Friday, July 29, 2011

Heaven is a Place


I'm so sunburned. My beautiful bronze skin is actually making me an awful stereotype of our indigenous American predecessors. Family is where you go to be a petulant child once again, free from the restrictions of the outside world; a projection of a society that is constantly holding oneself from instant gratification. And in the family, that's what I can be; angry and loud and in need of constant attention. Not that any of my relatives would like that. In fact I'm pretty sure they prefer me on my best behavior.

But cousins do that to you. Instead of being a polite individual I just fall back into the fold. I interact with my cousins as a peer; barely adolescent—mostly sunburned.

No one seems to think too much about it. I work hard to keep the house pretty. I cook and I fish. I babysit and I read. I just read William Gibson's “Neuromancer.” I would like to turn it into a screenplay but I suppose that “Ghost in the Shell” is already an adaptation of it in some form. Good movie—watch it. Good book—read it.

I have eaten crab caught from the waters in front of our house everyday. I have eaten oysters on the half shell. I have eaten wild salmon. Every meal ends with cherry pie and ice cream. The days move slowly, marked only by the passage of one meal into another. The calm morning passes into a midday breeze. The midday breeze turns to a sweltering afternoon. The water is beautiful. People lounge on the beach. People grab floatie toys and boats, play in the water. Life stops here. And it moves too fast. All too suddenly the sweltering heat turns to evening. The shade passes over the house and then the sun sets for the next four hours. From 6 to 10 it turns slowly from yellow to orange to red to purple to deep blue. And blackness.

I am consumed by this place. This lifestyle. Everything I want can be here. Which must be why I am so childish about my desires. I get angry when not satiated. My whims are instantly given fruit here. It is the nearest thing to heaven.

“Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens”--David Byrne. I watch the osprey fish in the morning, the great blue heron fly gracefully low along the water, the crows caw and scavenge until the heat hits. A bald eagle passes overhead. A seal pops its head above the water and curiously looks at us on shore. A fish jumps. A jellyfish washes to shore. A giant sea star inches its way toward the depths. Three whales breach in the distance. Events here are but the stirrings of nature. Nothing ever really happens.