11 October 2018

The Usurp of the Cricket Chirp

by Andrew

There's a girl out there hacking-up a lung, I can hear her. It's just passed 2:00. But it's eerily quiet out there, otherwise.

I only noticed this just now, I just woke from a little evening siesta. That the crickets are gone. For the first night since I've been here,—beginning of August—the chorus of their chirping is absent from the evening choir, it's kind of sad.

It's the weather, the turn of season, I'm convinced. Currently Wednesday night,—or, Thursday morning—on Sunday, I noticed a similar quiet in the air. I couldn't sleep & was going to walk over to the grocery store at about this time. But something stopt me, like needles on the back of my neck, like don't go out there. And I was suddenly very afraid. So, I waited till daylight to go, instead. Or, it was just before sunset when I did eventually leave, actually, the start of Monday evening.

Which was a blessing in disguise. Because just at dusk Monday, I was passing one of the few spots I've noticed here that has a fairly open view of the east & west horizons. And I saw them up there in the sky, only 3 little balls of light in the approaching dark, Mars, Saturn, & Jupiter. Which it must have been just the day before, even, that I was looking-up the rising & setting times of all the planets, plus their current positions in the zodiak arc. So I knew immediately which planet was which.

It was absolutely enchanting, I stood there glued to the spot, over-looking a dirty little retention pond below. The ducks & swans were snoozing in the mud. But my gaze was upwards. There they were, for the first time in my 30 years,—though they'd always been there—I could consciously recognize them. What a gift! And how beautifully they shine, they're like little pearls. They don't twinkle like the stars, the planets, but are instead a constant force of color, like precious stones up there, like violet seeds. I couldn't look away. Till the sky darked some more, the sun disappearing almost fully, now, behind the horizon, & the other stars began to come a-light. There was old Arcturus up there, just about to set, the handle of the Big Dipper pointing to it. Which by now must be rising well before sunrise, I imagine. Autumn has arrived.

And the winds have indeed changed, I've noticed. The SE blows in-turn as the predominant NW calms, back & forth. Which that even felt completely new, this Autumn wind, though I was aware of its direction, paying it particular attention. It felt different on my skin, like a stranger, I felt a little dis-orientated, it's been blowing steadily all day. A new direction I'm not used to yet. And indeed even now, though I can't see its direction in the dark, the wind's, it's all I can hear out there, blowing between the dying leaves, like a death rattle. And the crickets are even gone now too. Adieu, friends. Till we meet again. We've another approaching Winter to survive.

It's just too eerie, the silence. On they go, the headphones. Some easy-listenings, Carlos Santana in Brazil, whatever's on the phone, my collection of music.

Another productivity hack I recently discovered—among the fasting & sleep-deprivation. These unhealthy little tricks to spike creativity the artist forever chases, a flirtation with Death. It's better to leave-off listening to music. Which was kind of a bad habit, I discovered, carried over from when I was at my mother's, to drown the constant screaming there, & whining, the nephew & his discipline. How it puts me in a strange zone, a strange mood, listening to music, like microwaved water, super hot. And I get this huge surge of energy, writing. I feel so productive, so juiced-up. But then my focus shifts. I check the phone, looking-up a word perhaps, onto Twitter, the music still playing, I'm still jamming. I feel wonderful. And then I'm scrolling & scrolling, tweeting, on the damn phone, it sucks-in all my energy. When instead, if I have no music & I go to do the same, to check the phone, the silence that surrounds me helps me stay more aware, & I'm right back off that damn phone in minutes, writing again, or reading, or whatever.

Music is too hyper-motivating. But damnit, I'm sad about the crickets, I miss them already. So a bit of music, till I finish scribbling here, then. But the instant I break the focus, off they go, these headphones, a note to self. Because the music is still fine for when I write. It maybe even helps, aids in entering that trance, perhaps, like the shamans & their drums. How they use a certain rhythmic beat to enter that "state," whatever it is, the slight snap from reality, let's call it, existence. Which poets do naturally, that's almost their exact definition, the conduits of nature, downloading that invisible frequency, & then re-distributing it through them. I wish I'd have wrote down this quote, I can't even remember where I saw it, it was recent though, between the books, the blogs, & Twitter, damnit. I think it was Jung, though, I'll have to back-track a bit & have a look, about the poets & unconscious.

Which sounds very important, very interesting, a poet, a senior director of analytic financial schematics for corporate partnerships, or something crazy like that, a mouthful up in the city. I bet you get a nice, fat paycheck, your own office, perhaps. Tell me, do you commute to work in the morning, too? wake by alarm. What's your preferred mode-of-travel? you look like the Uber type, a little tire round the belly, like your hands have never touched a steering wheel, they got a little shake to them, I can see. Your eye is twitching.

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