Wednesday, January 19, 2011

///////hammerhead sharks and infinite vision


     I suddenly saw the whole thing. The vision at last. This is what I have chiefly to record this evening, against the day      when my work will be done and perhaps no place is left
in my memory, warm or cold ... 
I'm lying down in a white walled room that is balanced on the sharpest of three towering, craggy, black granite mountain peaks. 

A young lady with almond shaped eyes is with me.

The visions begin.

I am at the water's edge.

The slope is gentle and carpeted with fine grass. 
Littering the shore are a score of medium sized smooth round grey boulders. 
Tall willow shadows lope down to the edge and their thin branches dip as though reaching to drink. 

The river is moving swiftly and turbulent boils appear on the surface.

It seems I have been on this shore, staring out across the waters, for perhaps eons. 
In that time, I have inhabited many feet and my eyes have become part of the endless, nameless currents. 

"What are you waiting for?"

An old man has appeared suddenly on my left and he seats himself on one of the smooth round rocks. 
His pockmarked and weathered hand traces over the surface as though he has 
made all the rocks in the area in just the same fashion.

"I don't know."

My vocal cords sound like cracked static. 

He speaks to me again.

"This place here is not yours, it is not your place. This place is not for you"

I stare around me. The sun above has begun to shine brightly. 
It has a hidden power and illuminates a spot not far away. 
Suspended in this spot is a strange vessel, one of many colours and intricate shapes and moulds. 
It is of a  surreal and unique construction. 
Mesmerised by this vision I have to shake my head and turn back to face the old man. 
My vocal cords regain their strength.

"Fuck you old man! No-one else is here. I'm not bothering anyone. Not until you turned up anyway."

He laughs at me and my dull eyes and slaps the rock he is seated on. 
Strangely, it doesn't sound like a rock at all. The slap produces a deadened beat that seems to pulse in 
waves for a long time afterwards.
 It causes my feet to move against my will and soon fear covers me like a blanket. 
The old man laughs louder and hits the rock again. This time the beat is stronger and accompanied by bass heavy thuds. The shudders echo through the ground and my right foot starts stepping forward into the mud of the stream. 

"Hey! What are trying to do?"

His smile drops and with graven eyes he looks at me very deeply.

"You must move on. You must enter the stream."

Up until now, I had never considered that. 

"I'm not going in there. We don't know where it goes or what will happen. Why don't you go in? Why don't you move?"

In total silence his stony face grimaces. 
He stands upright and flexes his bony frame. 
I can see now that his eyes are dense round black cones. 
This ancient man with cone eyes then leans down 
and grasps the edges of the boulder he has been sitting on and hoists it well above his head.
In a few swift practiced movements and with great and impossible effort he hurls the rock clear 
into the middle of the stream. It sails to the deepest part and the splash is an immediate orchestra. 
Deep drones sound a release of cosmic turbulence, 
my feet move further into the stream, and as they do, he speaks again.

"I have built all here that you see. I travelled on the current until I collected all I needed. 
I am a sound-maker and found my place. Now, you must find yours."

I am standing knee deep in the water and mud and eddies swirl round my shins. 
The current feels strong as though it will pull me under. 

"In the end, you will see."

In the heart of this strange landscape, standing ever deeper in this water, 
I now realise linear compositions are limited. 
Brash primitivism, courage and raw adaptation are needed. 
The water is rushing much faster now and it stabs at me with slashes of white noise. 
Fuelled by paranoia I imagine schools of hammerheads lurking in the depths. 
I can see those strange creatures with their broad shapes and senses, 
shaped by the needs of their world and rewarded in turn with a unique and infinite vision. 
Then, like the bright power of the sun, it dawns on me. 

A calm undertone drifts with understanding throughout 
this strange landscape and I notice the old man has disappeared. 

I opened my eyes.
Past midnight. Never knew such silence. The earth might be uninhabited. 
We lay there without moving. But under us all had moved, and moved us ...
s.m. taylor 
(first and last two lines from Krapp's Last Tape - Samuel Beckett, 1959)