Creative Process

Let's Pretend

Thursday, May 19, 2011
Let’s Pretend A peculiar man from India came to my home to help me with a ghost problem. He didn’t want to talk about the ghost but rather wanted to tell me how I should or shouldn’t make art. I believed (for only a short time, a few days perhaps) that he knew more about making my art than I did. As he instructed I removed from a collage a small bird’s wing that was brought to me by my cat specifically to be used on this particular collage. The tall, attractive, mysterious man gazed into my studio from a distance, working his neck like a mechanical space probe to dispatch his diagnosis. Any contact with the room could upset his delicate inner balance or distort his psychic purity. Too much going on in there, he said scoldishly while adjusting his gloves. Well, yes, it’s a studio where I write and make art and a lot should be going on I said trying to get him to see. Negativity gathers in places like this, he warned with authority and elegance. Oh my, negativity, I thought; so what should I do, I asked obediently. Make pretty things, nice things that people will feel good looking at and listening to. The instruction was given with his backside facing me while walking towards the floor drain where he knelt down to inspect a small pool of slimy run off from the overflow of the wash machine. It’s all going in here, he said abruptly, adjusting his gloves. Yes, I agreed, if we don’t regularly change the mesh sock that fits over the drain hose that’s where the flooding happens. No, he snapped, the negativity, the things you are doing in that room all gather right into this drain. It even smells like a thing dead, and back up the steps he went. We never spoke about the ghost that day but he did come by one other time on a very hot afternoon to deliver a message and to check a latent problem in my spine which he viewed while illuminating his third eye with a blue light when doing a yoga inversion. As I lay prone with legs perpendicular to the wall the message from a cadre of self-realized masters in a small village in Uttar Pradesh was this: We can take care of the ghost problem but it will take much time. The expelling will require many prayers and procedures: Lighting of multiple candles and burning of rare incense to facilitate astral voyaging will be necessary for the clearing. She can pay all at once or in small increments. All at once is preferable as we must travel by donkey to the post to receive payments. Either way is agreeable and we guarantee full removal of the ghost soul with its proper return to a vibrationally compatible field for roaming. Let me think about that, I said, lying on the floor with my legs prostrate to the wall. Is there shaking when I do this, he asked, moving my extended legs out from the wall. I asked what this had to do with the ghost. Nothing at all he replied, but I do sense negativity has entered your body from all that upset down there by the drain in the basement. I will call on Thursday to see what decision you have come to about payment for the elimination of the spirit, he flatly announced in departure as I held the 90 degree slant. Weeding my flower garden the day after the Indian man’s visit I inhaled a wafting stench of Round-Up coming from next door where they sweep their yard with an O’Cedar angler broom. Oddly, the smell triggered a memory of the day I refused a flu vaccination from the staff nurse at Richard Young Psychiatric Center. I was told by the intake supervisor, a nervous fellow who seemed to always have his hands jiggling in his pockets, that I would need to check in with the nurse after lunch. The needle was loaded and ready for entry when I walked in; the skittish patrol boy who monitored everyone’s behavior but his own was keeping guard while swaying back and forth, hands scouting his pockets. Do you like needles, he asked. Fiendish and dumb; an endearing combination for a human pet serving it’s Master. I sent the thought his way. Only for knitting I said, and then she, a pliant but perky white-coated-manservant instructed me to roll up my sleeve. I don’t do flu shots I swiftly said as she was coming at me. No one has ever refused a free flu shot, said the twitchy one by the door, emitting a prickly laugh. I’m the first then, said me, the only one in the room who had apparently done her homework into the story of the Diabolical Elixir. I actually don’t mind having the flu I told them, and in fact have only had the “flu” a handful of times and each experience gave me a chance to watch birds and spy on neighbors. The peppy nursemaid informed me of an imminent bird flu certain to hit hard and this was the only way to be safe, protected, and I said I’m not afraid of birds but I am of white coated people with needles filled with limpid liquid. I of course wasn’t going to tell them what I knew. Maladjusted males torture people for this kind of information. I wasn’t going to dare reveal that the Almighty Inoculation has been a one pointed strike, a deliberately deployed dagger of deadly deceit to flip the switch on the eternal internal warring of the body against itSelf; sagacious infusions of incantational eugenical intentionality meticulously mixed in with aborted fetal material, atomic metallics, cancerous kidney tissue; the bio-vibrational chemically corrupted drumming in by the Goddess-Pretenders-of-Medicine-and-Science that the body cannot be trusted, nature is evil, that war begins “at home” in the watery tissues and Sacred Structure of the Self. I often think about that day in the sanitary cubicle and what I would say if I could repeat it. Here is what I’ve settled on as an adequate response: If I take your potion I would be joining you in your game of pretend. I would have to agree to the following set of beliefs about my body, my mind, about nature that I know is a lie: That birds and monkeys and flies cause disease and not the pathological poisons that the biocidal destroyers pour onto and into water, air, soil, bodies, etc. That my body is not intelligent and cannot heal itself. That only the Gods-of-Medicine-and-Science can heal. This game of pretend would of course make you feel strangely superior, perhaps earn you a pay increase as the numbers of injectees are tallied by the actuaries. You will have carried out your job successfully, you would have recruited another for the “team” of sleeping sheeples, and pharm phamlies everywhere will wallow in unfathomable wealth as the incantational drone of bad body/evil nature is radiated/injected into the pliant amnesiac population through bio-altering body bombs delivered happily by toothy, bamboozled zealots of Modern-Madcap-Medicine. I didn’t say that. Instead I put in my resignation the day the mesmerizing memo came around declaring that employment at the psychiatric center was contingent on taking the needle and proof of other assorted vaccinations. I politely excused myself from the job and jabs that same day, after a hallway scolding by the nervous pocket stalker for taking more than 3 bathrooms breaks during my shift. The last time I saw the fraudulent ghost buster was at a public event, several months after the ghost had (mostly on her own accord, with a little help from me) joined the light. He pretended I was invisible. I did the same with him. Then he asked my husband, How was your art show? It wasn’t my art show, it was my wife’s performance show, the husband replied. The eerie man, who was by now transparent to me, pretended he didn’t hear that. I was amused and then disturbed. I thought how we are a culture of people who have been trained and traumatized into pretending. Pretending women can’t/shouldn’t create anything worthwhile but babies, blankets, and pretty things. Pretending birds and bugs and pigs, not war making life-destroying-males, are the biggest threat to our bodies and Earth. Pretending a bad relationship will get better with a new convection oven or a water view. Pretending the poisons being sprayed in the sky are contrails or angels. Pretending the cure for cancer is more research and runs. Pretending there are actually good wars. Pretending emotions and memories can be pharmacologically removed. Pretending science and technology will keep us healthy and safe. Pretending the doctors know best. Pretending the vaccination loves you. Pretending women have no history. Pretending microchips will take the wild out of the animal (and the whole family.) Pretending Obama is the Real Savior. Pretending art clogged up the basement drain.

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