I found my old lava lamp a few weeks ago. The fire-lit blue plasma ‘lava’ bubbles warp shape and gnash forms inside a cone, filled with clear malleable water/air like substance . The clear substance captures my intrigue: similar to describing water in a fishbowl, what the filler fluid is by description is elucidated by what the bubbles are not. The clear fluid lacks corporeal form, and put positively, is the present absence of the capricious lava as it heats and cools.
My thoughts cast a net before my feet, and if I cannot bring myself in the teetering moment of hubris to regain humility, I trip in my own trap. Falling is a torpedo, a whirlpool, a black hole astray from the light, and into the darkness. It is a pattern, this type of descent. Slipping is often set off through the making of a mistake: not for the first time, but for the nth time. Before the fall, the sway precedes the slip. The sway is where I lose a sense of I, and I am taken over despite myself, to spite myself. To flirt with temptation and sway towards the pattern is to set oneself up for a fight, for the pull of temptation towards that trigger, is a vice hungry for a device, and that grip is waiting with white knuckles and the forces of gravity and magnets.
Conversely, I have found that in the moments or flow of moments in which I am living my passion, I am participating in something greater. To practice one’s passion is to participate and honor universal compassion. This experience is the antithesis of vice finding device. A perfect pair, the hand fits into the glove snug as snug is, and the experience of touch and to be touched is muted and diluted just the same. The virtue of compassion and the vice of device are similar in that they can be defined against one another: a binary opposition, like the white fluid around the blue lava bubbles ascending and descending inside of the lamp.
Sometimes when I cannot sleep I watch the shadow play on my ceiling cast by the lava lamp beside me. It is astonishing how remarkably similar the lava shadows are to the caprice of free willed hands, not moving with grace and fluent rhythm, but rather, spastic and sporadic motion and agile jutting with and against the nature of its own movement, as if the shadows have intent or purpose unfolding in their dance.
Strangely, to watch the lava itself, rather than the shadows, makes me feel quite uneasy. As if I am seeing something that I should not be seeing. As if I walked in on a secret and instead of closing the door and moving along with a fleeting apology, I let my curiosity and fascination with that quixotic sensation get the best of me and I lay and stare with full moon eyes.
Digital signals are imprinted with a picture of their destination from the beginning of their journey towards their end. Carl Jung had the good fortune of opening his first private practice in part due to the word of mouth rumor of Jung’s wizardry, spread by a mentally ill local patient. He could not have known his life would lead the path it did, and the improvisational set his life apart from many others. Am I an analogue girl in a digital world?