Man the Juice

moon through bare limbs

I skid across black ice. The Volvo’s brakes grumble with anti-lock distress. Their distress is my safety. My mind spins, fresh and raw, voluptuous and hungry, animal. I float the ship into its cave, slide in to the warm cavity. Ok, I like my garage. I like it, but not as much as Johnny. Oh Johnny boy, take me to your haystack and shine your sun on me!

Yes, Johnny redeemed me, resuscitated me, brought me back to reality, to the reality of sense, of sensation. He reminded me to cherish the sweetness of life as it happens, from as early on as you possibly can. Johnny “hungry skin” was perfectly hungry, salient. Connecting with his velvet skin, giving my pleasure back to him, sharing it just for the moment, carefully, formally, we did a little dance of mutual healing in a crowded bar. He danced and shimmyed up to me as if I were the only one for him. Yearning, but with open eyes, embracing, a shocked vermilion flare engulfed me. Then he moved on to say hello to the next hungry skin. There is one lesson. There is only one lesson. Cherish.

I don’t try to kid anybody. I take it as it comes. I flop around a lot. There is no turning back, no redemption, just gratitude, giving in, giving over, finding the music of just being, just breathing. Man the Juice. Be mindful of the juice. The juice is what pulses through us with joy. It only happens once, each second, each moment of pleasure.

Panting, I get out of the car, push the buzzer button hooked up to the auto garage door. I walk out into the huge, silent cold. I pause, facing the scene I’ve seen dozens of times a season, tonight crushingly new, daringly new. My breath hovers around me, ghostly.

I glance over at the Christmas lights decorating the house across the street. Electric icicles hang along a steep roof angle of the A-frame. Expensive, adorable, kitschy, gay but not gay, they are annoyingly perfect, Martha Stewart-like. But it’s ok. We need to feel that something can be just right. We need beautiful illusions. We need to feel complete, like we’ve arrived, if only temporarily. I smile at those lights.

I stand in the driveway, pausing, knowing I’ve paused safely here before. The wind chimes barter their wares, seductive questions, partial answers, sampled sirens messages. Their alto pings swim between two notes, a chant of poles, tides of a question.

I look up at the magnificent beast looming over my house. It reaches anciently toward the sky. 300 years gives this green sage some perspective. How does it see our frantic lives? Now denuded of its summer cloak, its gnarly limbs pose dramatically, frozen time, at least to me. One of it’s great, gentle hands, with long, almost grotesque spindly fingers, cradles the three-quarter moon like a baby.

The wind chimes pause, hold their breath. Silence.

Regal yet demure in her shroud, she notices me. Facing sideways, alluring, she looks somewhere beyond what I see, gazing across the neighborhood, over the house with the perfect lights. She draws clouds around her noctilucent face, swirling them in a slow liquid, curled silver glass.

She listens as I watch her hover in the oak’s stringy fingers. She calls deeply, shows me myself, my weakness, my perfection, my meaning. She somehow touches inside me, calls up my innocence, my child, my hurt. She tells me it’s ok. She lets my tears out. They flow from far, far inside me. They wash over me. I stand there, looking up at the moon through the arms of the great, gentle beast. I cry, wailing inside. I wail silently, not wanting to wake the neighbors with the perfect lights, not wanting to disturb them, their contentment. I cry for all I cannot do, all I have failed to do, all I wish to do, all the things I fear. I cry for those I cannot help, those I have not helped, for the love I’ve failed to give. I have so much to learn. I have so much to live. The moon gazes gently beyond me.

The chimes tap my shoulder, resume their muted sighs. Chilled from the steely cold air, I go inside the house. I am greeted by my two little furry friends, Merlin and Punker, whom I ignore way too much, as I do many of my friends. Why do I do that? Why do I let pass so many perfect, sweet, gentle moments in favor of some kind of thrill, a rollercoaster ride? My interior life demands me, snares me. I get hooked on far out orbits, swinging low, way low on a glittering chariot.

