Self and reality. Symbol and language. Myth and image. Memory and consciousness.
Dream and unreality: locus communis.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Purpose of Our Journey Becomes Forgotten

In my family a defiance against progress exists: both my parents and myself maintain a subscription to a physical newspaper, even in this ever-demanding high technology environment of machineries and the processes of ever updating applications for household gadgetry, from computer to phone.

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It is a ritual in the weekends to brew the coffee, step into the frozen word for a scant series of minutes, collect the damp, coiled paper, and begin remembering what world we live in— the beautiful and the ugly. Grey smudges forming across the palm and tips of fingers. The sun fragmenting across headlines and various diagrams of the economy, the literary events in New York City, the opening of a new museum in Houston.

The meaning of this ritual will be lost on Brendan in a handful of years, even as he is currently a willing participant in the ceremony. This morning in fact, with the fresh frost torching the neighborhood, he grabs my hand after he’s bundled up, and drags me to the front door shouting “Outside! Outside!” The purpose of our journey becomes forgotten in a matter of seconds. I am without a jacket, wearing only slippers on my feet, slowly moving through the cold grass, but he is determined to motion through the morning, pull me across the street. At the edge of the pavement, he turns around to view his domain, his house temporarily, then at this point he demands to be picked up so he can view the full surrounding world.

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Even at this weekend hour, construction workers are filling out yet one more lot in the subdivision, digging into the ground with shovels and picks, creating a small frame for the new foundation. The scene drives his attention, holds his curiosity tightly. But soon Brendan will want to return indoors. Run the length of the narrow hallway which lies in the center of the house. I will listen to the rhythm of his steps as he jogs in the background, pretending to be an airplane or a steam engine. But for now, everyone’s breath fogs in front of their mouths, the workers, Brendan and me.

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