Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Revolt of Guadalajara, Chapter 1 part 1 continued

But sometimes the desire for something else—for someone from the outside, whoever that might be, whoever can upset the lifeless balance of being—is so strong, that they surround him or comes out of the town to greet him, and he feels the feeling of welcome that is so appealing to a drifter or a traveler-over-great-distances. Then he is lost.

Sometimes in just these kinds of towns there abides a strong belief, like the last remaining vine on a ruin, that something is finally going to happen, that the sun is going to shine differently, that someone is going to come who will upend life in such a way that people will dance in the same otherwise quiet and vacuous streets. And every stranger who arrives in an uncommon manner is believed to be the one who will bring the turnaround. The wanderer thus endangered, crushed under the centuries-long hope of an entire people, can still sometimes save himself by means of a wild flight, across the plain, over hill and dale, until a fold of the earth shields him from the town and there are no villages left to obstruct and stare at him; then he collapses, leaning against a stone or a tree trunk, and falls into an exhausted sleep.

And the next morning, when the sun rises over an expansive plain and shimmers early in a salt flat or a shallow sea or on white spotted cattle, and he wakes up, stiff from sleep but still ready to keep walking, his first thought is of the oppressive dream of a town that was built of stone but wasn’t really there. Because space and the man that freely passes through it are the only truth, that is what life is, and everything frozen in place and gradually returning to dust is dead from the get-go.

But the drifter who is too weak for his calling, who nurtures a secret longing in a corner of his soul for a resting place, a community where even he can find a place, often is ambushed by a dead lonely town, in the middle of an abandoned plain or a harborless coast. He betrays his calling and it wreaks its revenge. The residents of the lifeless place think that he comes to bring life and when they realize that it’s rest that he wants, they drive him away or kill him.

No comments: