it might be the screaming mind of my lost and lonely child, trapped in a form that does not obey him. Would you want to know the truth, would you try to find out where your boy went? So I reflect on consciousness.

Those people who drive their cars by the house, or walk their dogs past our mailbox, or fly overhead in planes, have no bearing on my son. They never knew him, never met him, don't care about him. I'm the last of the care givers. His mother is slightly insane, trapped in her own fantasy in the nursing home that cares for her. His friends, if friends they ever were, have never come to see him, have stopped sending the odd emails, no longer have his address. They don't care. So I am left with the task of caring and it's important to me that I do it right, so I need to understand what I am caring about and why.

If woman gives form and man gives the spark, what is that form and what was that spark? Did Nancy supply the body into which I placed a soul? Did we make a mix 50/50 of body and soul? Did I have anything to do with it at all, is the scientific myth of DNA a fantasy of modern science? What is human, what does it mean to be aware, and is there a difference between self aware and conscious? Nothing is given here in America 2009, no deep debates about the nature of consciousness. We're busy supporting mass death and destruction, far too busy to wonder at the lives we snuff out.

Why divinity and why write about it? Why not? I couldn't give a rats ass about the self-destructive twits on the news. They leave nothing behind but images that fade away. Why try to understand consciousness when so many people waste it? Look at Gaza, look at Mumbai, look at Hiroshima. But to be distracted by imperfections in a mirror will make it difficult to see the reflection. To pick at your sores will make it harder to heal. So I wonder at the grace of two invisible gases combining to form water which runs downhill to fill an ocean and provide the stuff of life for a lifetime of living.

Every day I wake to pain and wait for it to fade. Every day I take science in one hand, water in the other and combine them in order to move this flesh around without only seeing the imperfections, the nerves that startle, the muscles that twitch, the bones that fade away. Every day when I take the pills that fade the pain away I think on Jon, reflecting on our similarities, our bad backs, our need to understand and I wonder if he wakes up to pain every day, because he can't take the pills and sit and wait. They don't think he can feel anything, so they won't help him out of that pain. They don't think the trache hurts him when he coughs. So they leave it in to save them the trouble of making him move enough to not have fluids build up in his lungs.

Dad died in his sleep, Mom died in hers. Suppose for a moment that your child was sleeping and dying and it was taking years to finish the dream, would you wonder and worry? Would you shake you fist at the sky and scream WHY WHY WHY?

I'm pretty self absorbed, what with this constant pain and all. I think a lot about the various body parts rubbing and pinching and screaming. It's hard not to, the screaming is pretty loud. But maybe because my Mom was sensitive to the suffering of others and maybe because my father would splint the wing of a broken dove I find it hard, even in the middle of waiting for the pills, not to wonder at what kind of morning my son gets, what kind of things happen to him down deep inside. I read the papers online about the Gazan children dying in their beds and think of my son dying in his bed. The Gazan children are dying because we sent rockets to Israel. My son has no therapy because the money went to build rockets to kill Gazan children.

I'm not sure I want Jon to wake up to this world. I'm not sure I don't want to crawl into my bed and pull the covers over my head. Like the snow covering the earth outside my window. But spring always comes, the Goddess emerges to greet Her Mother and the world knows new life. Kicking and screaming we come out of the womb and silent and faded we return. You can't stop living and you can't stop Life, so you might as well reflect on what it means and why you are involved.

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