Friday, May 25, 2012
Anticipation. Children have that. They have excitement that boils. I remember it well. It is that quality of wishing away time so that one can be in Disneyland, so that Christmas day will come, so that the birthday would be today. It is an overwhelming quality, for it tends to sublimate the events of ordinary days into being overlooked, dismissed, even disregarded. If only to be in the Kingdom of Oz now! See Dorothy! Go Find the Lyon. As I sit here in Canada's Victoria on this truly gorgeous morning, with the sunlight bright and cheerful after the grey of the past few days, and hear the birds singing and the gulls occasionally squeal, and look out over the long trestle of Purgatory Bridge spanning the Victoria Gorge, I await the passage of time with a certain gratitude for the moments it affords me. There is life in the far off swish and thrum of traffic. There is life in the caw of the crow. There is life in the balancing by of the bicycles, of the paddle-past of the kayaker on the mirrored surface of the full tide, life in the early morning walkers perhaps on their peripatetic way to work down below my window along the famous galloping goose trail, and life in my breathing, moment for moment. How much longer will it be so for my friend? We take life for granted. So it is. It should be so. We are born into life with a right to be here, no less than the trees and the stars. Appreciation for the ordinary, the mundane, the daily grind, though, is another thing. Disneyland and presents and special occasions spoil us for that. We love to travel, to go, to see, to examine, to explore, to be almost anywhere but here once we've spent overlong anywhere. Even the holiday-maker looks forward, eventually, to coming home. Home is where the heart is. Restless creatures, aren't we? My dear friend lies in Oz, a magic kingdom far away, but it will not save him. Cancer reaches across and around the globe. It takes over. A single person is taken here and there, and the numbers grow. Seven billion people on this planet would seem to overwhelm the odds of it taking us all. Surely we can surmount the surface sufficiently to control every inch of our futures. Surely we can undermine the surface sufficient to find yet more resources. Surely we can survive? Those other qualities of family and friends and power and devotion and ambition and equanimity and even integration itself are the luxuries we investigate, the cloaks we wear, once we have the basics sorted out; to live! But after that, when we have come full circle to sans teeth, sans eyes, sans ears, sans everything? Where then be the value of that which we have done, seen, been to other than in the very moments of each of our moments by moment? We kiss with our eyes. My dear friend's time draws near. He will look into my eyes, and I into his, one last time. And we will know there will be no more. What sad anticipation is this? What a mixture of my getting up, and going to his Innesfree, when he be the one who there has made a life in the bee loud glen and awaits his final destiny? So too for my dearest firend of all? Time ticks away at the ordinary. The clock strikes. The bell tolls. Ask not for whom. It tolls for thee.