Morning is now a fog and the neighbor’s dog bark at all the ghosts in the cold. One gets out of bed and opens one’s curtains hoping it’s finally someone one loves. But the empty road leaves one nowhere to go, and although one can’t get away from where one is dead in the world, one can’t help going on living. Is it a dream, or life itself that’s so hard to believe? Walking by the gothic gate for so many years, is it one’s unaccountable imagination that has got it wrong? Truly, the fascination one has for the place can’t be explained unless the one whom one is meant to marry walks those garden paths every morning in tears concealed behind the high stone walls. One could talk to the keeper of the gate and learn nothing of this. But although one claims the courage, the keeper never appears to open the gate. One wonders what it’s for, and while the one within is silent, a kiss is finally made in the air to show that love lies in the arms of fantasy and hence is too well guarded to admit disclosure. But what gate would open without a key, with a kiss and the transient persuasion of an unsure promise, not knowing what one wants if the act is unexperienced, if the alleged fruits in the secluded garden may turn into the banana, the exotic orange, the apple? But who could trust a guess? Do something about it. Knock on the wood of the gate listening with ears deaf to the sound of the music imagined within. I knew you’d like roses, one would sing, so I ran right down and bought you some. Next the rumor is spread that they have come up unexpectedly blooming in profusion all over one’s yard. No, the keeper of the gate will not accept a flower or a rumor. That much is decided. Although one might demonstrate the honesty of such a futile effort with full-color attentions, the keeper is too old with intelligence and too shrewd with denial to trust that such a hastily fabricted image would do the love within some good. One doesn’t even try, but don’t despair. It will do one no good either to threaten. The keeper of the gate will not accept an axe as a token, or if it’s used one may find that the miraculous garden has been removed. No, we are not what we seem, not when we dream of happiness in forms our life has not been able to contain. Yes, we are all the same, when we fear most the fantasy that once found would end the desire that keeps us searching for it. What do we do when it’s gone, or when the gate turns out to be unguarded, and upon a moment’s inspection, easily scaled, to jump down on the other side, wiping off one’s dirty hands and turning around to see another street, much like the street that one just left. Now the gate is examined from this other side and its mystery is disguised in the confusion that it looks the same. What does it conceal? The love within is silent, but looking again at the scene, isn’t it all somewhat altered, how everything is a mere image, eyes praying north not south for the blinding sun? One might prefer to close one’s eyes next time, searching for the wholeness that the metaphor suggests was in the egg one had for breakfast or in the apple whose core one left in the sack. When indigestion destroys the whole thing with a similar acid in the heart, is loss of appetite the natural answer? Oh how simple it would be if we could let things be the way they are, instead of turning around to face the dream that has turned around the next corner, leading one down, no, not down another possibility, jumping over the wall, trying to be something one’s not. Isn’t it the irony after all that redeams this quest enough to express a love for life? Doesn’t one see the sadness and the sorrow with the same eyes with which one sees the gladness and hope for a cloudy day tomorrow to see one has been looking all along through cloudy eyes and didn’t know the difference? Or how everything could be made simple if we could stop caring in the end. Sure we have feelings, but doesn’t everyone? Can’t we just recognize the fact and sign the papers that say yes it was a holy thing but now we see it was the two of us all along, and we have bodies like anybody on the street. There are obvious substitutes. Didn’t that telephone pole used to be a mulberry tree? Wasn’t that fire hydrant a water fountain? One finds reassurance in these mistakes. Truly, everything is so arranged in the heart, and the outward image should not fail to reflect its flavor. By faith, one must be aware that the pulse of possibility is a symptom of the heart’s intention. Mustn’t the chance be met with change, tipping the balance in favor of true discovery, finding out that all along the world was everything one thought it to be? It wasn’t done right, so stop to think it wasn’t meant to be. These are times one doesn’t manage to count the tears. They all run together anyway. Trying to get away, who has the time to remember one’s dreams? Look at the technical details. It will have to be done all over again. Obviously the play hasn’t been properly staged. The gate keeper must have forgotten his cue. Who told these scene artists to paint that street? Where are the landscapers? The whole affair has been misdirected from the first. Everyone must have written their own script.
30 September 1973