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Squid #254
(published November 24, 2005)
Ask the Giant Squid: Power Anchor Animals, Composition and the Definition of 'WE'
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
Giant Squid,

I have heard you are my anchor animal. I would like to ask you just what are we 'made' of? Who are 'we' really?



Firstly, let it be known that my cellular modem (blesséd be the Hedy LeMar!) and terminal des internets are again the functional, and so I might thence be in reception of your queries du courrier électronique and in more regular contact both with my staff and you, my readership. Please expect, in the coming weeks, a somewhat greater frequency of Squid (K)uickies to be posted to mine own Newswire.

As I read aloud through the many questions I have received but which, sadly, have gone unanswered as of late, my new friend and companion Hazel did obtain a state of excitement in response to yours.

"I did that once," she said, almost absently, clearly feeling about in her head—which is small in size, but somehow seemingly as voluminous as mine own as she spelunks its odd and mazing depths, "I took a workshop at the Community Ed, when I lived in Arizona. We did guided meditation, and we found our power animals. Mine was a rabbit."

I knew not of these anchoring power animals—and had difficulty imagining them, composing in my mind an image of a thing mechanical—something like a backhoeing bulldozer, and something like a lumbering badger, winched and dragging of chains at the bottom of the sea—and said as much, to which Hazel did explain:

"It's an animal that's inside you—"

"Like a parasite?"

"No. It's inside you, in your heart. Or your brain."

"Like a parasite?"

"Like in your soul. And sometimes it guards you, or guides you . . ." her face was blank, and again I could see that she was feeling within her mind, blindly, grasping for the few words in that large space, "Or is you. It's something the Indians had, which is why they had names like Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull and Mahatma Gandhi," Hazel paused, "A gandhi is a kind of bird, I think."

This, of course, was of interest to me, at such a propitious time of year, what with the integrality of the Native Americans in the cannibalistic shadow-play feast of the Thanks-to-Givings, as well as the Presidential necessity of the noble Ninjindians, with their checkful balancing of the laws via primal execution (diagram.)

"Can we, then, locate within me my powered anchor animal?"

"I don't know," she said dubiously, "You sort of are an animal already, and I don't know that animals have power animals. Because animals don't have souls. Accept dogs . . . and some birds. The talking ones."

"Could we make the trial? It would be of interest to me, on the Eve of this Thanks-to-Giving Day."

"Well, you need to lie on the floor and listen to a drum."

"I cannot lie upon the floor, for there is insufficient room in this homotel room, and also my velocitating suit lacks the volume for me to stretch full."

"Also, we don't have a drum," she paused, again searching in her mind, "But in the workshop we didn't have a drum, either. We listened to a CD of a drum on the stereo. But we don't have that CD."

"For shame," I said.


"Can we perhaps take measurements and calculate my anchoring animal?"

"I don't think so. Is there maybe an animal you dream about a lot, like a monkey or a parrot. A parrot with a hat," she squinted, her face squinching with suspicion and dislike, "a parrot who steals your cereal," she paused, "I hate him."

"I dream not"

"That's too bad."

And I settled at a widening of the floor, a-near to where the door of the tub-and-toilet room does open, while Hazel leaned back upon the homotel bed—the bed further from me and closer to the door of entrance—and did shift her focus of concentration fully to the televisual broadcast syndicated situational comedia del arte.

Hazel—who says her name in the truth is actually of "Melissa", but whom also, of the blushingly, does admit that she prefers I call her the Hazel, and that Hazel is her new name with me, for she is different with me, a different and new person, discrete and separate from that which she has been before.

I do admit much of this I find exceedingly cryptic, but also curious, and if curiosity has killed the cat, is it not satisfaction which hath brought him back? Perhaps, then, it is the sagacious cat who guides, protects and is me, and that in some future life, with some future other, I shall prefer to be called "Mahatma Cat," to honor and indicate this.

But, apologies are due, for in reading your question, I have once again become baffled in among the details and givens of your posit, and failed yet to even begin to address your queries two.

So, in the first part: Of what are we made? Presuming that you are at all similar to Hazel or I or the animals in whose image our powering anchors are cast, then you are doubtlessly made mostly of water, and that of you which is not water is mostly carbon.

In the second part, Who are 'we' really?

A brief examination: If there are two of us, and we are in a room, and we are in conversation, or in conflict, or even are quietly and mutually sharing of the viewing of a television, then there is certainly we, the pronoun which loops us in its double-yew like the yoke on two oxen. We are not simply together—as we are physically—but, also, grammatically, we are one.

And this, because we are in intercourse, communicating between us, even if only with the subtle bops and bobbles of our painted pink toes as we bounce our fluffed pink mule-slipper on our toe, or the bob of our tentacles as we let them to rest in the microcurrents of our tank, or the grunts of the amusement as we share in the illuminating, entertaining glow of the Friends program.

But, then, imagine there is the me and the you, and we are in the same space, but separate. Imagine that you sit upon the motel bed, watching of the Friends, but I am concealed and you know not that I am there—or imagine in more extremity, imagine that I am as close as I might be if you were upon the bed nearestmost the door and I was crouched upon the ground in the widening afore the bathing room. Imagine that you are watching of your Friends and I am as close as I was in the paragraph above, but instead of being restive on the floor watching of your stories, I am pacing outside the motel door, and you know not that I am there, and I know not that you are within watching Joey drop of the objects and fall down, offensive to the Chandelier. We are as close, physically, as those watchers above who are a we, but nought does pass between us, and so never would we term ourselves a we, together, like We these People Americanum and grand.

We, then, in that case where only the brittle glass and cheap, thin plasterboard does make our separation, no we at all, but a you and an I. And this is so because we do not commune, because we do not communicate, and thus lack syn-pathos—the feeling-together.

The bodies are the same, their chemical compositions, the geometry of their locals, the nature of their powerful animal anchors, the electromagnetic waves each and the televisor and all emanate.

What has changed is what passes among them: We have ceased to exchange data, and so we have ceased to be.

As such, the we is clearly made by the communication, ever so gossamer as she may be, among and between us, the net of minute data points from which we build our nest.

We, then—you and Hazel and I, all of us—are made of words.

Like this, glowing limpid upon your screen, even now.

I Thus Remain,
Your Giant Squid
Of these Yet United States of Giving Thanks

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see other pieces by this author | Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid? Read his blog posts and enjoy his anthem (and the post-ironic mid-1990s Japanese cover of same)

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