Agriculture of the Brain

I still can't get used to living. This once alarmed me, but I now realise it is a feature shared by my friends - that  is how we recognised each other in the overgrowth of human pretension. There, in the jungle of excess, some people sell their words by debasing them: bandying them about more than choosing them carefully; reverting to profanity more than weighing each utterance as a gift.
And in that jungle, the foreigner or orphan is viewed askance by such low traders: wavering between respect and adversity for that which is different (a word they now choose to hijack).
The child remains alive in those who are squashed: only the child can find it natural for the steam-rolled Coyote, flat as a pancake, to blow into his thumb and never to have died. Ask a child to resuscitate you. But this is tricky in 2012, when children themselves despise their other nature, hurrying to reach the jungle with its chtonic despair, flinging themselves into it like the rockers of yesteryear.
This is the kind of folk tale I hear in the emptiness. The folk tale must always change - for it is like a medicine, and the medicine must be adapted to the changing ailments of history. One age has an emerging middle class. Another age has a dying middle class...
And meanwhile, those who talk but don't listen perform rites in that jungle, revering the baser side of Nature, drunk on sun sink on suns, and systems crush, drums reverberating Things falls apart; the center cannot hold... Not enough Marlows to cover over Heraclitian changing tides with those invisible threads that do hold things together, if for the initiated.
Not all difference is different. Not all nature is the same. In some idyllic pastures, the names of plants sing Latin poetry, and the names, if later forgotten, leave a slight impression on the brain, ready to be recalled. Recited so many times they are tamed in the mind of the keeper of what he sees.
This is the agriculture of the brain, an art which is going out of style, and by style here, I mean trend. Agriculture is relegated to the children's story, relegated to the mythical. Like in My Niehgbour Totoro, where Totoro engages in a ceremonial dance to make plants grow, and where the grandmother still brings her progeny to the field, helping them pick that which is ripe. More than the "healthy food" which the youngest daughter is sure will cure their sick mother, it is in nature where the mind can still imagine. It is a blank canvas - yet blank from human machination plastered over it.
Once upon a time, Propp reduced fairy tales to 31 functions. And just as this science permeated the tales of lore, they were disregarded by maverick authors who picked at the corpse of that which is handed down, cutting and patching where they pleased. That is the chtonic jungle. It is the children among us who say, let us bring it back to the light, and order it tidily so we can finally reap some fruit.

No comments:

Post a Comment