I grow weary of stories,
these shabby accountings of events, true or invented
or spun for the teller’s advantage. What does it matter
what happened, or did not happen, and why
or why not? The past, what was, is history,
and what could have been mere fiction,
acid eating eternally into our souls’ open wounds.

In our crowded fearful world we cackle incoherently, cacophany
like battery chickens in our tiny cages. Here, now, there is only space
to talk. Action is impossible, and in any case forbidden,
and renders all our conversations moot.

The time for talk and stories is long past — we will be judged
not by our narratives, our recollections, our impassioned speeches,
our skill at presentation, or debate, or rhetoric, or manipulation of truth,
but by what we do. And as long as we just chatter on, tell tales,
transmit information, read facts and opinions, acquire knowledge, write,
analyze, shout, whisper, scream, communicate in a thousand inchoate ways,
we accomplish nothing.

We pass our deadened, lonely, fearful lives in dazed perpetual unreadiness,
reacting to the ceaseless flood of data which monopolizes our attention,
as it saps the energy we need for action.
And each distracted learning yields new ignorance
and leaves us paralyzed.
Conception numbs perception, leaves our minds
congested with such rich and blinding wisdom that
there’s nothing left to see the truths that only come when we imagine.

See there, a man with a strange compulsive disorder:
He packs for an incipient and momentous journey, but then stops
and unpacks everything, moving each item to a different stack,
and then repacks it, purposefully, only to stop and repeat the cycle
of perpetual preparation, going nowhere.

(My Summer Fiction copy of New Yorker has arrived,
so full of stories: Another personal horror tale from Boyle,
a trilogy of interwoven stories from Munro, of anguish and humiliation, starkly told,
as is the style today of good Canadian writers.
But these are narratives of helplessness, their heroes mostly victims
living and reacting in the passive tense.
I search in vain for clarion calls, primal truths, direction how to put things right,
the purpose of our lives, perhaps, or even insight into why cats purr.

There is no instruction here on what to do, now or ever.

The magazine has a do-it-yourself bumper sticker, I  . _______,
and at first I scribbled WRITING in the empty space,
but then to my dismay I saw my ‘R’ looked like a Freudian ‘A’
and that my mobile message would just advertise my own complicity
in using words as sad apologies for doing nothing, really, yet —
which would be all the more ironic on a car they call an ‘Odyssey’.)

Life’s meaning won’t be found in human words, so often full of rage,
apology and grim regret. It’s found instead in silence — speechless, breathless,
in the summer rain, the rustle of leaves in the wind, a child playing with a dog,
a hawk soaring in the sun, a moonlit walk at midnight, when time stops —
when the Earth connects you to her soul, and whispers:
“Love without bounds, open your senses and your heart
and experience the wonder-full and ever-deepening joy
that comes from being one with us — you’re home
and there is nothing here to fear.”

And cats purr, of course, because they understand all this, instinctively,
and, so, because they can.

Photo of Davezilla’s cat Jade by Rannie at Photojunkie.ca.

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  1. KevinG says:

    > There is no instruction here on what to do, now or ever.There need not be any instruction here. Each person must make the own decisions. Each person must see the world as it is and decide how to act.When your hair is on fire you don’t stop to ask how it happened or look to other people for advice – you set about putting it out using the best means at hand.

  2. Denny says:

    Beatiful photo of the cat Jade. Looks exactly like my cat Harry.

  3. Pearl says:

    :-) It’s disheartening and real and uplifting. and just like cats too.”I scribbled WRITING in the empty space,but then to my dismay I saw my ‘R’ looked like a Freudian ‘A'”Oh, that’s fabulous. I wish I would have written that sort of line and for me I don’t see those too often.

  4. Yes – the entropy-energy struggle – thanks for describing the landscape.

  5. Yes! The connection to nature and the Earth is the only way that we can understand real peace and know where we belong. As long as we continue to live through concrete, removed from true being, then we can never fully understand how important it is to heal and be healed.

  6. Jacob says:

    Everyone is waiting, including myself. Some things never do change. Beautiful picture of your cat.

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