Saturday, October 13, 2012

on falling on my head

or, how to get your life to flash before your eyes without dying. yes, twice this summer. earlier i described bouncing down the steps of the back deck and banging my head three times against an oak tree. three weeks later, my visor blew off as i measured the fire tower wind. stepping down into the bushes, i grabbed a branch and began to lower myself. i twisted sideways and knocked my head on a piece of old asphalt. i let the visor lie. 

this brought back stepping through a hole in the new church deck, age six, and landing head-first on the steps below. and even earlier, at age one, i slipped off a slide in the park, unconscious for half an hour. the doctor said not to worry. i wonder if this wasn't my shamanic initiation? do the three times i broke my nose figure into the equation? whatever it is, when a friend asked his 85 year-old aunt how to live a long life, she said, DON'T FALL. 

considering i've been getting shaky on my pins, i've had the urge to round up the past and press it for answers. for example, i watched a twelve hour lecture on hitler's rise. as a teenager playing in 1950's stuttgart rubble, only girls interested me. history i didn't even notice. ignorance has great value when you want to simply indulge the senses. ausschwitz and goebbels documentaries and i felt i'd heard enough. no wonder the fascination with world war II. so many dramas and mysteries, all of humanity insane. 

and i'm reviewing the history of literature, having studied it in college, most of it forgotten in my own reading of thousands of books. since i wrote an unfinished play about nietzsche while living in a berlin basement, i'm in the middle of 24 lectures describing his life and ideas.  and i just downloaded a course on modern british drama, a second on chaucer, and a third on the romantic poets. this the tip of the iceberg. add: the art of reading, masterpieces of short fiction, the english novel, 

yes, i do feel like socrates waiting to die. when asked, 'why are you learning to play that tune on the flute. you can't take it with you? he said, 'at least i will have made myself dance at the last." certainly, all this review doesn't mean anything. yet these subjects bring flashes of the past. in london i sat under the tree before the keats' house where he wrote ode to a nightingale and i wandered into the room by the roman spanish steps where he died. i did a lot of literary visitations: dostoyevsky's apartment in petersberg, stringberg's flat in stockholm, kazanzaki's grave on crete. 

jung said, 'have your adventures and hit the books later.' i firmly believe this and put it into practice. i even wrote a poem, if i can find it. blast, i can't. here's another early poem, probably more appropriate (click on it):

here are pics taken while searching the city of my deliverance: