Sunday, September 12, 2010

Morbidity & Whimsy

I have this quality that I have been trying to define forever. This is my latest definition.

I am morbid, very morbid, and it is at odds with the overwhelming wonder and delight I have in my surroundings. At night I watch the shadows on the walls and think about horrible deaths, and am paralyzed by fear. In the morning I am woken by a golden light that seems to beautiful to be true, and am overjoyed. These sinister thoughts (which I often feel incapable of reining in) and my more whimsical ponderings (which also roam free without my consent) are typically contradictory. Reading this I am sure you are hypothesizing that I am manic. But do not fret; sometimes there is a union of these two qualities and it may be when I feel most whole.

My February 22nd post included a photograph that entrances both sides of me, the morbidity and the whimsy.

On one hand, I am terrified. The deepest black is in that doorway. The white stairs, they lead to nothing. What is below? Is it glass, or the stillest water, the most sinister lake. Above the door, these angry angles, is the building folding in on us, are time and space at an end? Am I?

On the other, I am sinking into that lake. It seems it would be so lovely and cool. And when I reach the other side I will look up beyond the stairs, beyond the doorway, and I will know the depth of those perfect angles. Placing one foot at a time on each of those stairs I will feel the most incredible anticipation. Each concentric ring on every toe will forever remember this smooth white climb.

This union of morbidity and whimsy, this is when I feel most overwhelmed by beauty. I have been thinking a lot about this because of three things:
1) I live in Ohio, again. If this place were a color, it would be dusty goldenrod. This is one of my favorite colors. It is beautiful and sad beyond words.
2) It is the beginning of autumn (my favorite season). Everything seems to be dying very slowly, but I know that really it is just the start of a most beautiful slumber.
3) I am reading Miranda July's collection of short stories, No one belongs here more than you. I can only read one story at a time, sometimes it is a week or more before I can pick it up again. These stories absolutely bowl me over in their beauty and pain. The book is bright yellow. I treasure it.


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