April 21, 2007

"The War Never Ends."

This motto was presented to me recently by a good friend. The letters were cut from tarot cards and rearranged, like a ransom note from a fortuneteller, onto the lid of a box of cigarettes. Cut-outs of images cover the rest of the box in a collage that reads like a complete tarot reading writ small. Inside the box are pages torn from the Book of Revelation, rolled and packed as individual cigarettes. Its weight is so light in my hand, but it is so dense with personal meaning that I can barely hold it. The little box is an entire potential conversation between he and I-- his tale describing his own last few months, his warning to me of what he fears my future holds, and a mutual appreciation of where our problems and dreams overlap. Except it's a conversation that we don't need to have, because it is sitting on my desk, asking me what I am going to do next.

Last night as I fell asleep I suddenly remembered that one day I would die. I return to this thought very frequently because it's one of those things that is indisputable though there is no trace of it at all in my everyday life. Yet. It is completely invisible, yet perfectly true, and whenever I remember it I am flooded with a feeling of incredible relief and gratitude. Because it means that one day, all of my questions will be answered one way or another. It doesn't even matter to me whether I am pleased by the answers, or whether I can guess them in advance. It is satisfying enough to simply know there is an end. I can fight playfully in this war of life, knowing that I can never truly be captured by my enemies.

That feeling is my contribution to the conversation hanging in the air around this little pack of cigarettes, and my response to it. The war never ends... but thankfully, I will.

The War Never Ends