"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Friday, June 11, 2004
gap Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old Norse, chasm, hole; akin to Old Norse gapa to gape
1 a : a break in a barrier (as a wall, hedge, or line of military defense) b : an assailable position
2 a : a mountain pass b : RAVINE
3 : SPARK GAP
4 a : a separation in space b : an incomplete or deficient area (a gap in her knowledge)
5 : a break in continuity
6 : here, now, life
It could be that dreams are eternal, you think?
To the Australian Aborigine, the ongoing process of life and time is merely a gap in the eternal "dreamtime" which has no beginning and no end. They view every moment as defined by everything that has gone before and part of what will define the next moment. Instead of living in the here and now, they live in the everything and the all.
Dreams feel like that sometimes.
I mentioned in my last post about my dreams, particularly the one about the seaside village. If you will indulge me for a few minutes, I'd like to take a trip there. And I'll take you with me, if you're not afraid to step out of the gap.
This place doesn't exist anywhere but in my mind, as far as I know, and it created itself as I slept.
It's the best place I know.
Relax in your chair, and lean back if you like. Close your eyes. Oh wait, that won't work since you are reading, let's just say "clear your mind." Take a slow, deep breath, and then another.
Now, open your mind's eye wide, and we'll start painting the picture.
First, there is a clear blue sky, not a single cloud from horizon to horizon. The sun is bright and cheery, and every color is vibrant and fresh. You can feel a cool, comfortable breeze tickling your neck just enough to be fun. It's Springtime, early Spring, that time of year when it is so beautiful and the masses have yet to discover it, the time when you are somewhere like this and can't for the life of you figure out why everyone else isn't here too.
You are standing on a light brown cobblestone street, facing a cul-de-sac. In the middle of the cul-de-sac is a beautiful stone fountain, with sparkling water leaping and playing from bowl to bowl and carved fluted supports holding it all together. The fountain spills into a pool, and there is a bench running around the edge so that you could sit and enjoy the water.
You can hear the ocean surf to your right, and the ground is pure white sand except in a few places where there is grass. The light is that white pure light that you can only get at the seashore.
Straight ahead is a building, perhaps the entrance to a pavilion of some sort. There is a large porch area, and columns rising about 25 feet. You have never been in this pavilion because it is closed for the off season, but you know that were it Summertime and the height of the season, it would be bustling with activity.
As a matter of fact, right now this place is empty except for you and the sound of the waves. You have it all to yourself.
On your right, there is a gazebo. It looks out over the beach and the ocean, and beside it is a small carnival all decked out in bright colors. Both the gazebo and the carnival look like something plucked out of the 1920's and Coney Island. You can easily picture men in straw hats and women in bustles enjoying themselves there.
This is a safe place.
Nothing bad ever happens here, and nothing bad ever will.
On your left is a small cafe, a sandwich shop kind of place. It's called the "Sand Flea" and is decorated with nets, floats, ropes and big conch shells. The walls of the building are made of weathered teakwood, rough cut and old. The door is huge and made of planks just like the walls are.
You walk across the town circle and go in.
Inside, the Sand Flea is long and skinny. The area is only about twenty feet wide but probably a hundred feet or more long. Even now at midday it is dark and comfortable in here. Just like the outside, the place is decorated with all kinds of nautical gear and items. Diving helmets, more nets, more shells, some red plastic crabs, carved sea captains, even the front of a dingy.
Almost the entire left side is taken up by a bar. Tables are lined up along the right. Each one has a menu where you can order sandwiches that are not cheap, but they are good.
You know that if you sat down, the waitress/bartender would appear and wait your table. You also know that her and her husband own this restaurant. You know this because you have been here over and over again.
But not today. Today there is more to do.
You walk back out onto the circle. Behind the pavilion you can now see what looks like apartments or condominiums. They would seem out of place, but they are not tied directly to this seaside village. To reach them you would have to leave the road and cross a big grass field.
You know that someone you used to love lives in those buildings. But you don't look for them. Even though there is longing inside of you, you know that, for now, you must be satisfied with only knowing that they are there.
You walk slowly back to the place where the cobblestone street enters the cul-de-sac, and stand in the very center of the road, perfectly safe since there are no cars today. You inhale deeply, so deeply, and the only thing you can smell is the crisp smell of ocean surf, filling you with energy.
You walk to the gazebo, sit and look at the ocean, sparkling in the sunshine, deep blue to the horizon. You can hear children playing now, and see them tossing a beach ball to and fro. But the beach is not crowded, there are only enough children to make it fun.
I'll leave you here, in the gazebo, with the lazy waves rolling in. Stay as long as you like, I won't mind.
He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.
Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001), "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"