Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Kris Saknussemm breaks it down

Yes, my Facebook friend, author Kris Saknussemm, does indeed break it righteously down.

While the rest of us, driving along Highway USA, would pass the sixties-era, still-in-business motel on the right...that fading, brooding collection of stucco cubicles, with forlorn rectangular swimming pool out front...well, we might not even notice it. Or if we did, we might wince at the eyesore, wishing such blights were gone. But not Kris. He would notice it for sure. And in the three seconds of his car's passing it, he would suck up its stories. He would drink in the happier era, with its blinking, brightly clothed children and their bee-hived, Brylcreemed parents. He would move momentously through tumbling decades...all the way to the days of ruin. To the tears and deeds and screams and demented laughter of those who now check in for a cheap night.

Here's something else that would happen. Japan. Kris watches a Zen master raking his sand and rock garden. The monk finishes and joins our down-breaker on the edge of the sublime creation.

"Do you perceive the emptiness?" asks the master.

"There's that," replies Kris. "And there's more. Do you, master, not also perceive, in those swirls and in that granular texture, something else?"

"There is nothing else, my son."

"Oh, there's always something else. Out there, in those grooves lie the rhythm and the melody of 'Banana Fana Fo Fana.'"

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