Monday, January 20, 2014

4 Years

   "Transcendent time, or time as it exists in nature, is a continuous moment of the present.  When one sees and operates within that time and space, it is the unity of all things that is perceived.
     The idea of time that people generally accept came into being with the invention of the calender and the clock.  But a clock, with its needle going around a series of numbers, is just a means of counting.
     Time does not simply flow mechanically in a straight line in a fixed direction.  We could think of time as flowing up and down, right and left, forward and backward.  As time develops and expands, multifaceted and three-dimensional, the past is concealed within the instant of the present, and within this instant of time is concealed the eternity of the future."     Masanobu Fukuoka

So strange things happen sometimes.  In the fall, we had some trees cut down in the garden; they had to be climbed to be removed, and since I can't do that, we hired someone who could.  The next day, as I surveyed the piles of logs and sawdust, I was nearly blinded by the white light of an intense feeling that my father was flowing through me, as though the ash tree that for 37 years had been sucking up the carbon dioxide expelled from his lungs now coughed it back up in the carbon of chips and chunks of wood.

Then, perhaps two weeks ago, as I walked down the hill from the house through the garden, I had the sudden feeling of being turned inside out, of feeling as though I was trapped inside my father's body, and that I was looking through his eyes at a body that moved the same way I watched his body move through my eyes when he was alive. 


Which brings me, apropos of none of the above, to this part of a letter he wrote 50 years ago to his friend Bill Newkirk when my Dad decided to pack up the typewriter in Islamorada and head back north to his future life:

"When you see me, Newk, please don't comment on the tiny drops of blood that occasionally seem to ooze, tear-like, from my eyes.  I need not caution a less attentive observer who would assume them to be tears but you, Bill, trained in the school of human observations will know them for drops of blood so again I caution you, don't mention them.  It would only disturb my wife.  That wife is the same one, Terry as you'll recall, who has somehow survived my sporadic fits of creative genius and who gave one loud "whoop" yesterday when I told her we'd "better go home".  So be it.  We'll get out of here around the first of May and locate ourselves with my folks in Cleveland while I hunt for the breadline.

What's in a year anyway?  Or rather 10 months.  Let me tell you buddy, blood, sweat and tiny whimpers.  How much have I written?  Some 50,000 finished words or some 100,000 unfinished words.  Enough for a novel.  How well have you fared financially?  Not one sou, brother, not one sou.  Well then, you've certainly kicked that year in the ass, haven't you?  Not so my friend, though there are those who would argue the point.  What have you learned then?  Have you learned to write?  I've made a start brother, only a start.  Someday...And what do you do now, sir?  I go back to work, my friend, I go back to work--happily methinks."

When did he write this letter, how many years since he died, when was he sitting on the bench in the yard, how long will I hear his voice inside my head...? 

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