So after seeing that film I did an experiment. There was a particular soda pop machine at the Community College of Baltimore (now Balto City CC) that was notorious for eating yer money, and/or not giving you the right kinda pop---er, soda (it was in B'more). Now of course what pop would come out when you pushed a certain button very probably had to do with how the machine had been loaded by some human being, and whether it would eat yer money or demand more than the stated price was also, in a certain world view to which I still largely subscribe, a matter of mechanical logistics that could be explained most solidly by rational examination, should one care to invesigate, and have the means to do so. But since it was a closed box that responded somewhat mysteriously to stimuli, it seemed as if it had the potential volitionality of thingness that the kitchen has in the Jung story. It was an object for superstition, in other words, or religion, or spirituality, or psychological play. So when I went to that machine next, and it gave me the right can of carbonated beverage for the correct amount of change, I said "Thank you, Machine," as I bent to pluck the can from the depository slot into which it'd clunked.
The next time I went to the machine, it performed perfectly again. I thanked it again. And the next time it was fine, and I thanked it. It kept working; I kept thanking. And the entire rest of the time I worked there, it never ripped me off again. To this day, when a vending machine delivers, I say aloud to it (albeit sometimes sotto voce), "Thank you, Machine."
It's not that I really believe anything "woo-woo" here, dear readers. But there's something about it. Something about the way it plays out in our psychology, if nothing else. Like karma---instant karma, and not-so-instant, not requiring the whole death & reincarnation business, but just playing out through how people treat you in response to your shit, and how you yourself feel inside about it and think & behave in response to that.
What I'm here to tell you about tonight is that I just came in from a short visit to the back deck, impromptu upon going to close the door for the night. I haven't been out there but once, very briefly, since the snow melted off of it---hell, since the snow started snowing on it, way back whenever that was. The big old (and I mean old) apple tree is in bloom, and it smells great out there. I looked out at the back yard, as much as I could make it out in the dark, and felt like talking to it.
I told it I knew I'd been neglecting it, and I wanted to tell it I was back, and that it'd be alright now, but I wasn't quite ready to say that & know I meant it. I'm not quite there, not quite able to commit. So I told it "I'm here now." And I said how great it smelled. And I tried to feel, as I stood there in just my socks, what it would be like if I could really live in that back yard; really stake something there, here; really see beyond hopeless salvaging---and not flee, but settle some place. Settle into that place. This place.
It's been so long since I've been settled in a home. The Michigan taxes' referring to my "homestead" hits me with such bitter irony I want to scream.
I come from people who up & moved & settled down & then up & moved & settled down again. It's in my blood. But I also have the message from one of their dead-before-I-was-born selves that you should live every place you live as if it's the last place you ever will. And not because one day you'll be right: because that's how you should live there. That's how you should live. Lately I've been thinking that it is this struggle that's the worst of the fallout from the nuclear catastrophe that was/is the H-bomb.
For somebody who appears to be pretty certainly destined to be childless---and who values bloodline heritage less than most of the population, I daresay---I think about my dead ancestors a lot, and I often feel the spirit of that notion, from my vague white American idea of "African" culture, that my ancestors have some investment in me, or would give a shit about me if they were here. Or have something to say to me. Or that I can make them do that---have something to say to me. There's a broad human anthropological part of it, but there's a person-to-person one, too.
And of course not all my ancestors are biologically related to me. Sometimes they're just people who wrote down what they were thinking, or lived their lives or told their tales in such ways that the tales have made it to me.
Tales like Karl Jung in the kitchen.