Big Bridge #10

An Open Letter to America


Joel Weishaus


Forest Park
A Journal

A path older than the forest itself, leading to where a heart can endure, from the Paleolithic to modern Iraq, where once a cell has received a death signal and makes the molecular decision to commit suicide, the killing is carried out in a stepwise fashion by, in most but not all cases, members of the Bcl-2 family, release of cytochrome c and other factors from the mitochondria and, in all cases, activation of the caspase family of proteases. Caspases dismantle the cell and also activate other proteases to aid in the execution. Once the deed is done, consciousness is planted with its own demise.

Morning fog lifts: A familiar world.

Or is it?

The notion of a path, or a series of connected ways, is something thatís interested me for most of my life. Off-path, cross-genre travel, unpacking the experimental, have also caught my attention. Extraordinary paths through forests of lively ideas, mythologies, spiritualities, ecologies, aesthetics. In the process of negotiating these, there is on the magical level, as yet, no concept of time except the present, which has infinite duration. Hence there is no awareness of what might have led one into oneís present state, nor is there any awareness of what the consequences of oneís present actions might be while trying to avoid stumbling over hackneyed obstacles, falling into eruditionís tendentious mud, or ideologies disguised as ripe berries, still dreaming, I began my journey testing reality one faltering step at a time. Now that I am old enough to have sat through the silent hours that draws its breath from the past, I have nothing to fall back on, not even a mind thatís inexhaustible. I feel raw as an unplucked carrot.

Dreams are not on a different level than wakefulness, the unconscious is here, there are no levels of consciousness, only stages of awareness, itís all happening at once. Nor is there a shred of distance between reality, dreams, enlightenment and ignorance. Being is a simmering stew.

"Intense selection of the sort that creates domesticated animals puts a hold on development, like switching a train to a dead-end track. The result is what biologists call neotenyóthe retention of undeveloped, immature traits in adulthood." Is this the need to make sense of the asymmetries of conscious life, of who we are, and why we think we're special? Can it be true: The Mysteries? Ghosts? Existence after death? A superhuman god?

The ego will
surrender to
anyone who
will give it s
tructural cer

Tyrants always have a mission usually given to them by a god who places them at the center, the axis mundi. There is always immense destruction involved, Christ crucified on the slash of a clear-cut forest.

To have a "personal savior" would be to have a god tailored to one's needs. Is this fitting? Epiphanies can be repeated, but not reproduced. What was realized must be written to say, "What was found by me may be not true for you."

there is no death but
death there is no
death but
no death


Ash-ladened steam rising from St. Helens, melting glacial waters streaming down
her quivering side, a plume of smoke rising
from chthonic renovation of the mountain's dome, suffuses the daily pollution of
"staying the course."