Saturday, January 13, 2007


A Year

Over the past 24th year of my time and space as I measure it, there have been many moments when I felt alive or, another way, felt a living part postioned in History: the warmth of Jean Baudrillard’s large hands, the depth in his eyes – look at how big his head is! this is the cold genious of postmodernism? no, a bonafide prophet, yes, but kind – the nervousness of his English-speaking French smile; the uncomfortable wetness of the forest green wooden chairs of the Delacorte Theatre as Jennifer and I waited for Liev Schreiber to enact MacBeth under clouds of graying mist and the everywhere present ambient noise of Manhattan; the way poetry and song and the naked light of day can be made to respond to color and canvas in the paint of Edvard Munch and Paul Cezzane; the soft-spoken yet strongly-felt Spanish words of Evo Morales, a lama herder dressed in an alpaca chumpa, thanking Oji-Cree from Wisconsin for singing their native songs in his native honor; a silent storm of lightening lashing at the remaining trees, howling over barren hills, whipping my face, raw, as lights blink in distant Port-au-Prince; my moments alone in the Chinese scholar’s courtyard, listening to the sound of water and the silence of the stones chisled into small worlds of solitude; the tired spirit of Kofi Annon as he walked down the steps in the Lehman Wing of the Metropolitan Museum to look for signs of truth in the paintings of Fra Angelico; the sounds that responded to Paco Pena’s unassuming hands, music made by strings and soul, flamenco which invoked El Greco’s view of Toledo, gypsies from Perpignan mingled with Berbers (from Tangiers eating tangerines), with Spanish peasants from Valencia and Cormac McCarthy’s otherworldly sweeping Southwestern vista, a world of language that arises out of the book of Job and resonates with Harold Bloom’s Nietzsche; all those times when thought arose and enacted a flow of words on paper and from paper, in the abscence of time and space chills gave me delightfully involuntary shudders, and only what was, was, and was then gone, a flow: the humanness of thought, of History made of histories, all of which makes me want to dance a high-stepping jive up and down 5th Avenue on Early Sunday Mornings when the world is fresh and traffic is stilled, only the birds and the dogs and the people with cellphones, who are not really there, are talking; I am silent and alive in a world of singing beauty as my Life is made again. I will live.


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