Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Om bhur bhuvah svah

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, as framed by Earthbender Iris Jenks Henry,
immediately before the battery in the camera died
One of the things I've been doing is writing sixteen-sentence prose pieces. I call them essays, or something. My favorite thing about modern essay, other than the blog, is the way it combines various ideas into one, read Brian Doyle and Patrick Madden and the Festival of Faith and Writing (the best conference in the greater US of A), and the way it can jump from one idea to another, the way it does with this sentence, and this short story at Haystack, and the way I keep thinking that I can self-publish, like a self-titled EP, Melissa Jenks, the Short Stories, but I'm too chicken, and then I think about the article I read in fu**ing Oprah about vulnerability. Of all places.

It reminded me of a lot of the things that I've been reading about brain chemistry and human evolution (pop quiz: what happened 100 million, 1 million, 100,000 years ago?) and how scientists (of the hard and not the Christian variety) believe that homo sapiens evolved its complex brain architecture in response to compassion. And that dogs evolved their domestication with us at about 40,000 years ago; and that many of the things about the ways that our neurons map up against our evolutionary architecture has a connection to morphogenic fields; and Darwin wrote about red fields of algae bleeding from South America in Voyage of the Beagle (nota bene: he was a 25-year-old biologist aboard a clipper rounding Cape Horn by sail, in the noble day of sail, when Captain Josh Slocum was out there in his Spray, and all of us and our bilious climate change were just a gleam in their eye, praise Jesus); and now I carry my Shadow behind me and he pees on my floor when he is anxious and I am alone as my life partner sails across the Atlantic and I realize how Ahab's wife must have felt, not to mention all the wives and sweethearts that were never to meet. I'm here with my dog, my Shadow, and my shadow, my terror at the silence of the strawberry moon. And also the television, the only thing aside from meditation and dreaming that offers alpha waves for the evolved brain.

And the internet, I suppose. I propose this as a cautionary tale. I am home, like Emily Dickinson who wouldn't leave hers, but I have MBPN and factory-farmed pork and myth and the USPS and the future falling backwards behind me as I look up at the stars and thunder in the sky. Yeah, I'm home.

Whatever that means. With my Southeast Asia on a Shoestring and Joy of Cooking laid out in front of me. It's weird, being here, the end of June, one month of spring already gone, half the garden not planted, because of us, our pursuit of adventure or art or whatever it is. Rolling thunder rumbles.

(Answer, inverted, if I could figure out the html: dinosaurs explode because of asteroid, neanderthals evolve tools, and homo sapiens emigrate Africa.)

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