08 March 2015

Simulacra and the War

Coastal notes, February 2nd. The night and the water conspire to unnerve.

Groundhog Day here at land's end, and the simulacra are still locked in combat. Tooth and nail, red in fang and claw, the hydrae come at me over the ether. I turned my back on them hours ago, staring out the window at the moon-lit liquid coal of the sea.

Still, they whisper. Imps tugging at my hindbrain, eager for reaction. Their voices rasp my eardrums in a flurry of catastrophic news and capitalistic blandishments. The one to take my peace of mind, the other to take my money. 
Mercifully, my blood does not boil. The faint scratchiness coming over the wireless speaker reminds me of leaves on concrete.

A colossal wave, a leviathan of water, slams the shore. Vibrations from it cause my lighter to jump, the speaker to tremble. Small and reminiscent of a Japanese stone lantern, the speaker is one of the few concessions to technology allowed in this monk's cell that is my cottage. As with many things of its ilk, its usefulness and purpose are two-edged. My electronic umbilical, it irritates but allows me to know what is going on back in the world I would sometimes rather shut out altogether. Blessing and curse for introverted information junkies such as I myself.

The wind is low this night. The usual sough is subdued, rarely making its presence known long the eaves of the cottage. When it does, I imagine a conversation between the wind and the radio. What they might discuss is beyond my ken, yet I cannot help but wonder if they share a motive to visit.

The moon, gravid and bright, waxes low in the sky. The argentine glow is diffracted by the restless skin of the ocean. Further in on the breakers, the light scintillates in the foamy curls of spray, diffusing and diffracting into uncountable diamonds that disappear into the surf. The breakers, too, whisper and moan up and down the beach. Wavelets hiss and burble, offering sweet counterpoint to the electronic anxiety offered up by the speaker.

It is dark but not pitch black inside the cottage. Dull embers on the hearth provide some warmth and tinge the air with a near subliminal glow. Reflected moonlight from the pale sand and graphite sea streams through the windows above my desk. The glow is enough to see, if not to work. This I find acceptable. I gave up working hours ago. The words would not come. Replacing them was an abstract, hazy thicket of thoughts winding around themselves, twining around the central core question I kept asking myself: Are we real or are we simulacra, convincing ourselves we are clever indeed in our wars and consumption? 

Behind me, a world bent on self-immolation in a firestorm of lunacy and strife seeps through the wireless conduit, trying to pull me back into the fight. I lack the energy to get up to turn it off. I continue staring out the window, my mind and the sea becoming mirrors. The speaker whispers still while the sea groans for my attention.  I breathe slow, deliberate, in spite of the simulacra and the war.