Wednesday, September 5, 2012
on how to recover eternity
of course, the first question i ask myself is "where did eternity go?" when i was five years old, waiting three days for the circus to come to town was exactly that an eternity. what am i looking for, renewed, over-the-top impatience? seems extremely doubtful. i've rushed through my life at lightning-speed, fearing i wouldn't have time to experience everything. what if i had savored that sexual encounter more, enjoyed the boat-ride along the turkish coast in slow-motion?
heartless questions, of course. i'd have had to be a different person. ah, not a bad idea. yet i cling to my identity like all the books in my storage locker, the poems i've written, old clothes, considering these carry the story of my journey. what folly! as lenny bruce said, when a man dies, all his precious possessions become junk. pretty obvious i left eternity in the lost and found somewhere, not knowing which city and having no ticket.
did world war 2 kill the object of my search? modernist literature before the war and starting with baudelaire carried a background of natural cycles. in virginia woolf's the waves, between stories she describes waves crashing and spreading on the beach. in rilke's the notebooks of malte laurids brigge, the hero hears a fellow boarder who can't stand up. his neighbor feels the turning of the earth too strongly. everywhere these cycles take the place of god's death, as nietszche put it, the eternal return. far from being a cry of despair these poems and novels allow what is to be replaced by something new, without wailing and beating their chests.
odd, isn't it, since this literature considered down-beat! no, that had to wait til after the devastation. i've been punishing myself with lectures on hitler, a documentary on goebbels, the story of the man who created auschwitz, all in order to recover the currents of nature existing before their rise and fall. now i understand the historical context. awareness of the concentration camps makes me anxious, including the fact our family visited dachau in the fifties, before it was gussied-up and monumentalized, crude ditches for running blood, ordinary cement rooms with scratches on the wall, a hatch in the ceiling for the dropping of xyclone b.
every sort of person executed, i can't help think which category would have done me in: government worker, gypsy traveler, son of a protestant preacher, writer, theater director, lover of jewish women. every step of the way could have condemned me. and i suspect this is when eternity hid herself away, in order to make me suffer for our crimes.
well, the answer to all my questions already stated. an awareness of nature and acceptance of the seasons - no, no, i wish for eternal summer, i've even thought of moving to los angeles! the ability to accept the trashing of my possessions, welcoming the thought others will live in this tower and do my job better when i'm gone. as jakusho kwong says, please enjoy your only life! yes, i could have tried having a family or joining a religion. alas, they would have simply taken away my process. all it takes to rejoin the universe is un-focus your eyes for a few moments and let everything in, instead of keeping a tight attention to food, sex, and danger.
here are some others who have a different answer. look at the photos hang-glider heaven: http://www.pbase.com/wwp/hang a way to face the abyss and love it.