Saturday, December 09, 2006

Jellyfish of the mind...

Today the Gazpachot experiment is one year-old, and so it's only fitting that I tip my hat to the Portuguese Man-of-War that lives in the middle of my brain, sparking random ideas from that dark deep hole with its potent stinger cells... If I could deliver a cupcake with a candle in it, I certainly would.

There are few things more beautiful and relaxing than giant jellyfish gently bellowing their way through the ocean currents. It’s pure ballet what they’re doing out there, now, somewhere, mindlessly drifting with those absurdly murderous tentacles ruffling in tow.

It’s practically a cliche by now, we’ve witnessed their dreamy undulations many times on television, behind fingerprinted glass walls in aquariums, and elsewhere. Jellyfish don’t change their routine much. They don’t abide by trends or try to swim against the current. But they are timeless, alien symbols of the unconscious mind at play, guided along the currents of memory, paralyzing and consuming random passing morsels that might supply some energy, sustenance, or even meaning.

I was stung by a Portuguese Man-of-War jellyfish when I was about 13. I was looking directly into the setting sun and I thought it was a coconut floating in the surf. I grabbed the beast with all the enthusiasm of a 13-year-old playing in the warm blue waters of the Caribbean. You can imagine how that went. They say the screams were heard in parts of southern Florida. Even so, or perhaps because of, I like to give jellyfish the attention they deserve. I enjoy their range: the anesthetic quality of their motion and the jolting potential of their sting.


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