Vertigo, How Real You Are

copyright Andy Warhol

I saw the clarity 
of my eyesight 
turn to soft waves.

You know the cliche about writers being sensitive flowers, taking into their bodies whatever is “in the air”?  How the external world becomes translated in various ways into their nervous systems?  Inscribed on their internal bodies?  Melancholy, hysteria have led the way.  

With each imprint of the computer keys as I’m telling it, I’m getting more and more wavery.  Almost inducing Vertigo, the condition I myself was riffing about in a blog only a few slender months ago.  It was mostly metaphoric.  It was my attempt to name, in fondness and in dread, the sensation of spinning, whether or not we consciously felt it, as the ground beneath our feet was exceedingly delicate.  Back then, it was exacerbated by post-modernity.  We existed mostly in the attempts to negotiate balance. The off-balance had become our norm, and our “grounding” ritual was the attempt to negotiate some peace — while on the everpresent tightrope or in moments when essential values like love, beauty and the spirit reassured us. 

Some sensibilities even courted this, reveled in its radical challenge.  The rollicking fragmentation and disorientation was a reality of the world around, like it or not. Immerse, get drunk it in! If it sounds like it has a nouveau Baudelairean quality, I agree.  I paraphrase the preface of “Les Fleurs du Mal”: hypocritical reader, my lookalike, my kin!

As corona virus hit, the metaphor began to cut through thicket, getting more and more personal.  In the world, borders were being invaded, irreality becoming a part of reality, up becoming down.  In my body, the metaphor invaded my very cell structure with a nasty case of real vertigo.  My head is wobbly, the ground is shifting from time to time.  It comes in spurts: I have to negotiate steps on that tightrope from one point to another, delicately, with feet that are tender and with an appreciation for the emptiness below.  It used to be so easy! In the reclaiming of essential values that float to the surface, asserting themselves as essential, I’m putting “tender” and “care.”  The tender tending of things which may or may not affect you. Or be you.

All the work I’d done to prepare myself for shaky ungrounded reality not enough. Maybe words and images have led me to a point: into the real. 

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