The profession to which I have not professed, eminently qualified though I may be, has rigorous rules which I deplore, and so not one conventional astrology examiner has confirmed to me my eligibility. Jewish humour appeals to me as much as to you, but a God who suddenly realizes that the meaning of life is an answer, and in order to understand whatever the question might be, in case He is ever asked, decides to become human—who else?—is less humorous than perversely unoriginal. Those unfortunates like myself who idealize a beloved as the question are the dupes of das Kapital, for the narcissists who lie in wait for us are truly Gnostic shards of the answer to no known question. Of course, nobody these days has ever heard of Professor Joad, one of the BBC’s Brains Trust who famously opined, “It all depends …”, but it might be time for his relativism to make a reappearance. Anything, surely, would be better than dispassionate astrology, God disguised by a pen? How could I be envious of eternal gratitude accorded to gurus who alienate us from our own sky? But it does all depend, you’re right, on you, it seems.
A lion cannot be patted like a pussy cat. Toxic masculinity may be the problem du jour, as we continue to undermine pride as the basis for community in favour of shame, but it may be the case that toxic masculinity would disappear if we revived the distinction between wild and domesticated human animals, and reestablished pride on the same footing as shame, so that it might not be shameful to feel no shame, but rather a matter of pride. In my experience, the shame offered by the shadow of pride cannot match the presence of the shadow of shame! Lucky me? Yes, Pride and Shame are a Team, like daylight and darkness, or emptiness and substance. It might appear that the Conferences are they which pit themselves against each other at Superbowl, but in truth, it is they whose independence continues to make the anguish of America great.
As you travel the journey you are exhorted to make your life, Grasshopper, you will occasionally meet someone who wants you to cut off your hair. It is in this sense that moieties, such as male and female, can represent enemy territory. Your strength is foreign, at every stage of your journey, until the moment of your seduction to stay, that moment when in shame you might stop making calendars or listening to Mahler. North of the Lethe they invented a projection called Justfriendistan, where they don’t watch clocks or slit their wrists, I’m told. Be that as it may, migration is the beginning of everything: time, foreignness, marriage, gender, hair. It is only by walking away down each of the paths which converge at intersectionality that you discover what the theoreticians think you think they mean: emptiness is intersectional; we are mis-made of pluralities of victimhood. In fact, back at the intersection, only Miss Polly’s Dolly needs to heal, because the rest of us weren’t born anything, let alone perfect. Are you coming quick, Ms Muslim or Christian Post-Colonial [PC] Indonesian or Anzac Immigrant, or quite fainting away in your doctoral Miss Polly projection? I hope you will realize before your children do, that we are politely turning our gaze inward on how ridiculous you look. Look up ‘evolved’ in the Urban Dictionary: it does not refer to the ecology of a tidal rock-pool, much and all as many of us would like to crawl back under a rock.
Shadows are smallest at noon, have you noticed, or never connected ego, reputation and shadow? And after lunch they lengthen towards the east, but is that naturally on your left or right? In other words, do you measure direction from the north or south? People are either clockwise or anticlockwise in their experience of time. Which are you? Is 9 in the sky left of 3 or right? Do people who count lefts and rights on a map belong to the same species as people who negotiate right angles by correcting north and west to go northwest by the afternoon Sun in the Southern Hemisphere or its morning shadows in the Northern Hemisphere? Do you even know what I’m on about? Has it never happened to you that GPS coverage left you high and dry? Talk about pre-migratory! Would you know that it was the cliff the lemmings were running towards? Who on Earth are you, love? Oh well, when all else fails, we can always ask directions from the same kind Brotherhood volunteer on a student visa who saw our inner child safely home at 3am last Sabbath, can’t we?
When those around you who deride your sticks marking sunset and sunrise and the blind clap halfway between ask you how to explain law and ceremony to their abusive elders and suicidal children; when you cannot find a companion for a southward migration from Bamaga to Fitzroy because nobody has a father who has danced the journey, nine hops that way, four that, four fingers, three, two, one, a squat, one finger the other way, two, three, four, five; when all around you are unable to recognise a single star out of the corner of the eye of the collapse of their cultural memory into deprivation, squalor and shame and simply recognize an accumulation of vomit as the end of the wet; when your initiation is in your neurones, not written in a wandering academic’s sky map; when you know what how and when to go depend on, and why your ancestors are telling you to go now: you will be a roadbuilder, or a cave-rescuer, and we’ll be proud of you, my son!
Identity is the cusp of Pride and Shame. The question which torments relativism is not, ‘what are things in themselves?’ but, ‘where is “Out Of Story”?’ The 3am ‘Aha!’ is the refolding of a disease around a misspelled antigen: “Did I simply lack the guts to be one thing or the other?” Women have lived in a foreign country so long that they have trouble realizing the real men have left. Perhaps the last Imams to leave are right: women in their country have half a brain. Anyone who cannot see the trees for the forest may leave the room. You’re right, relatively speaking: you don’t belong here, though your broken journey bless us, where the intersection blurs in evaporating tears.