birth, death and the tricky in-between

by tobias crabtree

when i sit down to write i am confronted with a number of certainties. the first is that whatever i want say has already been said…and it’s been said better.  the second is that i’m in debt to the beautiful things and the dreadful things that i see in the world, they expect me to say something. the third is that i’m a hack writer and arranging the words efficiently from out of my mind is like chasing marbles down a steep flight of stairs; not only is it difficult, but there is a good chance i’ll fall and break something. too many words and you lose your peeps, too few and the message is cryptic. too pathetic and folks’ll roll their eyes and tell you to put on your big-boy pants. too shallow and, well, too shallow and you might as well be updating your status on fb or whichever one you choose to tell everyone that you just found out that you’re allergic to dairy and it makes you “gassy”.

when i do end up writing, and obviously i sometimes do, it’s mostly about the things i cannot fully comprehend. the mysteries out beyond the rolling waves. the glimmering stars and the dots of light that move between them. love, and the hey-i’m-tied-to-the-tracks feeling of love’s loss. bees and their sweet geometry. i’m always digging away at beginnings and endings of things to see what i can find. and what i find is usually so wonderful that i don’t know the words to express it. or maybe i have the words but i can’t dress them up properly so’s they’ll be noticed. i march the little words out in some form or another and they don’t have the talent to catch the ear of the reader. they move past and fall down into little piles of “a’s, g’s, and lmnop’s” and i give them a little nod and tell them that it was a nice try. it’s the best i can do. so many marvels have lived and died in the hearts of people that did not feel the need to tell the story. i wasn’t blessed with a quiet tongue, for better or worse, i’m a story-teller.

and it is in me to pay homage to the forgotten things. when i open up the paper or read the articles on line i feel a terrible need to rant about the pandering that’s going on. we are so much more amazing than this! it’s one thing after another that tells us to be card-board cut-outs of the whims of our cultures. we do not need to have pouty lips to look beautiful. we don’t need the drugs with all the x’s and z’s in their names. i might be crazy (and i’m quite sure i am a little crazy) but i think folks are pretty when they are sweating in the sun or bundled up around a fire with the wind drowning out the sounds of our cultural machine. i have never been so turned on as by the singing and dancing of a girl in the wide open desert while a fire burned and the stars screamed and the barn owls winked from odd shaped rocks. i just don’t want to think we’ve all been duped into this other world of plastic lips and hips and boobs; a world where we are urged to buy products that will give us our “original” colored hair (hey man, my original color hair is what’s happening right now…ain’t no better “original” than the present and the present has grey in it). there is a this-is-what’s-cool-so-use-it-and-be-cool-too kind of push. i’m for pushing back and doing whatever makes me the wildest, smartest animal i can possibly be. and i want to run with that tribe. and i want that tribe to change things.

see, a little rant. not too big. just a little one. don’t be mad. these are just words and the source is questionable, at best.

there are wonderful, wild days to come. we should be ready, and by ready, i mean aware.