5:17 on a Tuesday morning.
It’s not that I can’t sleep, it’s because I have slept. Odd hours. Odd times, beseeming, to an odd existence. Tonight I told Sam that “something is wrong with me”. And there is, I can feel it. Down beneath, where all the hidden stuff is. Down beneath, where only microscopes can see but usually can’t. That’s going to have to wait until later, though. To me, there’s always Later.
I put on “Big Fish [Blu-ray]” (Tim Burton) to while away these down-beneath hours until the day starts. Well, everyone else’s idea of day-starting. I obtained the film because he wrote the screenplay, because he is accessible through his site, because he is flesh and blood and created a thing transcendant thereof. Many things, actually.
I write now because of an unmaintained, derelicted swimming pool and an incredulous son. Not my pool. Not my son—though perhaps my own unmaintainance and murk and self-dereliction failing to be reflected in dirty waters.
I write because the incredulous son caught glimpse of the Big Fish, just after he unburdened himself to his father and called him on all his “lies”.
I am not the fish. I am not the pool—mostly. I am not even the son. My life, though, continuous like all our lives and perhaps like all our lives (think about it) is not a run-on sentence. It is punctuated by moments of incredulity. Yes, that’s it, because if disbelief happens only in the punctuation, the words must flow from a spring in which anything is possible, everything is achievable and anything is doable.
I see the Big Fish I don’t believe in; the witch in the old woman; the Spectre in the small town.
I see little beginnings, there and there, by and by, like the splash and glimpse of a dorsal fin in a murky, mossy water. But like the rippled disturbances that result, the endings aren’t quite so easy to spot, are more arbitrary decidings than fixed marks and are of little consequence because they are nothing but the small consequence—or is that subsequence?—of the more interesting event.
These are the stuff which more beshrew the mind than sustain it, something else I’ve observed over the years. For they imply nothing more strongly than the decay of the healthy brain.
The brain: the seat of power, the ruler of the body. One’s kingly keep.
So why is it that we like our palace intrigue at a distance? Why so many of us choose to be but minor courtiers to our own nations? We keep to the well-lighted side of the arras, we accept the clothing of the emperor-king as brilliant fashion. We ignore the movements we but snatch at the corners of our sight and blame the wind instead of trusting the impression.
The courtier’s function is to know his place and stay within it, neither offending those above nor consorting with those below: no one maintains better than a one whose Who is ruled by whose Where. This avoids the risk in being noticed by one who may affect your What.
But I see the splash in the pool and while my bearing depends on reason and dear, old, sad Occam, I can’t help but use that sure footing to stand there sure and strong, extending myself precariously for no reason except to fancy a Big Fish’s passage.
Everyone’s life is a story. Life Itself is Story. I’m in a Moment here, and it’s time not only to own my story, but to begin the telling of it.
Big Fish and All.