Utopia

A place exists, not external to terrestrial time, and unconcerned with cosmic time, and not ignorant of clocks and calendars, but where one has no need to know precisely what day it is, day of the week or calendar date, or the current time: here, there, or anywhere. Call this place, notplace. It’s not a place one goes to, more, it’s a place one appears within, unannounced, unexpected, without predetermination, appointment, or predestination. And notplace is empty of assumptions and predispositions. This is not about bliss or heaven, some sort of painless state and such; it’s here, and it’s real. Also, it’s not about the Now of mindfulness. Even now is irrelevant in Notplace. All reference, research, redolent of time, disappear. It’s not seasonless. The sun still burns and the east wind still blows cold. The sun rises and sets, or appears to, and the moon shows and not shows, and the stars are there and not there. And, of course, there are no words spoken, no words heard, none written: it is a place of prayer.

Clocked

The clock is the most totalitarian of instruments, brutal and tortuous in its omnipresent place, its tick, tick, tick neither musical nor metrical, its singular forever forward motion that can only be circular not once portraying the true feeling of time, which can only be experienced in a still state. The watch, the clock’s child, suggests a semblance of private ownership, but it must be set to the public heartbeat. Only in a trap can time be kept. The clock is a syllabus for a curriculum of time in which two horses run a race clip-clopping in opposite directions.

Don’t Try This at Home

One should not time travel, nor play or work with the gods, unless fully qualified and experienced. One should live in one’s own moment, in one’s ongoing present, which is fully developed and capable of satisfying all one’s present needs. The reason we are unable to travel forward, into the future (with the exception of being able to travel forward to the future present we were in when we exited to travel into the past), is that the future consists of too many variables, too many possibilities, too many uncertainties – and no way of managing the risk. There’s only one door into one’s past. There is an infinite number of doors into one’s future, and picking the wrong one is almost certain, and will lead to couch surf zero. Two exceptions to one should not time travel: 1, we can still prepare for any uncertain future; and 2, we can visit the past to learn from our errors, as long as we don’t try to rewrite the past (while at the same time being mindful that we may not have understood at all what was happening when our past was present). Still, it’s also useful to remember that time is always under construction, and deconstruction, at the same time. In addition to travelling backward or forward in time, one might be inclined to want to stop time. I can often hear the click of time slow to a rest while time travelling on my 1972 Piaggio Vespa Super 150. One wants to travel through time in the slow lane of life. It should come as no surprise that by the time I made it down to San Diego to meet up with Cagetan, as we had planned, I had missed him. Apparently, Sot showed up, and he and Cagetan are presumably somewhere now travelling south through Baja. I’m not sure where that leaves me at this point in time.

“Don’t Try This at Home” is episode 45 of Inventories, a Novel in Progress in Serial Format at The Coming of the Toads.

Sitting in the City

Maple out spray maying
ribbons of flowers
twirl the girls
round the pole boys
pulling with bicycles
festoons falling
yards full of toys
and fickle mud.
Sitting out warm summer evenings, distant wildfires raking up the dry brush, smoke seen by astronauts as far away as January, surf still rolling up the beaches all around the world, I think of those days and nights six months opposite and reflect on the perfection of earth time.

 

We have “seen the travail”:

“A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away…That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been” (Ecclesiastes, 3:6-15, KJV).

 

But from the time the alarm clocks call and coo across the great divide, and while some rush to it others delay with snooze, to the resetting of the alarms at night, all grow quickly and remain forever impatient with time.

 

So time moves on: the commute doglegs left as the slow lane stops while drivers get out and pee behind the rail; cells go dead and news is lost forever; the lady in front of you in line at the coffee drive-thru is ordering lattes with lemon twists and chocolate sprinkles atop whipped cream delight – for her whole office; you stop for a jam filled doughnut, already late, and you don’t give a damn about the new diet.

 

Walking to the front door from the parking lot you wonder if you’ve worn the right clothes for the day. You forgot your sack lunch. The café is serving mac and cheese. You promise a nice salad for dinner. Someone has tossed a cigarette butt in your path – how rude is that! By the time you leave the office, it’s dark out and you’ve forgotten the doughnut and the salad.

 

July table in the shade
under the apple tree:
pickles, potato salad,
baked beans, deviled
eggs, bottles of beer,
water balloon toss,
evening of pops,
night of dust.
By the end of August,
the sun slipping south
at an alarming speed,
the activists suggest
a presidential decree:
a declaration of
a state of emergency,
plan parades in glee.
Winter whistles restlessly,
inflows of wet and dry cold,
floods and long lines
at the flu counter,
impeccable timing,
seasons on earth,
neither hurried nor harried,
quit nor balked.