Sawdust from a shredded forest, glued together by toxic chemicals, covered in some plastic oil product stolen from a trashed nation, put together by slave labour, specially designed to fall to pieces, a consignment of flat-packed kitchen units. Fucked up world products.
Ok I said, I’ll do it. I was glad to get some work. I put my tools together and headed over to the site.
It was a rushed job. The house was being moved into, decorated and re-fitted at the same time. I walked through an unlit combination of rooms with electricians scrambling up and down ladders, and other unknown people busily occupied in different ways. A young labourer was hunting for something, going from room to room with a dustpan in his hand. Busily engaged with some problem, a plumber and his mate were stooping in the corner of what was to become a kitchen. The whole place was strewn with building materials, tools, and rubbish. The atmosphere throbbed with the distorted sound of a radio turned up full blast, back to back music of an eighties-dedicated radio station.
I put down my box of tools, and opened the lid. What I felt I needed immediately was a pencil, a tool of concentration in a chaotic atmosphere. I felt a flutter of fear that amongst my tools I would find no pencil. This fear had to do with my ability or not to stabilize myself in this environment. It was a fear about being overwhelmed by the conditions. Being able to immediately write down a number, or make a mark, or sketch a plan on to a piece of paper or a wall or anywhere available in 3D space seemed absolutely essential to me in this moment while my conscious mind was in a turbulence of distraction. Having found the pencil and having sharpened it, I lodged it behind my ear. I put a screw into a nearby wall and hung up on it my jumper. Now there was cool air on my arms and I felt ready to start.
One of the builders was a huge guy. I watched him disappear through a door opening that was only just big enough for him. As he moved around, he belted out the song, word for word. “As I walked over the Cork and Kelly Mountains, I came across an old man, and his money he was counting…”
“Go for it Frankie!” Called out a voice from another room, and then the drill began to scream again.
The words of these songs are one thing, the driving rhythms another. Fear impulsing statements one after another, packages of blame, judgement, regret, desire and definition, definition, definition. I am this and you are that, boom boom, boom, while the rhythm in space-time jerks the attention along to the next thought. It’s like a conveyor belt of brainwashing. This world reality of fear and limitation and polarity and separation defined and cemented into the words, these are the walls and the floors and the ceilings of our existence here as conscious mind, these words on our breath the very building materials of our prison.
I breathe, I stand here. What an entirely different existence this would be if we could, just for starters, share this realization that We Are Here.
The big man walks past the window outside the house. I turn my head very slowly. I feel the pencil behind my ear. It reminds me I should be working.