There is a place you must go, and though you cannot see where it is, you know it is, know the distance you must travel is vast and unknown, and there is no sun to serve you as a guide, nor any guarantee that you will make it there, and instead be condemned to dwell in the darkness of infinity, and while there, you ask yourself: “How much more must one endure? How long can one endure?”
But these questions do not suffice, for you know the answer is obscured by the shadows of uncertainty, and so you grasp what you can, to guide you through the night, and hope you will return to see the sun again.
And so you turn to the memory of the notes that still exist within you, for darkness has no power over them, for these notes reside far above the clouds, above the sky, above the heavens, where the shadows of light are bred and born and transformed, from the greater darkness within the universe, which we will never reach or fully know, but still know it well, for those notes, though born in darkness, are overcome by the power of light that breaks apart from the darkness from which they were issued, and sheds.
And with this light, you know darkness will never win the war, for light is far greater than the birth of night, and so you arm yourself with those notes as your guide – The Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G, which stirs in you the will to live and swim towards the light.
I could not say what floor it was —
because I did not know
what floor I lived on —
only that it was the floor above
where silence seemed to dwell —
unless it was because I could not hear
what was there
because of the noise of others
who lived with me.
It did not have a pretty or a friendly face —
instead the faces where I lived
were filled with images of things
I feared —
and a television against a wall —
the chatter of petty minds and petty faces
the constant hum and drum behind the wall —
which I ignored —
for it was nothing more than noise to me.
But it had a telephone —
which reached another world —
the world of those I loved —
those no longer here
but whose messages I could hear.
They were both beautiful and tragic
and reminded me of the life they lived.
Love erased in a single moment
haunted eternally by the voice of those they loved —
recorded on a telephone.
They pretended to be happy
their voices filled with enthusiasm
hopeful the ancient ones they had loved
found and loved again
but not without a hint of uncertainty —
that kind of hope.
Nonetheless it was persuasive
and so, I plastered them to my body —
like a shield —
the landscape of what I feared.
Not too high, not too low.
Close enough to the ground
but not far above it.
Not as high as the sky
but high enough to see the sky —
The middle ground.
High enough to see the branches of a tree —
the people who grow beneath them —
the voices and the traffic on the street
under the sun and under the moon —
touch the sky.
In a land by the sea between the living and the dead —
I saw a familiar man —but could not be sure who he was —
The sun traveled inside and poured from his face
as he approached with a friendly gait —
a handsome man —
but whose beauty was secondary to the jacket he wore —
a shade of green, not too dark, not too bright —
the length shorter than is customary for a man
reached the edge of the spine.
I marvelled how different it was from anything I had seen —
and knew its touch was something I could not leave behind —
The man in green — who was otherwise modestly dressed —
took pride in the craftsmanship of this vessel of his —
and opened the door to an inner world —
where major keys lay bare inside —
and saw it was not finished yet.
What is a writer, if nothing more than a pair of eyes, absorbing information from the environment, experiencing it, processing it, and finally expressing those perceptions through language? There are exceptions, of course, at least in theory. Educated claims, made by persons devoted to understanding a riddle, plucked and gleaned from limited resources, but which without all the pieces of the puzzle, despite dedication, are the valleys and peaks of scholarly visions. But this is the nature of curiosity and passion — a relentless pursuit for answers, the truth. These attempts are by no means futile or insignificant, but help construct a semi-coherent picture of what may have been. The intention to distinguish fact from myth is a noble pursuit.
And so, the subject which has rightfully fascinated investigators since antiquity, a trend which will likely continue indefinitely, is Homer, the greatest epic poet of all time. Linguistic variations of his epic poems suggest that Homer may have not authored both The Iliad and The Odyssey. But then again, investigators can only place his birth between a span of time, centuries apart. Just think of that. Not decades but centuries. Now that is what I would call a huge mystery. And one must not forget that these works were based on an oral tradition, so once again, there are more questions than answers. Homer was also presumably blind. Really? That’s an incredible claim. Perhaps he suffered from an eye disease later in life. Science has proven that eye diseases prevail in later life. And so, the verdict is out on that one, and for good reason, for it leads to a simple but significant question: How could a poet perceive what he expressed without the use of his eyes? My guess is that Milton would throw that theory into the trash.