Friday, December 03, 2010

The rise and fall of a log cabin

That started with a forest of trees, wide and cool, solitary green, filled with growing things that rested, buzzed, whiffled in the wind, and fell. They all went to ground and tree in the darkness, asked only uninterrupted life, when man came, men came.

With centuries and centuries of evolution boiled down into jeans, slashed on purpose, giant chainsaws that could turn metal into mulch in under a minute, and a tractor. Big spiky wheels, and a noise to wake the dead. But there were no dead yet, so far it was just a dumb machine, with purpose and a little prescience.

It rolled onto the humming forest, that stood around, minding its own business, whistling tunelessly from time to time. Holding ground, repelling all visitors with smells, and growls.

The calm went and came again in under a day along with a neat after pile of stumps with single branches and leftover roots clinging grimly to the earth, their voices quieter than you can imagine possible, after the chainsaws and the tractors ceased.

The world watched, also quiet, it had birthed the trees, and the animals that clung to them, that lived inside them, and speck-man too, tiny and upright on the giant tractor he had made with his dreams

One squirrel chattered from the rubble that used to be its home, but that was all you heard. The tractor made the biggest sound and stilled everything else. There was peace, conquest complete.

But the story was not over, by any means. Like life, it hung suspended, somewhere between a moment and eternity.

More men came, there was a woman too, representative of something, no one sure what. They stripped the dead trees of all leaves, all branches, all the frills it held, so it may speak to the earth and sun and stars each day. Taking a tree apart, piece by piece, is a grand scene. Dead leaves and branches are littered all over the dying roots, piled and classified, tagged and carted away.

Twigs are neatly laid parallel to each other so they can start campfires someday. The logs, the tree trunks, they were the core of this life, that grew the most, fanned up years and years to make a rare stationary object, living, just in such profusion together, that no one could see the trees for the forest.

And the destroyers are so most usually a bunch of tiny bug sized warriors, their eyesight never strong enough for anything more than a few feet. So they go climbing on the shoulders of giants, making giants where there be none available and handy, just to be able to see. They understand one scale, one tune only. They cannot comprehend creation that is much greater than their own narrow vision

The stripped logs are sized correctly to look like clones of each other, neighbouring trees are seperated at death, and placed with identical dead strangers, split neatly in half and flowed down an artifical river where more machines start screaming into their open skins

Still, solid, stoic and still strong, the logs look the same, they just have no roots to feed them, draw no soil, and support no leaves. They looked at the sun from a slightly greater distance, and didnt know what the hell to do with it. Their memories were fading but the life that had trickled, and poured and gushed through them, was not so easily silenced.

It stayed congealed, waiting for release. Where there was a forest, complementary, dynamic, green and uncertain, growing and alive, stood a square footage of neat stumps, a small subset of crawling things still alive, scurrying around madly for a new home, certain inside their DNA, that the giant noisy monsters would return again to crush them.

They were too small to understand that the target wasn't them at all. Every specie in creation with a nervous system, thinks it was born with a bell and a bullseye on its back.

And the stumps were left behind alone, speck-man took the logs away in piles. Neat, precise, segmented, classified, the perfect disguise for the carnage preceding.

Another speck-man takes a hulking bunch of logs from the pile, in exchange for a few leaves, and drags them thousands of miles to be interred.

Where one life ends, another begins, has already begun. The logs are spliced and rowed, and stacked and cut and turned and glued, and painted, and buried under the earth, and stood upright and bent and stood still, sturdied.

This is the speck-man's attempt at making a tree that will never die, that he can live in. Except its already dead. His grand success in a life defying the elements. His attempt at being a squirrel, at reducing the sky to a lil cave, square and dead. And of course, the experiment is an enormous success, speck-man needed a speck-world to live in, so he razed the real world to make boxes the real world.

And speck-man, with the mind that ruled enormousness, on tiny supervised replicable scales, made more boxes, prolific in their growth, and his success heretofore. In matters of life and death he failed to understand that life does not bloom in containment. Like I said, he understands a single scale, destruction, as a means to an end.

But the sky remained, the sun shone, the world spun gently day after day.

And we're back to the log cabin at the end of the forest. The forest-now-log-cabin lived nicks and welts and rain and children. It lived anger, and pain and sorrow and unrestrained joy. It also lived summer and rain and sleet and wild wind.

Another speck-man had made it his own cave. This is a new speck-man, who had no part in the destruction that built his home, ignorance is convenient, if not absolution. He had just seen other speck-men, got what they had.

The edges of the cave slide open and a speck-man emerges with a giant plastic trash can. And the edges close into themselves until the next time.

The little decaying log pieces glued together and preserved, whose life became without their own choice, a species of delaying the inevitable more than glorying in today's vast sky, they started deriving manna and pride that they never let the sun, the wind, the rain through, They delighted in their strength, in the absence of other delight.

The undead have a fierce pleasure in their lack of pain, the vast endlessness of their lot. It is the inevitable result of taking away a spirit and holding the hole together with sticking plaster.

The woods, they now became life in two degrees, internal and external, where it used to be a whole world in leaps and bounds. In parallel. Its adjacent box too incubated growing speck-men.

The logs chattered excitedly when storms hit, the little splinters torn off them constantly, which made no difference at all to their existance, they never regenerated anyway.

The log cabin tried to stay unfeeling as time came and stayed, but it shed wood like tears, it really could feel no more, no better, its strength as much bound within its long life, as within its longer death. Termites crawled up into the comfortable holes and started eating the dead wood. The cabin rotted down, another speck-man painting over, polishing fortifying, and finally giving up.

It stood for a few more years, battered and scarred and dissolving into the eternity that just never came soon enough. And finally its last scrap was sold, into a roaring bonfire that a hundred speck-men danced around, in a glorious final funeral

Others in the series of metaphor stretching as an extreme sport - the warrior, the emperor's new clothes, the incomplete bridge, and fate

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