There is nothing free about free association other than the word itself, but even that is shackled by the thoughts, the dreams, ideals, it conjures. A prisoner of the mind, emotion, a distant sense of something elusive singing a siren’s song luring us to places of fantasy whose reality lies hidden beneath the waves of tales we tell to sail such perilous seas.
Or perhaps there is something free therein, but it comes at a price, one of which we may only become aware once we have signed on the dotted line. Too late to turn back, your ship has made a contract with the rocks. You listened to the siren, you can’t un-listen what you heard.
“I was a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all.” ― Kurt Vonnegut
Home… is I.
I am my home. All the other associations are but flotsam and jetsam, bobbing in an ocean of me. The weight of this body, the walls of this skin. The world of should on my should-ers, held there by the physics of life and being.
Place this body wherever you will. In a castle or shack, on a beach or a mountain, a city or rural setting, and the home within will inhabit the habitat without, unpacking its things bit by bit, filling the empty space with its belong-ings.
The dream home will become a nightmare if the home inside of the body is at war with itself. All the ideals will slowly unfurl, the heat of them drying the glue of the wallpaper, too weak to hold back the tide within. The paint will crack, the floorboards will creak, the doors will splinter, the power will surge and falter.
The dream will give way to reality, reality will give way to another dream, which will give way in its turn, turning and turning his alien home.
“A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning.
Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home.” ― Hermann Hesse
Soil… is breath. A premature burial. The seed covered by earth. Will it grow… will it to grow. If you will it to grow will it grow? The earth fragmented with particles of the past. Heavy, humid, suffocating. The seed has an instinct, but will it ignite?
Don’t do this, don’t do that, don’t go there, don’t be here. Don’t be. Be. Do this, do that, go here, go there.
Uproot before roots. Rip. A tendril torn. Grasping, let go. Reaching out, pushed away, burned fingers, singed.
The soil doesn’t want you, you will eat it, defeat it, use it up, wear it out, leech all of its nutrients, then pushing your way through its walls, you break it, shape it, make it through, leaving it all behind as you stretch beyond its boundaries. It feels itself slipping away as the seed grows, it fears your ever-growing height, your tuberous hunger, your growing self. It senses a threat in your life to its life.
The soil wants to soil you before you do to it what it fears you will do for that’s what it would do to you… were it you. And it so wants to be you, that it becomes you through vicarious degrees and decrees. Stealing from you what it believes was stolen from it.
Life struggles on, onwards and upwards, downwards and down, into a downy warmth of earth.
“Fear is a strange soil. It grows obedience like corn, which grow in straight lines to make weeding easier. But sometimes it grows the potatoes of defiance, which flourish underground.” ― Terry Pratchett
Rain… is rooms. Each drop containing an upside down image or the right side up place. The floor is the ceiling, the chandelier is a coffee table upon which nothing can be placed for it is too delicate, fragile, easily bruised by the oil of fingers. The ceiling rains chairs, falling like the one shoe which drops… but where is the other shoe? The one which thinks it is a sword of Damocles and runs amok in the mind, leaving muddy footprints in the pristine places, wanting its presence to be felt but never found.
Rivulets of memory, smearing the clean with their trail.
Quenching kisses of moisture in a world on fire, holding within them the reverse of all which lays without. Wet, yet dry. Air within the water. Light within the dark. Tears, tearing through the air, gently, roughly, calm, chaotic, nourishing the void.
Drying in the sun, shimmering snail tracks, paths to what was up which came down, and what was down which crawled up.
“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” ― Bob Marley
I inhale rooms, said the candle. Not if I do not light you, said the match. But what if the tables were turned, the ceiling was the floor and the floor the ceiling, and I, said the candle, was like a match to your flame. The match was perplexed, this association was beginning to get complicated.
Then who comes first and who rules the light?
A silent witness to this debate, remained silent, unlit, and watched it from the sandy darkness of a rough surface. Some things are never seen, but see all.
We didn’t start the fire, so who did? Does it matter, it still burns, domino after domino falling and enflaming, passing the light on as the darkness scurries alongside, gaining ground, then waning, then looming, then dissipating, then growing, then dying, ceding to seeding of what will come next.
There is nothing free about free association, for the moment that something free offers itself, a threshold, an open door to an open space, we bind ourselves to it, and it binds itself to us.
And it attracts threads from all around which intertwine and knot.
Say… and it shall be wrong to a right which is left of centre.
Do… and more will be done, to un-do your done.
And so it goes… a match to a flame, inhaling the room of I.
“I keep it in a jar on my desk.” ― Robert Bloch