Grace in Columbia, SC

In Columbia, SC, parking is free on Good Friday. Having driven ten hours or so yesterday, we got some time to idle outside a Starbuck’s. I’m keen to roam around the South. My Unconscious Accomplice is a sort of prisoner to my whims; while I feel a similar, if less obvious, sort of imprisonment, to his habits and addictions. I’m not sure at all why he is on this trip. I had assumed a shared deep impulse to transformation, and I still hold some hope that that is there. I just – stupidly – hadn’t reckoned how buried it is. Then again, I did denominate him as my Unconscious Accomplice, so clearly I wasn’t entirely unaware of his condition. Thing is, suffering has a certain charm when put into language, in a certain way.

Good Friday is an obvious example of this, when you take a moment to consider that the holiday commemorates a crucifixion. And not just a crucifixion. Calling the Event good presupposes a knowledge of the Resurrection; and in the earliest gospels – before John’s, that is – even Jesus experienced his death as not simply a humiliation in terms of the World, but an abandonment by God. My God, My God, Why Have You Foresaken Me?!?

My direct point being that my will to name things contains a sort of intrinsic hope. Black humor is something like the Radiant Midnight of the alchemists; the Darkness that Gives Birth to the Light. But between here and there, between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, even Jesus must harrow Hell… or so the story goes.

I see the demons lurking behind his addictions. He does, too; though he apparently still finds his dead end pleasures at least temporarily anesthetizing. I’ve been through them myself too many times to have any illusions about where they end. And the damn thing is, I’m on my own journey to try to escape or transmute the Addict’s Fate. How in the Hell can I serve as Father Figure and Guide when my own Initiation is critically incomplete?

Once again, I saw this coming, and described it in the language whereby I framed this journey. The search for the Missing Act of Hamlet, his time Among the Pirates, is the search for the lost initiation into Manhood within a world in which, as the singer-songwriter Jude so excellently put it, “every ship’s been shattered.”

The Culture of Addiction, the Great Hierarchy of Psychopathy, is the Pyramid that rises up in the absence of this Lost Way, which I’ve been fantasizing about since I was a kid… looking for in languages I could barely understand. Languages that seemed to speak of some other way, the Way of Horus… the Son Who Redeems His Father.

Angels and Ministers of Grace, Protect Us…

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One thought on “Lover of Lost Roads

  1. Amy Palatnick 4 years ago

    “every ship’s been shattered”…i’m wondering if this is a reference to Cortez, who burned all of his ships in total commitment to going into battle during the Aztec conquest. it was total commitment: not leaving ships for escape. They were going to win. Maybe this has something to do with facing addictions. What does burning the ships look like?

    Appreciating this post, and all of them. 🙂