Yesterday I walked to work watching a day-moon. The morning was awake and shining, and the sky was powder blue, and the gibbous moon–even in that broad light–stood above the high-rise condos and the bank towers, like Atlas at peace.
He seemed a wiser but sadder Atlas–bearing the sky upon his shoulders, and bidding us to look up. But we were all in cars, or checking ourselves in store windows. And anyway, looking up, past the steel right angles, is hard in the city. The towers loom and our eyes are only used to the dim light.
Dimly, to my left, out of my small dust spattered window rises one more condominium. It’s a testament to progress, ingenuity, and function. And like the city itself, it’s also a testament to a flood of fabricated meaning. The city says that only what is fabricated is real. Only what is engineered counts. Only the mechanical is actual. And the condo says, that this condominium, a community doth make.
Caught in the lie that mass-mind is community–the bewitchment of fabricated meaning is entire. And so–Atlas is sad. His sky and moon unseen because they are not real. Their speech, all the moon’s beautiful words, and the sky’s phrasing, silenced. Only the hammering and riveting and the hum of power, signify.
I have decided I can put up with the noise, dampened through glass. What I, what we, must not put up with, and hope we will never put up with–even though the temptation (the bewitchment) is always there to put up with it–is the kind of dehumanization that fabricated meaning, and progress, and misdirected ingenuity, creates. When the moon goes unseen, when the sky is unreal, collective dehumanization ensues.
If it were not for those few sky and moon watchers, who dwell in the bush and in inner-cities, who understand the uselessness of their sky-watching task, but who do it nonetheless, as they’re compelled to do, our world would long ago have ended. Their "uselessness" stands as an accusation against–even infuriates–all our manufactured meaning, and our reducing-all-to-function. It’s this tower, that needs dismantling.
Still I know, as Rumi and Purdy, and Merton and Morton, have always known, that confessional formulas, apocalyptic declamations, will not work. This is the time for poetry and irony–but mostly poetry. Or at least, poetic irony. Oh, and beauty…the meaningless and message filled beauty of a day-moon.