by LJ Frank
Searching my past stored in boxes and chests I stumbled across old jottings, marginalia in books, footnotes, and missives on scraps of paper in worn binders. journals, and diaries dating back more than 50 years.
The tableau of my mind’s awareness was shaped by the colors of experience. The painting on my brain’s canvas was situational…place, time, political, social, and economic contexts affecting perception and meaning. Circumstance and resources helped determine my libertine philosophy. I was an intellectual slut who slept with different ideas each night. How could it be otherwise if serious about seeking any given truth?
My formative years were in the inner city, a chip on my shoulder, and into an attitude – what’s it going to cost, who is going to pay for it and what’s it in for me that played like a game of chess in the brain and affected by inspirations whether shallow or deep.
Stuff humans deal with every day such as the unwieldy structural nature of money and its distribution, create absurdities with a causal relationship to drugs both prescription and street and homelessness in a telling fashion. Who benefits from the schemes of the rulers, except the rulers, or as Bertolt Brecht asked, who built the seven gates of Thebes, the books are filled with names of kings. So much of life is founded on what we are taught on life’s stage and the paintings in our head from the abstract to the realistic. But like paintings on a wall the ones we paint on the canvas of our mind are personal and colored with subjectiveness.
From my youth when I took long bicycle rides over 15 miles one way to get to a beach where my imagination awaited me on the sands of a large lake connecting two different countries both in reality and imagination. Imagination was more exciting than a sunburn.
I found in one of the binders a receipt from a restaurant of sorts where I sipped a beer at 7 am as that’s what I recognized on the menu. Years later at the same time of day in a different part of the world it was a Bloody Mary that found an expression of the place. Both times there was an element of herbs mixed in with the drink and a renewed awareness of my brain’s textured colors of expression.
I have had a few friends and acquaintances that were relatively wealthy in the scheme of things…. but it was foretold by a Hindu woman that I’d be wealthy in experience. But how much wealth is enough, either in money or experiences to satisfy the soul? One must take time to enjoy the otherwise frivolous… the tasting of the sensual and intellectual have their place as my curiosity seems without end an exploration of the attic in my mind.
I admit I am disillusioned and weary of speech weaponization, words to cajole, shape, distort, target, strike, and control the behavior or thinking of another person or the crowd, and fill the air with mistrust and distrust.
There are moments I prefer indulging in fantasy and watching rather than listening to the news and the unspeakable suffering and pain humans bring on each other for the sake of greed in power and the purse. Imaginary play at times is so much greater than the reality I find myself in.
How many people keep their thoughts still, not wanting to expose any vulnerability that might be taken advantage of…are they living a life of lies to themselves and society? Food on the table and a warm place at night to sleep is not the objective of the rulers for those below them. Rather designing a language of uncertainty is the goal of those seeking control.
And so, I ask, why not have a simple meal with a drink and a smile looking towards a distant inner landscape, that might after all be heaven’s interpretation of itself.