Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Feathered Fan

I do have a baroque feathery purple fan in the central place on my mantel. This fan was left behind by one of my lovers and I cherish it. This woman had flair for the dramatic and for ritual. I would say love games but love was never really a game. Lovemaking was sacred for us. It should be, although love can also be play. I treat my fireplace mantel as an altar. I have pictures of my ancestors there and Indian bronze sacred statuary is placed among the pictures. A Garuda bird, the mount of Vishnu as a result of promises made and kept, is above the fan in a mirrored glass cage with an open door. This Garuda was cast in bronze shown with a snake in its beak. Garuda is a lesser but essential God in the Hindu tradition and is the implacable enemy of serpents, both sacred and profane. Among other Indian serpents are varieties of cobra, and a protector who defends us from cobras is a very good idea. Garuda is there above the fan as a protector of the love that was infused within it.

The Feathered Fan

You took your feathered
fan and stroked my back gently.
When you left I placed
my life on the shelf
above the banked fire you set
in my drafty house.
Now I contemplate
my shape there on the mantel,
wonder if I fit.

June 2, 2009 8:38 AM


  1. We fly Garuda to Indonesia. Thanks for these lovely images and words Christopher.

  2. Christopher, and so it seems to me, but who am I anyway, that you fit exactly right into this diarama of life.


  3. Elisabeth, I saw that when I was checking my facts on Garuda. Indonesia has named their airline after Garuda to be fierce and free in the skies.

  4. Erin, that it would seem so to you is a puzzle. If I fit exactly right here then why is it so difficult for me? And if it is difficult and right for me, then must I conclude that it is this difficult for all of us? But I often do not see how to make any sense of the price I must pay for my presence on the planet, that things are insane on a fundamental level. How can that be so?

    And if it be so for me and you see that I fit exactly right, then it is probably really that way for you. I grieve that one with your beauty must suffer this much while walking through the madness.

    My next fallback, it is really not all of us, just some of us, and unfortunately you as well as me, but not necessarily him or her. Surely not ALL of us. Surely, some of us do not pay so steep a price. But even so, the number of us who do enrages me. That you suffer like this enrages me. The counselors would say it is not your suffering but mine that enrages me, to which I reply, that, too.

    Garuda is a protector because we need divine protection. That is so fundamental a fact of life that maybe I should conclude that it is really universal. But that leads to a reverse puzzle. Why then do some people fail to relate to me so completely? If we are so alike, why do we so misunderstand each other?

    Yet I am sure the answer lies not in withdrawal but in diving into the thick of it. It is not really rape, though it often feels like it. Thus the answer is to remain ultimately defenseless. Thus the answer is to open wider, receive more, accept the consequences and the gestation and the new life. And when it is time to depart, then depart willingly as well.

  5. Open wider comes again, on the heals of an old pain which wrinkles it's nose in a new day. "....I can only conclude I was not made for here." C S Lewis comes to repeatedly. It's hitting me square in the face, and I wonder if that is open enough, to lift my face to it? Must I open my mouth to ingest the vile shit as well? Perhaps, it is the next step.

  6. It is said that there is much illusion, even delusion intermixed with the backdrop reality, that the next step is then the cessation of the illusion. It is said that we who share enough awakening on this day can turn toward the curtain and open it further.

    Perhaps then the vile shit stops being vile and perhaps even stops being shit. Perhaps this is not a dream while the appearances of the vile shit are woven into a dream that has the objective of continuing the dream.

    It is what some masters claim.

  7. Christopher, I haven't finished reading what you wrote because I need to respond. Yes, you fit exactly right. Yes, you suffer a great deal of pain. But it is in our pain that we are granted growth. By dark, the light. You know how this goes. I'm a little lucky, lately. I don't see me as suffering, despite any discomfort. What I have on my plate, I have in large created myself, or needed it, I suppose, for the growth that I needed. The last two years have been hard but I can also say that the last two years have been two of the most important years of my life. I'd not trade anything of my own suffering, although I'd wish to diminish the fallout to some of the others around me. But here I'll be bold and say, I don't think that they have owned their own as much as they could. I dare say, they would grow more if they would welcome it in and look to themselves and then take a great breath and then a great step. I dare say. But who the hell am I to say anything? I am a slow learner but I am glad for my lessons. I have a tingling feeling that I've a few more in my near future. Not so pleased about them. Perhaps I'll be pleasantly surprised.


    Ok, read more. I think perhaps it is all of us that suffer. Why do we not relate? Well, there is a very fine question. I am sometimes at odds with even myself. I think, perhaps, we fear we are alone. I think perhaps that is why we don't understand one another. We don't realize how similar and vulnerable we are. We barrier ourselves with judgement against one another in the hopes of fortifying ourselves. At times, we are rather pathetic, always with the potential of being grand.


  8. Erin, I love you. You do not need to agree with me. Three posts down the line is directly in keeping with this post. The cost is too steep. Because I felt that way very early, because the prices I had to pay were so dear so early, I have never really felt I fit here.

    If this world were in the running as the best possible world I would vote against it even if I did not really know much about the others in the running. If it turned out that the others were worse, then I would vote against the universe.

    That's the argument I have with God.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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