indefinable being


The last remnants of this bitterly afraid body, this ambiguous mind, this capsule in which the entire universe seems to exist – and outside, beyond the surface of this inexplicable skin, a blank void, a dark emptiness, a vicious silence. What in the end is the point of this unending preoccupation to make sense of what is finally unspeakable, to exist in a vast and profound space with miraculous shapes and forms, to breathe and beat a heart relentlessly while the plot of an unwritten play unravels — before these eyes full of wonder? However vainly the hours may pass, oblivious of the impending death of my surroundings, the death that will also come to this entity that strangely calls itself “I”; vain attempts to forget the inevitable, to resist the irrevocable. Had this self been able to escape permanently from the entanglements of disaster, had this ego renounced a borrowed language and survived brutally naked without philosophy, without history, without tales, without spoken love. Somewhere within the entrails of this phantasmagorical reality lies a reflection, a foundation upon which all things past, present and future are sustained, nurtured and consumed; it is a realm powerfully un-human, destitute of qualities and because of its effortless existence it remains sovereign above all things that strive. And maybe it is a joke, to conceive or imagine some sort of reality that will remain after all of us are gone, some sort of metaphysical ground by which our passing away seems less painful, less tragic. There might not be any foundation for the fear, the awe and the effort; every act, every thought, every failure is essentially groundless, and we are and will always be an unnamable race, an indefinable being.

Beyond Language

One thought on “indefinable being

  1. Fallen Angels

    © nance baas dekker

    The figure lay still and silent like a fallen angel on concrete. Quite stunning in a morbid sort of way. It, –the body is a female human appearing albino-like in white tights and a sleek, fake fur jacket to match. Slivered moons glisten on two ebony cheeks, the silent form of her eyelashes, growing sticky with sea-green kohl and sealed by the first drizzle of the season. Her shape forms a letter ‘X’ against the slightly damp and tar-stained sidewalk. Violet and green neon lights from the marquee splash over the body in predestined sweeps. She does not move and she feels nothing.

    Passersby laugh, and walk around the body. Some take photos of this strange act on the street. On the curb nearby, a crowd gathers, stooping to peer into a wire cage. They laugh and shoot the curious creatures with video cams, – voyeurs of inter-species intimacy, a benevolent white rat upon the proverbial un-lucky black cat’s back, both snuggled marsupial-like with an unidentified breed of dog whose pointy snout and body is shaved smooth from head to tail. These creatures lick and groom each other, and if you watch closely, you will see them exchange meaningful glances. Yes, meaningful, soulful looks. How can I know that? Just look for yourself. Look closely.

    The delicate X, marked by the human girl form, now soggy and smeared like a forgotten chalk message is seen and yet, not seen. Small puddles appear around the body and one can imagine the body slithering over the curb and down the drain of meandering muck beneath glossy streets.

    A bold voice from the street interrupts…

    “Step up to our microphones and stand by for KCRW’s public story hour. Share your childhood memories ON THE AIR! LIVE TONIGHT!”

    A woman glides to the stage, her hair sparkles like a flight of fireflies and swings to the rhythm of her long strides. The crowd stirs with a prophetic hush. As she turns, the majestic prow of an ancient woman is greeted by the gasps of unwilling voyeurs in the story she has to tell, a story long forgotten.

    “There was a time, when the seas were tame; a time when nature itself ruled, a time before…”

    Beyond closed eyes, X girl is swallowed by an echo, sinking in fluid depths where the waxing moon is a constant ripple–a familiar ripple deep inside the echo, spiraling … becoming prior–prior to blooming trees, prior to cats and dogs, prior to the tides, prior to meaning of any kind. She does not move and she feels nothing.

    A hand-rolled cigarette dangles from pedestrian lips, watching the body for signs of life. Suddenly her eyes open wide, fixed in a numb stare upon the night sky, natant pupils reflecting shards of cruel light. Light without life. With a sigh, he tosses the nicotine stub in a puddle and shuffles on.

    Through the drizzle, X girl hears a distant but familiar sound, the voice of a young girl.

    “Well, this isn’t really a memory because we still play this game. Um… but it is a memory, because sometimes I can remember us kids doing this a long, long time ago… ” She shrugs coyly as she inhales the dampness of the night, finally ready to share her story.

    “Okay, now I will tell you. You don’t have to believe me you know, but it is true! Well, true for us. On Saturdays, we come out here and chalk up the sidewalk…for hopscotch. Anyone’s allowed to play, anyone that walks up on the street. We flip a nickel to see which of us gets to be the Mother –she’s like the big boss. She picks one of us and says something like – take three steps backwards, or, take 4 steps forward on tiptoes. So then we hop the squares and get to the Mother, without falling of course! And without stepping on any cracks. Then we have to remember to say Mother- May- I” before we ask for more steps. Anyone who forgets has to go back to the beginning. And if you are really good at this game, then you get to be the Mother…”

    X girl hears this voice echo inside her head and the voice was pain to her. She wanted out. She wanted the suffering to end. What she heard was not the words of the girls’ story. X girl heard these words.

    “Yes, you may stop now, this game is over. There is nothing for you here.” X girl does not move and feels nothing.

    For the first time, the small girl on stage sees the body on the sidewalk and gasps, covering her mouth with one hand and pointing with the other, her eyes open wide. The crowd turns staring down at the body. X girl stares up. Her eyelids flutter as a shadow passes over; black-gloved hand presses the eyes closed.

    A voice from the crowd speaks to no one in particular. “Should we call an ambulance?”

    “No need,” the pedestrian has returned, “I’ll watch over her.”

    Had I known, I would have dressed for death. Instead, my body hangs limp, speared by the cherry tree’s wooden support, shaved to a ‘V’ –an unpredicted fate. Red crimson spills from the wound, spoiling pale pink blossoms as they drift to the ground from the cherry limb where I hang. My best cowgirl shirt, sky blue with white trim and pearl snaps, is torn and falling off my shoulders. I can feel my boots slipping, – scuffed from the bark and a little too big. All I can see from here is an ocean of blue just before the tide sweeps me into emptiness. I never thought I’d die in a Cherry Tree, or on a city sidewalk for that matter. Now which was it?

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