“My bags are packed; I’m ready to leave.
What right will bear my heart on sleeve?”
Emigration is an extreme state of mind. It is a no-man’s-land of entrapment and escape, fear and hope, identity and transformation. The possibility of freedom has been encountered in the snare of consequences. The awareness has dawned that the present creates the past, as light, air and water, not ground, grow wood. But a tree is rooted in the ground by its search for water. Will new ground nurture the same becoming?
Which Archangel Michael is eclipsed by the inner light of the Moon? Is it God’s will that the seed of a new army be lodged elsewhere, and a fearful self folds its wings, or is the protection of faith from the insufferable dissolved by grace and the indomitable will to flourish? In the moment of dissociation presence and absence are transfigured inside out. Butch is Ascella and Ascella is Butch.
Steer true, Canopus, helmsman of the odyssey for beauty and star of old-age, for the Southern Cross is an alien in this sky! May your charges find themselves again under this one:
The vagabond is homeless, disconnected, a refugee from the world of the therapeutically discriminating intellect. Is he unpacking his “stuff”? Is he on the way to realizing that the enemy of a perfect world is the undeconstructed self? Shall we ask him? Are we bored enough by our pallid Nothingness to inhabit with our self-aggrandizing ‘compassion’ another’s tedious wound? Do we have the temerity to apply our triumphant empathy to the capacity to deal with the shame of eating garbage, being constantly afflicted with diarrhoea and having nowhere to do it but in our pants? Are we ready to deal with the stereotypes he has us cast in?
Now read on.
Does this look like a smiley face to you? You’re sadly deluded. The Moon is a piece of rock without legs, and its ‘head’ is all face. If that doesn’t give him away as a shady type, the one eye confirms he is ‘other’, not to be trusted, potentially evil. Of course, as compassionate people, we have long abandoned physiognomy, but our compassion is anchored to the otherness of the ‘other’. Compassion is part of our identity, and the identity of the ‘other’ is as fixed: indigenous people must remain in traditional culture, disinherited and victimized, and disabled people must remain the recipients of our largesse, defined by their disability. To expect otherwise is racist and elitist, disrespectful of their identity.
The Sign of the constellation Taurus in the southern hemisphere is Sagittarius, the sign of charisma and independence. Re-inhabit your subjectivity and respect the ‘other’ in theirs! Nobody’s identity is fixed, at birth or in an analytical, managerial mind. There is no form which is not empty. There is only time, and the dark art of becoming. And the timelessly true subject of the subject, love.
Part The Second
If you want to justify yourself–tidy yourself at the margins–spare me some change, says the vagabond, the loser, the weirdo. Pause for a dialogue in the daylight world of your power to imagine away my exile. But if you can brave it, meet me in the middle of the night, in the chaos of your fears, the world of my power to make you an infantile irrelevance.
Chapter 1. Saiph
Who is God?
These people on the streets and roads of Afghanistan know the folly of disrespecting a man who will kill you instantly with impunity. If one is uneducated in the nature of offence, as I am, and you too, then one is in mortal danger. One must shroud oneself, maintain an attitude of deference and submit to any indignity. Is it wise to leave questions about God to the Imam to decide? No, it is stupid to voice an opinion. And that is why I will be long gone from the shelter of this moai by dawn. The power of Polynesians is immense, and under the gaze of their ancestors existence itself is an impertinence. Saiph has the laughter which incites a man to be bigger than his grandfather. It is very, very dangerous.
Chapter 2. Butch
Who are you?
Why do I sing “O Sole Mio” when all the beautiful people at this beach have their earplugs in? Because this is a dream, and singing a Neapolitan song gives me an aesthetic reason to be dressed in rags. My people forgive my problem with the bottle, and the years I wasted reading the history of the world, because I entertain the tourists. They tell me a woman’s beauty is not so much degraded by wolf-whistles in Italia these days. You can wear these revealing clothes. Is it true? A woman’s beauty in Pukapuka is the secret which keeps us alive. You will all leave and take your secrets with you, and here another cyclone will come.
Chapter 3. Avior
What is life?
You boys are trouble, no? Hahaha! No, just having fun, I know. That’s all I’ve got, and I don’t know when I’ll have more, but you’re welcome! A cricket team, eh? We play baseball where I am from, but last year I was in India. There it is big, I know. Howzat! Hahaha! The world is just a big game of cricket, no? Tampering with the ball! Hahaha! Go over there to vomit, man! Hahaha!
Chapter 4. Regulus
What is death?
“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” When will the Holocaust be forgotten? When will the Twin Towers be forgotten? For ever and ever. Now get out with me and witness the moment. I am pausing the meter, see?
That you will never see again. The star is the Archangel Raphael. I thought it was him when you started raving about death. Why do you want to talk about death? Is that my “stuff”? No. “I found more bitter than death the woman who is a trap, whose heart is a snare and whose hands are like prison chains.” That’s mine. “Eh quoi! n’est-ce donc que cela? La toile était levée et j’attendais encore.”
“Finally, I got home. It was tantamount to harassment.”
“Well, at least you got to see the Archangel Raphael”
“And you might refrain from turning our Christmas party into a conversation about death?”