There’s a field out here where they are putting up mixed-use buildings. People will live there and walk to the 7Eleven. Plenty of parking. That seems like a life changing idea, but it's not. They'll sell all the houses and people will buy Big Gulps.
I preferred the weeds and the sparse trees. A gully with one
of those chicken wire fences keeping you out.
Here is what I took out of the field: some glass and a bird
skull. I thought about the cornfields of my childhood. The ones we got lost in before the neighborhood cut into them. The ones that had the preacher's grave between them. Where the tree pierced the Corvair and the washing machine birthed a thousand generations of toads. The fields that still had some kind of god watching over them.
It's not my intention to start idealizing childhood. That's the worse thing we could do, conjuring images of us with jack-knives gutting trout by the stream. But every once in a while Cori and I will start talking about her city childhood and my country one. This is the conclusion I've come to: the corn-fields never prepared me for a desk job.
The problem is that when people look at the cornfield they are too busy knowing it is a cornfield. This is what Nick Cave would call the anti-fantastic, the absence of desire. It’s like the fuzz that comes out of a gramophone. That fuzz isn't fuzz. That’s actually the music.
Think of it this way: what was the desire of the first man to ever see the field? That's what's missing from our lives now, and like death, we have no idea what it could even be. Maybe it feels like a blanket or the bark of a poplar.
I would argue there are no such things as fields anymore, just places they haven't put in housing. And graveyards. Our fut-ure graveyards.