Beware of the Dangerous Maybes.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Waves Curl and Foam on the Shore.
In Quest of
the One Metaphor.
The Was-Nots Cling like Wet Sand.
By Dylan FitzDylan
A SPECIAL DISPATCH to corndancer.com
from the Lighthouse
on the Nowhere Existing Sea
I've left the desert compound for a lighthouse by the sea.
It was the sensible thing to do. Being here is my best hope of psychic salvation.
I can't tell you why I've come, other than to acknowledge my search for relief in isolation, and to admit that I seek solace in the silence of this place.
I've a sense of purpose, too, but that's nothing new or extraordinary. I want to slow down slow enough to hear the winds again. I want to hear the Zephyr, its whispers and its moans, the breezy morning ballad and wispy evensong. I long to listen with awe and trembling to Boreas' mighty roar.
Truth be told, I've come to create a new world.
I'm compelled to find and redefine the ruling metaphors of my age.
A Gathering Band of Was-Nots.
"They never said he wasn't ambitious," saith Oksob, rousing at last from the long night of his slumber. "Dylan's was-nots are a gathering band. They cling to him like damp sand."
(That the old one speaks again from his Opposite Loft foretells of a rejuvenation. His story is an old one, thrice renewed and not oft repeated.)
I've come (once and for all) to dispense with the shackles and private mayhem bequeathed to me by unmentionable ancestors. But how? I am prevented by oath to reveal their identity and location. They've left nothing for me but bones and mist.
Am I to believe the detractors, who contend like passionless wranglers that my skills are diminished, my voice creaky and too long dormant? I wish I didn't believe them. I fiddle for the white rock Jack gave me, but it's buried in a spirit pouch way far gone.
I must know that so little time remains in this present cloak. Too much is forever mangled.
But look! The waves curl and foam on the pacific shore. What can I make of them at this late hour? How bitter is the taste of their salt and brine?
If these are the Last Days of Planet X, then what can that possibly mean? Foreknowledge of place and time was denied by the benefactor. She said, "Come on the hope and the prayer, or do not come at all." I accepted not only her largesse, but also her premise, though I refused, through sly silence, to reveal my lost faith and the image of her cruel inclinations. I keep the image hidden inside a hard drive on Oskob's workbench in the Opposite Loft.
To Find the One.
If there exist things of the mind, which we can know as a gathered set of ruling metaphors, then might we also find the one metaphor that rules the others? The one metaphor would become the literate imagination's equivalent of demigod Science's Theory of Everything. I shan't presume to identify members of the set so early in my sojourn here, but I have candidates. "Beware of the dangerous maybes of a bygone age," saith Oksob, recalling the prophecy.
I do beware. I become the vanguard who faces the salt sea, who leans into the bracing norther, who sings a soothing refrain to the Zephyr and the Moon. I spy the early candidates: fallen towers, the march of the pyramid, a flattened and byted screen, the diminished frontier, the clone and the bot.
At the rim's utter edge an ancient gate stands, unguarded, in an uncharted place where the briny brink doth end. Here the lighthouse rises on a desolate promontory beside the Nowhere Existing Sea. Some say the heavenly scopes can detect me, but I'm not hankering to be found. The road is obliterated, the screens set in place.
Would you contend that the satellite's eye reaches everywhere and that the last chart is drawn? I counter with last autumn's news about the discovery of the tallest known tree on Earth. An arborist found it in an uncharted canyon a thousand miles south of here. He named the redwood Hyperion and said he would not reveal its location to the throng.
I won't give credence to the floating bespectacled eye. Who among you has time to gaze upon its body of work, the billion accumulated images on a hundred thousand obscure and rank computers?
The End of the River.
I pine for my cohorts in the desert compound outside Rachel. Philosophers all, they are the Party of Nine. There among the Joshua trees, they chase ideas and await my return.
My mentor is somewhere close to the river's end. He sends messages from a moveable mansion in starry Achernar.
And you? I suppose I can exist without you. I'd rather not. Stay with me an extra hour if you might. I beseech you to believe in the necessity of the tale.
Now falls the night in a region without harbor. I put down the pen and tend the Great Light. The navigators, my benefactor said, no longer require its lonely glow to guide them. Their vessels steam and sail along other paths. But I am here now. A lost soul might wander nigh. By my will the light shall shine.
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