When the wind blows the wind knows a serious moment although for you
it may only be a convenience on a hot day or a severe inconvenience
on a much colder day but notice how your hair flows when the wind
blows or how the dust flies, dust you can’t see from the inside, and
so you needn’t be a sage to know that when the wind blows the wind
doesn’t know a serious and important moment.
THE LONGETIVITY OF THOUGHT
From within my own reflection there comes a subtle movement, a quiver
of molecules, a thought of what lies beneath me that can swallow up
the light. And, as I lift myself away from the bank, the quivering
dissipates. Soon it disappears. But the thought is still there. Not
transformed like energy but changed like an idea. And it was the second
time that day the tired horses of oblivion had been led to the water.
It was about and we were sitting around the kitchen
table. Then my father got up, cupped my head in his hands and said:
“This is what I know about love.” Then he kissed me full on the lips
and left. And I listened to his slow clamber up the steps, and kept
on listening until eventually he crawled into his bed. I was only
seventeen but I knew what my father had meant. I understood perfectly.
But I could not understand what my mother had done.
This morning I did not know myself. Each
part I touched was unfamiliar. My skin felt creased and baggy. My
feet were out of shape and my legs did not join comfortably. I did
not like the crinkled hairs. My hands were meshed in wrinkles. They
were neither my style nor my size. It felt like I was wearing someone
else’s gloves. Yet, I never once complained about my cut or texture.
In fact, I thought my self fitted its sheath quite well. It was like
no other. It did not droop, rumple or creep up. I knew exactly who
it was inside my sheath. Indeed, my outsides seemed to almost expose
the inner matter of my being. And I did not want to change. But this
morning I could not recognise my face. The
slack new skin was dark and dry. It webbed around my eyes. It was
going to flake and peel, and I was going to come out.
“To take a book cannot be considered stealing,” said an old man to
a young me. Well, perhaps he wasn’t wise but he was from another country
and much older than me. That was a long time ago and I’ve stolen ever
since from bookstores, libraries and even people’s homes. I shove
them up a sleeve, down a sock, into the back of my pants, a briefcase
and everywhere possible. I know all about magnetic strips and electronic
eyes. How to blind them. And now, I have
books everywhere from floor to ceiling, in clothes cupboards, drawers
and on the bathroom floor. There are too many books even for me though
I read incessantly. Some say (or maybe it was just Huxley) that such
excessive reading is a vice or worse, a complete self-indulgence.
Did that man corrupt me? I don’t know. I really don’t know.