Friday, March 15, 2013

les fluers du mal

I love litter.  A perfectly placed item of litter is a thing of beauty.  There is so much story in one piece of litter.  A chip bag in the sun is an intersection of time and place, chance and fate, the winds and the weather, industrial production and nature, and at intersections such as these the long history of the earth crosses paths with other histories and creates a stunning and mysterious vortex.  Litter is so much more than litter.  The trajectory of an entire life brings me to one crushed can, to this crushed can, and it shall never repeat again.  The most powerful force in the universe could not contrive such a marvel.  It is through such litter that one can access what is.  

The space is best occupied without judgement, yet I know how hollow those words are.  I do not stoop to photograph each item of litter, nor does each item of litter strike me with equal blows of beauty.  No no, some items of litter positively shock me with their utter plainness.  Why should I stoop to appreciate you, empty ketchup packet whose axis is wrong?  What value do you offer humanity, CVS bag hanging from a fence in the most ordinary and unremarkable manner?  My answer is none. Yet would I could, I would love each item.  Some items have simply come to rest in more elegant homes, in more etherial and yet ephemeral tombs.  So peacefully do you lie among the blooming alfalfa, empty bag of off-brand assorted snack mix.  

But by "no judgement" I meant no disdain for litter.  I meant no disdain for the litterbug.  Yet in the wrong context litter is utterly sinful, and the litterbug is a sinner.  Do your penance, dropper of snack debris.  In Heaven's name, seek a litter receptacle.  Your art is an inferior one that no amount of wind can improve.  You need to return to litter school.

I must admit that I generally shun soiled litter.  I prefer litter that does not carry an odor.  Yet my love for sun upon litter in the weeds is so strong, I am sometimes moved to stoop down and examine a diaper.  This is the first beautiful diaper I have ever seen.  I believe I encountered it at its prime.  This diaper is in its salad days.  It shall never be more beautiful.  At any moment, someone could come by and disturb it with their foot.  An animal could come rooting around and turn its gross belly up to the sun.  Another spectator may find these outcomes thrilling.  We shall leave such thrills to them.

I love it when the grass hoists a light item of litter into the air.  One blade of grass alone could do no such feat, but many blades in unison can work marvels.  An empty shopping bag floats into place, eons of momentum behind it, and the blades of grass hoist it into the air upon their perfectly constructed tips.  A moment for the records is created as several billion people go about the business of being human, saying nothing of the life forces that construe to make our world at once more divine and hideous.  Do not listen to what you've been told, children.  Go out and litter gracefully.

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