Posts Tagged ‘symbolism’

Them two old trees

July 17, 2018

‘’Then Jacob was left alone, and . . . wrestled with him until daybreak.’’

From the smallest  of the small

through quarks at the bottom of it all

to the farthest galactic star,

through galaxies spun afar,

we wander in a maze;

we wonder at its ways:

Surely all this stuff did arise from the Creator!

Or maybe it evolved through Nature?

Contemplating incredible predetermined complexity,

yet astounded by so much intricate simplicity—

We find two data sources to uncover,

as if there are two original outgrowths to discover.

Now perched on a precipice of nihilistic trauma,

we recall an ancient hand-me-down, historic drama:

Two multi-branched entities with o’erhanging claims to maintain us:

Two historic flora-fauna, purporting to sustain us.

One provokes a quandary chasing endless  knowledge;

it arises from, like, stuff we learn in college;

the other, an affirmation, provides purpose for our strife:

we simply harvest belief from an ancient tree of life..

These two trees we see

manifested in humanity.

The smart ones manage to survive

Tree

while the faithful eternally revive . . .

Pinktree

‘. . . and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”

King of Soul 

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Symbols that Unite or Divide

November 16, 2016

AmFlag

Here’s a timely excerpt from Glass half-Full, the novel I wrote in 2007:

Marcus opened a can of turpentine. He tipped it slightly so that its upper contents would spill onto a rag that lay on the parking lot next to his car. With the rag partially soaked, he began rubbing on the driver’s-side door. Someone had painted a black swastika on it while he was working late. His cell phone rang.

He opened it, looked at the mini-screen, saw “Grille,” which stood for Jesse James Gang Grille. In the last few days, however, whenever he would see “Grille” displayed as the caller ID, it registered in his mind as “Girl,” meaning Bridget, because she would often call from there.

“Hi.”

“Marcus, have you heard about the explosion?”

“No, where?”

“At the Belmont Hotel, about 20 minutes ago.”

The Belmont was just two blocks from the restaurant.

“That’s where the FEF convention is. Aleph told me he would be going there tonight. Has anybody been down there to see what’s happening?”

“Kaneesha left here right after we heard it, but she hasn’t returned. I don’t think anybody’s getting in there for awhile. The police have got the whole block barricaded.”

“I want to find out if anything has happened to Aleph. Don’t you think he would have left there by now?

“The TV News says the police aren’t letting anyone in or out except rescue workers.”

“I’m headed over there in a few minutes, as soon as I get the car-door cleaned up. Someone painted a swastika on it.”

LincMemNit

Glass half-Full

Parabola

June 21, 2012

Neither life, nor anything in it, is just a simple straight line. Even crystals, which grow along straight mathematical forms from the elements and minerals of this world, have to be cut before we value them.

There’s nothing really simple out there. It all confuses. That is why, I suppose, people have such trouble accepting the idea that there is some kind of absolute truth in the universe.

Nothing in this life ever just jumps on a straight-line path and goes forward, without vectored influence to push/shove it to the right or left. In experience we are, like, all over the place. Here one day, there the next, trying to make up our minds about what to do, how to approach this or that person about something-or-other problem, or how to solve this problem and ignore that other one, hoping it-he-she-it will go away.

So if there is any truth in this life, in this world, universe, we access it only after discovering the nugget from some obscure hiding place, and then we are proud of ourselves because we’ve uncovered some precious truth, like treasure in a field. Eschewing the common good and beauty all around us, we prefer to dig for rare booty. Then finding something good beneath all the crap that goes on becomes a triumph of sorts, and we can feel good about ourselves for a while.

Jesus explained to his disciples that he speaks to the people of this world in parables, because they do not see really what something is when they are looking at it, and they do not really hear what’s going on here, even though they think they are listening.

I think that’s why writers like me like to veil our visions in allegory, metaphor, nuance, and literary B.S., hoping that the world will dig through our fabric of symbolism and story to discover  some truth in it.  We could say that, parabolically, we are a little bit like the master story-teller of all time–the one who spoke truth in parables. In truth, however, our vain musings can not hold a candle to his wisdom.

Glass Chimera