In the ache for communion that seems endemic to this milieu, I write out of sheer pleasure. Often the pleasure is not always at the surface. There is grunting and groaning as I approach the page. Resistance to revealing what is here with me now, and strong. Still, with a bit of a nudge, I go there. There is always something deeper going on: patience required to approach it. Like the Little Prince’s Fox to tame, or ore that must be sculpted to find the vein of quicksilvered gold.
It’s like a good conversation. Good conversation is something I have for sheer pleasure. You can’t always plan them, but they do arise.There is something that comes up after casual convivial beginnings, and goes deeper, beyond any individual who is talking, and into the space between us, where mystery lies, and we cherish it. We know it is both ours, and not ours. It belongs to the remarkable miracle of the stars, and all the space in-between them. I dwell on these mysteries for sheer pleasure.
Sometimes, when out in the open world, tangible signs of humanity at least a bit removed, I rest. And a poem comes up. I write a poem for the sheer pleasure. The experience of the numinous within the wild is like being immersed in water. The poem is like that water that drips off of you after coming out of the lake or the pool. If I listen, I can hear the pattern of the droplets, and find the mix between my ordinary discriminating verbal mind and something else which I would be prudent not to put words to. I examine words, for sheer pleasure. I know I am not as fluid as water, but I submit to its nature in the tangential sensations of a marvelous participation mystique, as rivulets drip off of me in sheaves.
Etymology. Is it an ontological, an etiology, a phenomenology, or all of the above? No matter as if a rock climber in a giddy climb to further understand my mind, I can rest on these handles that give topographical relief to where meaning attempts to rise to meet its higher self.
These emergent stones we latch onto, reach deep into this smooth rising rock, as solid as Half Dome. Because their roots reside within intractable and undecipherable stone, we can’t see how deep the mountain runs, and what, ultimately are the sources. Like a tree, words have mystery below the surface of our usage.
What were the original soothsayers trying to say? Did they speak to a beyond they were so direct with better than we can listen for? Are we hearing it at all, or were they saying something else altogether? Are we lost in a vast misinterpretation of what the very first words said? Like the childhood game of “telephone” are we simply elaborating on agreements to lightening bugs of gossip, like a school of anxious minnows, darting back and forth without reason, attempting to assert that the sound and fury are the meaning. There is always that possibility, and it is always good to leave possibilities open, even if they turn over all the artifice of our social and cognitive constructions. Will the phoenix rise out of new original words amidst the rubble, finding now the maturity of the bittersweet that populates all that is imbued with foundational truth?
That is why I read out of sheer pleasure, hoping to find the magic of chthonic images, words with the heft of power. There will be vocabulary that slips through my fingers, but I will grab it anyway. There will be phrases that thrill from thorax to the bottom of the vagus nerve, and I will be, for that moment full. Full of I don’t know what: other than the utterly miraculous opportunity, to rest in the skill the author has brought to an experience. like those droplets from a lake or sea all the way across to me via scribbles on a page, I deeply steeped. Is this not a wonder? Is not the author and this submersion into transported experience as miraculous as breathing water?
Does this connection not speak of sheer pleasure, but also something beyond it? Sheer pleasure, this phrase is not enough to tell us what we are experiencing, and where that experiencing is going. Towards something more than I’ve ever been and seeing others as something more than I have ever allowed them to be. Pleasure in not enough, but there’s no worry, because the beyond is within it, waiting for further opportunities to get soaking wet. And terrible hunger will always spur us on.