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hymn to saturn

when I was old enough to want to go somewhere without my parents but too young to drive or to pal around with anyone old enough to do so I would dance around the living room on saturday afternoons out of pure exultation. as long as no one was looking. pop music sang of saturday as a sacred time completely outside of the flow of ordinary life and I would whirl around in circles as though if I spun around fast enough I would take off for a territory completely unknown bursting with life and color and a kind of pagan joy that did not care if whatever went on there led one to heaven or hell because this place was utterly superfluous to heaven or hell did not know a thing about them and were not subject to their grim rules. I wanted out right then but eventually I would tire myself from spinning and trying to think of what I could possibly do that would be adequate to saturday given that I had no place to go but my room and after awhile frustration would set in and then disappointment and finally resignation. I might sit in my room and draw but it wasn't where I wanted to be but the place I wanted to be did not exist or in any case it was utterly inaccessible at 9, 10, 11 years old. very occasionally there might be a neighborhood ballgame in the street or someone's yard until dusk and that would be a point of focus for our coltish energies but I never instigated anything like that on my own but only waited until they materialized around me otherwise the best I could do was ride my bike around the block that was built on the side of a hill so that half of it was puffing uphill and the other half was flying full speed back down and this might succeed in wearing me out sufficiently to avoid the otherwise inevitable boredom and vague resentment that life would dare to promise something that it could never deliver: saturday night.

it was useless to wax enthusiastic about the incidence of saturday to my family as they were terminally unexcited about anything and never could see what the big deal was about things like beauty or transcendence or the sublime. or even about earthly beauty nor the uselessness of transcendence or sublimation from base things to something "higher." they were born again but they were not especially excited even about that. and not on a saturday anyway it was sunday when we dutifully gathered to pray to the stuffy confines of a southern baptist church out of which all signs of passion had been abstracted into architectural quotations of modernism--the 'new' sanctuary having been built in the early 60s was very much up-to-date with acute angles into which plain wood rushed in long straight lines to signify something like rectitude but only very cleanly and without baroque distractions.



now it is saturday afternoon getting on towards evening and I am hanging out waiting for pills to melt sufficiently to allow me to sleep without drooling them on my pillow. the real saturday night will begin sometime between 11 and 1am most likely and although I do not spin around for saturdays anymore I am at least free to do with them whatever I will. later or at some other point somewhere I will talk about finally meeting the spirit of saturday and how even though it could have killed us all it was not something I will relinquish in memory for as long as I have memory not to relinquish I will know that saturday is a holy day for those of us without a prayer for much else. the ritual has changed with age but the plasticity that characterizes a perception set free from didacticism can make itself apparent in numerous ways. some are for the young and some are for the.. not quite as young as that.

Saturn at equinox
Iapitus

they both spin.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
daisydumont
Oct. 3rd, 2009 10:43 pm (UTC)
it's a shame that that joy of purest potential would dribble out as you describe. i don't get, btw, how one can profess to be a christian without looking for transcendence. the southern baptist churches i've been in or seen on tv have been just plug-ugly, and i don't see why that should be. oh, no, the one up in maintown is fairly nice, amazingly enough, as if they missed the memo about how god loves ugliness. :(

i'm all for ritual that reflects "a perception set free from didacticism"!
ridethegallows
Oct. 3rd, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC)
wow, iapitus is fascinating and beautiful. i'd never seen it before. thanks for that; it goes perfectly with your text.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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