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Thursday, November 12, 2015


trees without leaves
I'm putting out food for possums and coons that pass through in the night. A homeless kitchen. They can and do make it very easily without my support. I put out snacks for them. Sofia's catfood left by end of day is dry and stale. A time comes it fails to appeal to her, and I don't blame her. I'm not one who says, she gets hungry enough, she'll eat it. Why would I want to do such a thing to my friend? It's bad enough to serve it to her cold. Possums are the garbage eaters of the world. I never put anything edible in the trash. Outside it goes for anybody passing through looking for a snack. The food kitchen is communal. All in the neighborhood or passing through are welcome. Sometimes a dog gets something. That's ok. Anybody passing through. I even put the water from a can of tuna in a small bowl to give a possum a taste treat. I like having possums around the house. They keep snakes away. I say thank you with a snack. They waddle along taking slow, deliberate footsteps, no schedule, no hurry. They look like small barrels with a long funnel for a face and a hairless tail, walking on four little hands.
They pass by at different times of a night without pattern, checking out the birdseed area in their meanderings. To me, they come and go like butterflies, I know not whence nor whither, come out of nothingness and go back to nothingness outside my field of vision. They have lives and family. They know where they are. They know where they are headed from here, another place they know that's pretty reliable, like a hunter's bait pile. They will follow their noses in their continuing search for the scent of something to eat. I was raised to have a hard attitude toward the creatures that live in the wild, outside domestic control. I came up believing everything in the wild was looking to kill me on sight. Even today, National Geographic tv shows wild animals killing wild animals, like crocodiles killing zebras, lions killing gazelles, killing and getting killed. Of course, if they showed the animals living in peace among one another, ratings would drop to zero. Kinda helps explain why we don't live in peace. Peace is boring tv. Since Rupert Murdoch's hostile takeover, National Geographic channel will more than likely be featuring sex among the animals. Possum sex, panda sex, elephant sex, bug sex, plant sex, amoeba sex, gorilla sex.

The world of adult humans has baffled me beyond any kind of bafflement I've known. In childhood, I believed I needed advanced education and intelligence to live in the adult world. It was one of the great surprises of my life when I grew up and found out knowledge is stupid. Only geeks read books. Art? Art who? Younger, I wanted to take the academic way, but lost confidence in American education too soon to go to graduate school. Actually, too soon to graduate undergrad, but the man I worked for talked me into staying with school by way of sound counsel. Much press these days of why schools are failing; it's the schools, not the kids. I'm inclined to see it both. Along about 1968. I worked in a bookstore. 68 was the year college students stopped reading on their own, but for pop culture assignments like Hermann Hesse, Kurt Vonnegut, Ken Kesey, Tolkein. Richard Brautigan was the hippie rendition of Rod McKuen in poetry, can't leave out Jim Morrison, all of them wastes of the trees cut down to make paper. After 1968, the books college students bought, before, turned yellow on the shelves. A major wave of anti-intellectualism swept the land. 68 was the year the first children born with a television in the house turned 18.

Can't leave out rock n roll as an anti-intellectual, counter-cultural influence on the generations since the mid-1950s. Looking recently at what is coming in as another is going out, I see in rock n roll a highly creative art expression taking up the slack as other expressions of art are left to fall away by the society at large since television. It seems unlimited what can be done with three chords. Though I appreciate traditions, old-time music of cultures all around the world of humanity, I recall a song by the Rolling Stones, Time waits for no one and it won't wait for me. Traditions tend to lock in place a moment that was better left to its own time. Jesus telling Peter not to build a shrine where an apparent miracle occurred, it's not about a shrine. It is about the moment only. Old-time music, itself, evolved over time. First was the fiddle to play for dances solo. A century later came the banjo. Half a century later came the guitar and later came the bass. Then blues. Then country music. Then rock n roll. Punk rock is old-time evolved to electric in a time when bands write their own songs. Old forms of intellectualism evolve too. Cycles, cycles and cycles.  

photos by tj worthington


1 comment:

  1. Good to know about possums and snakes. When I occasionally put cat food outside, I get possum visits too.