PARAGRAPH OF LIFE
October's twenty-eighth day is ending. My thoughts
try to catch up to the day, and the time, and the place.
They cannot, because there is only far too much of
everything - the movement. the spreading out of time
and circumstance, and the broad-cloth of the history
just passed. There is so much more I want to do, yet,
realizing that I cannot, I don't do it. That such is a
weakness, I cannot face. The hosts of Heaven's time
and place would not hold me back - only if I had,
once, the opportunity to go knocking, to search,
to find. The abacus has lost its beads. The lyre is
silent and sound-free. Yes, then, I should not be
judged therefore by my loss and my absence.
It is not for trying.
Just today, they were taking down another building
across the highway from where I stood. In front of the
doorway,a young man was standing for a photograph,
smiling broadly and holding the pink, second, copy of
his demolition permit. Someone snapped the photo, and
the caravan of trucks came up the road. Three huge
flatbeds, each carrying something - a 'dozer, or a digger,
a shovel or a dumpster, a crane or a blade. Their new
day's work was set out for them. A pity, too - for the old
brick and wooden doorways looked so appealing in their
tired abandonment of these last few years. Now they too
are gone. So much is coming down.
I wonder about the men who contract these things. Another
needful conceit? Another true convenience of a shed or a
store? Yet more garbage for this age of junk? I will not wait
to see what takes the place of that which has left. I'm sure to
see it soon enough anyway - a multi-colored jumble of a
happy-faced and wide doorway's subservience to something,
adequately groomed for parking and retrieval. Milk. Eggs.
And Butter. Or - Heaven forbid - much more. I wither
as I tire and pass. To die would be a lesser burden now.
It is hard for me to talk. The words do not flow out as they
once did, or would have; and the meanings of what I wish to
say are now less clear than ever before. The listeners too are
different : dumber, perhaps, but different as well. I once had
my own photo - of a lake, and its darting layout. Cottages,
and boats, chimneys, and some walls along the water's edge.
Everything in its place, and everything of wood and brick.
Grand houses and palaces of the Czars, it may as well have
been. It's all over now, everywhere I go.