So, ghosts from our people’s unresolved pasts linger in our present. Do they curb our horizons or spur us toward the margins wherein and where from our utopias can be dreamed and acted on again?
I don’t know. But I do think a life lived richly in the present, while also in self-trusting anticipation of the present-plus-its-next, helps us find our true alignment and thus take actions that are (increasingly) right. It’s like crossing a stream. We feel thrill and find our balance on the first stepping stone, martial courage and reap the success in taking the next, and then venture with increased poise and sureness to continue the way across. The attention in the moment we gave to each stepping-stone while anticipating, readying and moving ourselves along and across the path made by them all is as mindful and purposeful as counting prayer beads on a string. The more aligned and mature we get, the more we can look back on the steps we have taken and see them as our life’s sacred chord.
Since I retired from formal, structured employment I have, among other things, taken up fiction writing. So far I have written a novella and a few short stories. I write slow. In between the heavier bouts of writing prose I practise writing ‘flash’ fictions - stories of exactly 100 words. In these little fictions I find I can play, not just with words, but with ideas, logic, comedy and the absurd. I wrote a relatively more sensible one of these after I returned from Manchester with the heady ideas of Avery Gordon, Ernst Bloch, Geoff Bright and the rest of you in my mind - and Geoff urged me to post it here.
It’s called ‘Daylight’:
Bonerath reckons life is poetic. If the robber hadn’t stolen the daylight from his room he wouldn’t have climbed out of a window of opportunity, scrambled through the eye of a needle and landed in that Haystack in the Floods.
Then it was a matter of sinking or swimming, keeping head above water, looking for another high point in life or someone to offer him a leg up.
Flo Contrere says she saved the day. Bonerath says he seized it.
Either way, looking from that day forward, Bonerath always looks forwards, while also looking backwards, without looking in two minds.
John Rathbone Taylor