coming down from the mountains, i see blinking lights where i need to turn right off the highway into a side road. i slow down and see the results of an accident, two smashed cars in the middle of the highway, no ambulance or police cars yet, a number of cars had stopped and virtually created a circle, emergency lights blinking on and off. very still and silent. a man in dark clothes slumped down beside the railing, leaned over it as though buried in sorrow. he survived. i do not think the people in the other car did.
this hits me hard. for a week, i'd been thinking: maybe there is something after this life, why not, nothing can be proved. you don't have to be religious to consider the possibility. and i felt relief. yes, i've always been basically a scientist, an experimenter, who's had his shamanic phases, and simply considering our physical world: everything breaks down. so, of course, i assumed dust returns to dust. this didn't make me happy, as i'm ambitious, i hope to create something that lasts forever.
"hey, you're out of luck." at the same time this pragmatist self couldn't prove other dimensions don't exist. and if i simply added another sensibility to taste, touch. smell, hear, and see, i could change our whole universe. science, much as i love it, deals with the materials we can perceive, test, squander. what if i added a couple of elements to the periodic table? that might shake everything up. and what if, after death, i do have re-arranged senses and new chemicals to play with?
the poets, contemplating the raising of lazarus, tend to be skeptical, ie. they see him as completely disoriented, not happy to be brought back. the life after life testimonies of the present present a pretty picture, only they weren't completely gone. our lazarus, dead as a doornail and a bit decayed, really did go all out. now i want to know, what did he know, and when? the witnesses weren't interviewed by competent reporters, the free press did not exist, and we know rumor to be notoriously unreliable. what words we have came late, the scene long gone.
alas, the traffic accident shook my rosy pictures of a happy hunting ground. the presence of carnage too real. and the squatting, dejected fellow reminded me of the edvard munch paintings i'd been reviewing, ones like this one:
i landed on his desolate planet. slowly i'm recovering, and in a minute of quiet contemplation, i can again say to myself: we really don't know.