What if the point of life has nothing to do with the creation of an ever-expanding region of control? What if the point is not to keep at bay all those people, beings, objects and emotions that we so needlessly fear? What if the point instead is to let go of that control? What if the point of life, the primary reason for existence, is to lie naked with your lover in a shady grove of trees? What if the point is to taste each other's sweat and feel the delicate pressure of finger on chest, thigh on thigh, lip on cheek? What if the point is to stop, then, in your slow movements together, and listen to the birdsong, to watch the dragonflies hover, to look at your lover's face, then up at the undersides of leaves moving together in the breeze? What if the point is to invite these others into your movement, to bring trees, wind, grass, dragonflies into your family and in so doing abandon any attempt to control them? What if the point all along has been to get along, to relate, to experience things on their own terms? What if the point is to feel joy when joyous, love when loving, anger when angry, thoughtful when full of thought? What if the point from the beginning has been to simply be?
We ate away, reminiscing about our victories over the enemies from different streets and villages and competing with each other in casting curses. A few golden butterflies and dragonflies were fluttering around us. The afternoon air was warm and clean, and the town below us seemed like a green harbor full of white sails.
Unless you are here: this garden refuses to exist. Pink dragonflies fall from the air and become scorpions scratching blood out of rocks. The rainbows that dangle upon this mist: shatter. Like the smile of a child separated from his mother's milk for the very first time. -from poem Blood and Blossoms
And in time it will be as though men had never come to this perfect corner of the world-never called it paradise on earth, never despoiled it with their dream factories; and in the golden hush of the afternoon all that will be heard will be the flittering of dragonflies, and the murmur of hummingbirds as they pass from bower to bower, looking for a place to sup sweetness.
Twisting through the thorn-thick underbrush, scratched and exhausted, one turns suddenly to find an unexpected waterfall, not half a mile from the nearest road, a spot so hard to reach that no one comes a hiding place, a shrine for dragonflies and nesting jays, a sign that there is still one piece of property that won't be owned.
I'll be looking for you, Will, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we'll cling together so tight that nothing and no one'll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you... We'll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams... And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they wont' just be able to take one, they'll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we'll be joined so tight...
Question four: What book would you give to every child? Answer: I wouldn't give them a book. Books are part of the problem: this strange belief that a tree has nothing to say until it is murdered, its flesh pulped, and then (human) people stain this flesh with words. I would take children outside and put them face to face with chipmunks, dragonflies, tadpoles, hummingbirds, stones, rivers, trees, crawdads. That said, if you're going to force me to give them a book, it would be The Wind In The Willows, which I hope would remind them to go outside.
Sophia and Grandmother sat down by the shore to discuss the matter further. It was a pretty day, and the sea was running a long, windless swell. It was on days just like this--dog days--that boats went sailing off all by themselves. Large, alien objects made their way in from sea, certain things sank and others rose, milk soured, and dragonflies danced in desperation. Lizards were not afraid. When the moon came up, red spiders mated on uninhabited skerries, where the rock became an unbroken carpet of tiny, ecstatic spiders.
Sophia and Grandmother sat down by the shore to discuss the matter further. It was a pretty day, and the sea was running a long, windless swell. It was on days just like this-dog days-that boats went sailing off all by themselves. Large, alien objects made their way in from sea, certain things sank and others rose, milk soured, and dragonflies danced in desperation. Lizards were not afraid. When the moon came up, red spiders mated on uninhabited skerries, where the rock became an unbroken carpet of tiny, ecstatic spiders.
In a little while they were kissing. In a little while longer, they made their slow sweet love. The iron bed sounded like a pine forest in an ice storm, like a switch track in a Memphis trainyard, like the sweet electrical thunder of habitual love and the tragical history of the constant heart. Auntee finished first, and then Uncle soon after, and their lips were touching lightly as they did. The rain was still falling and the scritch owl was still asleep and the dragonflies were hidden like jewels somewhere in deep brown wet grasses, nobody knew where. Uncle rolled away from his wife and held onto her hand, never let it go, old friend, old partner, passionate wife.
We wrap up our violent and mysterious world in a pretence of understanding. We paper over the voids in our comprehension with science or religion, and make believe that order has been imposed. And, for the most of it, the fiction works. We skim across surfaces, heedless of the depths below. Dragonflies flitting over a lake, miles deep, pursuing erratic paths to pointless ends. Until that moment when something from the cold unknown reaches up to take us. The biggest lies we save for ourselves. We play a game in which we are gods, in which we make choices, and the current follows in our wake. We pretend a separation from the wild. Pretend that a man's control runs deep, that civilization is more than a veneer, that reason will be our companion in dark places.
He sighed profoundly, and flung himself - there was a passion in his movements which deserves the word - on the earth at the foot of the oak tree. He loved, beneath all this summer transiency, to feel the earth's spine beneath him; for such he took the hard root of the oak tree to be; or, for image followed image, it was the back of a great horse that he was riding; or the deck of a tumbling ship - it was anything indeed, so long as it was hard, for he felt the need of something which he could attach his floating heart to; the heart that tugged at his side; the heart that seemed filled with spiced and amorous gales every evening about this time when he walked out. To the oak tree he tied it and as he lay there, gradually the flutter in and about him stilled itself; the little leaves hung, the deer stopped; the pale summer clouds stayed; his limbs grew heavy on the ground; and he lay so still that by degrees the deer stopped nearer and the rooks wheeled round him and the swallows dipped and circled and the dragonflies shot past, as if all the fertility and amorous activity of a summer's evening were woven web-like about his body.