When entering the Gorge, leave behind all preconceptions. Let yourself be carried off on a stream of consciousness that tickles the heavens as readily as it grinds down stone.

The Slough: Hydrolysis

[Cont’d from Part 2] … The rot that eats through the living fabric of this world has an agenda, and it relies on lulling us into contentment, misdirecting us with irrelevant sticking points, distractions to keep us busy while the tendrils do their work and the slough closes in around us.

The first clue, and golden rule: follow (as in trace out) the naysayers. The ones presenting the obstacles are part of the problem.

Be careful though. A good ‘nay’ is better than a hundred convenient ‘aye’s.’ Not everyone who stays put is a problem. Rejecting a bad option is one thing, preventing a person from taking initiative against damage another. Putting up barriers between trouble and action is the ‘nay’ we don’t want.

If the rot persists as a result of caution, then throw caution to the trash.

In other words, follow the smell, locate the rot, and from there the disease itself, the past’s contaminated slough. It rests like a beast, hungry for flesh, wood, minerals, water, its fields of putrefaction insatiable. Trace out the network of weeds that sustain it, and which it sustains in turn, and strike them down one by one, burn their roots with salt and facts, like we did some time ago with that particularly sticky network that sprang among us. It looked massive, formidable, but it was simply bloated, all appearances and no substance. We hydrolysed it, and the shock traveled down the noxious network all the way to the slimy pockets that sustained it. The rot hissed and shivered, imploded, evaporated. The world breathed a sigh of relief as a breath of fresh air blew across the land.

For a while, we felt reprieve.

It’s as good as it gets. There is no such thing as a pristine system. There’s always spillage, waste, oxidation, putrefaction, processing thereafter.

But for a moment in time the world was restored, the damage undone, progress made at will, de facto, a respite for all to catch their breath and look ahead for a change.

As for the naysayers, they didn’t perish, never will. They lie in shadow, or hide in plain sight, in blinding light, biding their time, eager to try their luck somewhere else, or perhaps even at the same old spots because the past suits them. Their roots are stubborn, their preferences fixed. They target the same vulnerable spots, but you can fix that by being stubborner, that’s all, and everything will be fine.

I stood up, grabbed a trowel, some salt, got me a couple of books and docs, a notebook to jot things down, and joined the gardeners. They were sniffing out the air, following the trail of nay’s and dont’s, trampling obstacles. We sang a song and dug the ground and sowed it with catalysts, then sat down to hear the slough sizzle and evaporate.


NB: this is an experimental postmodernist neogothic abstract piece — draft 1