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  • Writer's pictureAnderson

(re)COGNITION SUMMER: … Into the Anaxagoric Emerald

I remember my future now. I am Caribbean royalty and all the big city is my proxy throne. I wear the waves on my back like a royal blue mantle. Treasures adorn me. The sea is as wide as my follies. I sweep everything away to make new choices and I keep choosing the same things. My mistress' birthday is the day after my wife's.

I'm celebrating everything! Especially the life boiling hot in me and my loins. No one but us knows the fury and the fearlessness in the gusts of the wind. The heat is making a haze of everything extraneous this year. And when I sit on my haunches on the shore and the tide comes up to meet me, and the moon crests on the tops of the black waves, and the fat scavenger dogs sit and gather with their backs to me, watching and waiting for danger and temptations, I am in my element. It's all the same energy coursing through all of us. I am leaping ahead into my past and talking to the future. My grandfather lives again, renewed, with the free vigor of my father. I'm an animal to the bone; inside I've killed my brother and wept from him all morning; now there are no weaknesses left. I took my own advice and dropped everything for leisure in another part of the world. Magnificence isn't a strong enough word to describe how my skin glistens and glows under the sun here. Saltwater seasons the curls of my dirty blonde hair. Streaks of sand heal my wounds before my skin even breaks. I'm spending too much and I'm still alive to sing about it. Accurate angels amble above. Be not afraid. Eventually, you forget that they're there and they're watching. 

Everyone is watching, you realize, and no one has to matter. You will continue to be loved even if you don't answer immediately. Even if you forget the question. The world won't forget about you. The armor we wear is transparent, really, and the sooner we accept it the sooner we get to be unburdened. It feels good to let it go, you know, shrug your shoulders and ease all the unnecessary off you, it's as good as the sun on the emerald and the tide around you, finally, sparkling, submerged, the way you wanted to be since September. 

Last time I was on the beach – last time I saw into the shadow under the edge of the knife – I stood in the water up to my knees and stared out into the endlessness. A ranger walked behind me and called out from the dry: "I can tell that you're a writer." Stunned, seen, I said back: "."

Panthers and the pure-hearted approach you bravely here. Every single opportunity is seized. I asked every local: have you always lived here? And they all answered, yes. This is paradise. In all there is a share of all. I asked if they'd ever left, and they said, no! Why would we leave? It is the rest of the world that comes to us: we are not so foolish as to seek the taste of corruption that all others wish to cleanse from their tongue. 

And I realized I am the new Lucifer, for hell is wherever I am, and heaven is a room in an island motel with the AC on and all the lights off, and from every depth teases a deeper fall still, blacker than my skin in the dark in the instant before the flash of the photo, little star-streaks white in it like teeth. Stingrays sing when the moon goes away. The rot began generations ago and the empire exacerbated it. I saw we don’t really need all the excess we’re used to. I am a brilliant ocean beast, an eagle that glides on the wind, and I am unable to remember a time before we suffered, or a time before phones were so ubiquitous, though I lived it, though I loved it. Back then I wanted so bad to have the newest phones that my peers boasted about. Back on the island I missed my bed, my fast internet, the convenience of food and grocery delivery. “Demian" posits that one needs evil in order for good to mean anything at all; elsewise, Heaven is a post-lobotomy asylum.

If I could reach through your ribs and into the core of you to pump the engine of your heart so you didn't have to, so that you could experience with me what it's like to live without any effort, with ease even – I would. 

Sliding over the ceiling of the world, catching the sun small enough on the horizon you'd swear you could grab it, it becomes clear how little the affairs of man and beast truly matter. Everything repeats and moments disappear before you understand them. We arrange our homes in geometric forms and we carve living out of the sea and the sand; but it is the living that must be carved out of us. The earth is waiting for it. Those moments of hot primitive urgency when you look into my eyes. The quickening of your heart when you see my chest beginning to bulge from my shirt. The very Caribbean freedom of walking the beach with only short shorts covering skin, the powerful ubiquity of the birthday suit, the tantalization. It's unnameable, I saw in the seaweed, and I've spent so many years trying to understand and describe and name it – but it cannot be named – only seized. 

(re)Cognition Summer task: Make a plan for a day outing, then let that plan go awry (safely). Turn your phone off for the commute, miss your bus or train accidentally on purpose, try to navigate without Maps/GPS. Write on your thoughts and experiences and send our way.


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