(My Ancient Appetite)
I’m on a high rotation coronation.
The crowning of the monarch: Me.
The movers and shakers, the brokers and the barons,
celebrity, calamity, profanity—
One and all at my beck and call, right here in the hand of my palm.
Camera and screen alike turn to me. I am audience and I am actor.
Stage and stall’s gilded invitation: be seen and see! Like and be liked.
An Escher ego. Plausible but impossible. I’m climbing without ascending.
All the while I am profiled, measured up, analysed, anaesthetised, demographised.
Into the crosshairs … BAM! from beyond the horizon. Bullet divorces sound.
Informed, notified, alerted, CC’d and on the feed, – it’s the ringing, dinging, buzzing, vibrating, screen popping, pixel-shifting new know.
I get the scoop. I’m in the loop.
I am the loop.
But no sooner does it arrived, then it’s leaving like a suddenly bereaved relative.
Long enough to have been there but now you’re aching for them more than if they’d never come.
Compressed air content gushes in and, a moment later, escapes my slashed tyre brain.
I’ve plugged myself into everywhere and everyone.
I need never be lonely. But I’m choking.
Every question immediately answered.
I need never be ignorant. But I’m drowning.
They’ve saved my labour, redeemed my time, maximised my efficiency.
Backed up the truck and filled it with my rickety, mismatching furniture.
The place is looking sharp, but I’m thinking…
Hang on. My stuff was in those drawers and cupboards.
My clothes were in the robe.
My books on the shelves. They took more than I bargained for.
They offer me everywhere, but I’m missing the here.
I get to be with everyone. But even though she’s so close I can smell her hair, she's only half here.
Ask me anything, and I’ll give you an answer.
Not my answer. Someone else’s.
God knows who. (Or how, or why, or what, or if.)
That’s just it.
If I stand on the peak of Everest… I’ve passed corpses to get there.
Frozen off fingers. Fulfilled a lifetime ambition to stand on the top of the world.
Then stars come out and mock me from a million miles above…giggle at me on my summit.
There’s always a higher. A beyond.
But what if knowing that is not just some sick celestial joke…
What if it’s actually good for the soul.
In fact, what if it’s more than just good? What if it’s…
Peckish…hungry…ravenous…swell bellied, stick figure, rib-poking, skin and bone, empty-eyed starving?
All the pellet-dropping rat maze reward stuff is dulling my ancient appetite.
We were made for more.
Souls aren’t software.
Souls don’t drop charge, lose reception, become obsolete.
Currency burns off and there we all are, present and past
In cave or castle, somewhere between peckish and starving, tempted by supplements, drugged by deceit, courted by counterfeits.
This timeless, restless, gnawing, naked soul appetite.
As universal as gazing into fire, giving birth, falling in love, saying goodbye, making discoveries, creating, mating, praying, decaying…
All of us.
Gasping for a superior sovereignty.
Hungry for transcendence.
Made for more.
Colin Buchanan, Thursday 19th January 2017
Photo: xrichx, Christopher Paquette (inset); flickr