My little purring pals, free, reliant, so poetic, they know me and cannot speak. Yet they ground me, tell me things, remind me to eat, to sleep, to breathe, to love, to hug. They wait. I am sure they embody some subtle, effulgent fragments of a great spirit. I see this and I am afraid. Afraid and somehow comforted. Something cradles my fear. Merlin and Punker gaze at me, kiss me with their eyes, waiting for food.

How come we do the things we do? Why do we feel so much, and know so little? How can we be so sensitive and seductive and still so dull, as we crash and flop across exquisite landscapes, barely noticing, just passing, blinking, wandering into some strange night?

I cross the bridge, walk away from the river into the open fields. The moon calls me. The trees stand guard. I weep quietly in the long, dark night. I begin.

photo by Sharp Bokeh
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20 thoughts on “Man the Juice

  1. We all are walking, searching, looking, walking right by what we might be seeing, but not noticing. Then some days the eyes are clear and we are appreciating every little thing around us. We are grateful. We are kind. Somehow in our own way, we find a balance in our erratic ways. We don’t know any other way to do it.

  2. “The wind chimes barter their wares…sampled sirens messages”

    Love that! Sampled siren’s messages. Gorgeous.

    A beautiful post, G., thank you –

  3. I zeroed in on” we need to feel that something can be just right”. It reminded me of how sometimes I scramble around outside of my house, trying to make sure everything looks good, so as to conceal what lies inside. Sometimes I try to do that at work too- everything else is a shambles, so I focus on doing my job as perfectly as possible. Something has to be right.

    And although you point out your shorcomings so eloquently, the good news is that you are aware. We all fall short, but numbness conceals.

    BTW, I followed your advice and re-wrote my last post.

  4. WB- Now that you point it out, I realize what an important idea that is. Most of us know are weaknesses, and we don’t feel compelled to advertise them. So we emphasize what we DO accomplish, no matter how modest or ephemeral. We need the comfort of the idea or, more cynically, the illusion of something being finished, perfect.

    Having cut flowers in a vase while it snows outside reminds us that those little glimmers of relative perfection are all we have. The flowers fade and rot, but the few days of beauty they offered are their own perfection.

  5. Well written!

    Truth is impermanence, however, and that which comes to pass indeed does not come to stay. Perhaps we are blinded by our need to have things that are fixed and unchanging – that which the world does not offer.

  6. Chriss, nice to meet you. Yes, I’m keenly aware of the mutating present, the truth of impermanence. That’s the irony of writing, that it’s usually about something past. Writing is its own reality, has its own rules. My past becomes someone elses present. When I experience something as intense as that connection with the moon, I am both here and in the future, living and recording, feeling and analysing. Riding the wave of impermanence. Thank you for stopping by. I like your blog, too.

    Take care.

  7. To me the present is constant, not impermanent–unless we get attached to what it offers.

    The present is now, flowing, despite the “monkey” mind: Acceptance without judgment. The present IS truth, constant, eternal, egoless.

  8. Garnet,

    Maybe I’ve said hello, maybe I haven’t. After a long hiatus, I’m striving to nurture the inner child that continuosly begs me to put words on paper, whether of value or not. Part of my awakening is searching…specifically for voices that will provide inspiration, thought, respect, and value.

    This last piece of yours…my eyes hurt from tryin to find writers online, yet I read every drop of it as if it were the last bit of Scotch with a three day snowstorm on the horizon.

    Glad to have come across you. I will visit often

  9. Mike- what a creative and intriguing comment!! Thank you for the rich compliment. You made my day. You were pretty close about the Scotch. It was bourbon, and an ice storm of sorts. But I didn’t run out of it, luckily, and the sun shone a bit today.

    If you’re looking for good writers, sift through my blogroll. Your eyes will still hurt, but you’ll find lots of good writing.

  10. Your way of articulating life is honest, yet beautiful.

    Often I read your words and I don’t know how to respond so I simply let them envelope me in feeling, and I read them again. Thank you Garnet.

  11. Your prose always pulls me in: an emotional gravitational tide I cannot ignore, nor do I want to. This was compelling, revealing, and more. I was swept away and will leave here changed by your writing. Thank you, G.

  12. Thank you deeply, Silvermoon. This post was very dense. It started out as prose poetry. Then I added some syntax and cleaned up the spacey grammer. I like the way it flows.


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