1904

The Year Everything Important Happened

Notes

The past follows us like a shadow.  Like an acrobat miming our moves, those contemplated and those accomplished a moment ago. A delay in time. In Time.

I’ve been away so long, can I get back?  All it takes is time.  Time and money.

A talent you can’t control is not a talent.  It’s not potential either. Or maybe it is but what does that mean?  Everyone has potential, potential is like breathing, you have all the potential in the world, what are you doing with it?  What are you doing? Think what the world would be like if we had encouraged everyone to learn telepathy, astral projection, if we had developed the ability to heal ourselves with thought, move things with our minds.  Instead we invented personal computers.  And robots.  And FaceBook.

What if Falling was an Art you could be taught?

Stopped in customs on the Canadian border of all places.  To think there was a time I was stopped in the Gaza Strip, guard towers with machine guns pointed at me, the Egyptian driver with gold teeth and a goat in the back of the battered pick-up, demanding more money.  Life and death.  Now it’s a Quebecois boy in a Mounty’s hat and a sneer, aviator sunglasses reflecting my sad face in the window of a rental car, an opportunity to be unkind to an old white American, worse, an old white American from Los Angeles.  They make me pull over, they search the vehicle.  There are two of them now, one becomes engrossed in my diary, and the maps of cemeteries and streets in Troy, New York, and lists of dates and places, and addresses scribbled, oh William what have you gotten me into?  I carry my diary so I have something sensational to read on the train, says Gwendolen to Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest and I do, and oh I certainly do, oh god yes indeed, because my account of my trip to Cairo Illinois in 1908 is filled with vivid details of the Past and a mob and a lynching which makes for riveting reading if you are a bored border guard and I realize I’m not going anywhere for a very long time.  You don’t belong here, the man said over the shoulder of an actress on the dock in Cairo in 1904, and here he is again.  Here he is again.

And then it is Christmas, and I am at a monastery in a canyon in California, feeding chickens with a beautiful young man who has decided to give his life over to the contemplation of the Divine, in a place Christopher Isherwood and Aldous Huxley and Gerald Heard used to visit, oh my dear young man, I think.  oh my dear I was just in Canada, it seems only days ago.  How has this happened? Where have I been?

2 Comments

  1. Heather in Arles

    January 13, 2017 at 2:56 am

    Just a quiet thank you for the questions that you ask and the how or why behind them.
    bisous

    • And a thank you in return. I’m trying. It’s not easy, and you understand that, for which I am more grateful than I can say. bisous

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