29 June 2012

Exit, Phase Three: The Flight

Goodbye Old World. It's been a long three and a half years. When we arrived it was bitter cold and raining and the sky was slate gray. Today is hot and humid and the sun is bright and full of power. "Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player..." Etc, etc. "Signifying nothing."

Have you ever cried while running? Strange. I felt like flying. I did not stumble.

Well, then, as the wise-beyond-his-years Laurent Adler said last weekend just before diving into a heaping pile of tartiflette: "See you on the other side."

13 June 2012

Exit, Phase Two: In Faith We Leap

Ten years, four continents, five countries. In that time and in those places the family has increased by one son, one godson, and a street dog from Guadalajara, Mexico. Also in that time and in those places the family has decreased by one street dog from Guadalajara. Starting next Monday, a small army will once again descend on us, throw all of our worldly possessions into small boxes that will be moved into larger boxes that will eventually set sail for the continent that once upon a time we called home.

From here on out, at least until we land on the continent we call home, it's anybody's guess what will happen. One thing for sure, something will. Probably many things, in fact.

Within the last few weeks and for reasons I cannot totally explain several images, sounds, ideas, and narrative passages have connected themselves. I will present some of these in the relative order in which they have appeared. The continuity makes perfect sense to me but I understand how they might appear random, abstract, and independent of each other. That's how it is these days: everything that explodes must and will reform again to create a unified whole.

Well, how did I get here?


Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.

--Cormac McCarthy, from The Road

"What have you been reading?" I asked. "A book," he said. It was on the ground on the other side of him. So I would not have to bother to look over his knees to see it, he said, "A good book."

Then he told me, "In the part I was reading it says the Word was in the beginning, and that's right. I used to think water was first, but if you listen carefully you will hear that the words are underneath the water."

"That's because you are a preacher first and then a fisherman," I told him. "If you ask Paul, he will tell you that the words are formed out of water."

"No," my father said, "you are not listening carefully. The water runs over the words. Paul will tell you the same thing."

--Norman Maclean, from A River Runs Through It

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.

--Norman Maclean, from A River Runs Through It

Water dissolving and water removing
There is water at the bottom of the ocean.
Under the water, carry the water,
Remove the water from the bottom of the ocean.
Water dissolving and water removing.

Or, in other words:

To here knows when.

(Thanks, Kirsten, for the reminder!)