To Repeat the Past

Well, here I am again, sitting on the porch, watching the Tuesday evening sun that sets Sebastopol in an uncertain light. Shadows lengthen; sentences shorten. Time itself is the ball of fire that falls behind the horizon into the oblivious sea. Or so it seems, but I couldn’t stare at it enough to ascertain in its true nature without burning out my eyes, the very organs that take advantage of its special energy. Too much of a good thing. It gives me light, and it can take it away. Time itself: it gives me life, and it will take it away, so to speak. An “I” within me tells me so, but tomorrow morning, or for that matter, every morning, it will rise again. Simple induction. But enough of coincidences. There’s nothing either fast nor slow but thinking makes it so. Sitting here, I hear two roosters out of sight, crowing in the night, sound alike. Or so it seems, to my limited senses. One, and then repeat, another. But why two roosters? Perhaps the difference itself rests as much in the difference of time as in my imagination. Two finite events. Infinite possibility. Sebastopol Creek now is not the same creek now, but then again, it is. A rhyme. Try to step in it. Ha. I hear a crow: a cock; another crow: another cock. A cock. A shot in the dark. A rooster is thrown back against the barnwall, feathers flying. Cock, and another shot—two roosters dead. By this time, the sun is down, and a third rooster takes the place of the former roosters. When the sun comes up in the morning, everthing will be unchanged, like waking up from a dream, the past repeating itself. Or perhaps it is a dream itself that says that nothing changes. I may die tonight, but tomorrow morning, I’ll be all right.

24 June 1975