Perhaps my recall has stumbled. Tripped by a
moment that will not leave. It is a tractor stuck in mud. Its
wheels turning fruitlessly.
I think it
was 1969 when I hitchhiked from the West of Ireland to the Isle of
Wight. It wasn't the rock and roll or the folk singers that put me
on that path, it was something else. A sea of people contained by a
present. A sharing of consciousness within an equal-ness. The
"I that is we" made absolute, as Hegel might have wanted it.
Or more recently what young analysts with proper education
might have called "A Happening", as they sloughed their way
toward lawyer-dom, or accountant-dom, or literature-dom or some other metaphysics of the
predicament that is Kapital.
Above the city of
Portsmouth I slept on the chalk downs. That night, as I dreamed, I
reckoned on an enchantment to get me from that sleeping place across the
pass of water called, The Solent. Deep in me there was a sharing of purpose between atoms
which had a certainty of
combination. I never once doubted that I would find a way.
And in the morning there was a season 'turn, turn,
turn'. "A time for everything under heaven." The
words of Pete Seeger, who for some reason I always thought was a Dubliner,
because his words have both flexibility and power.
Years ago, the real was space for
one more and his rucksack on the back seat of a Morris Minor. Since
then though, that town has changed, and yet for some reason a sharing of
purpose between atoms remains a part of me. A false assumption,
I am told. An error in thinking that persuades many a great mind to
contemplate power as a better framework for an understanding of this
From a hospital window I could look up at
the chalk downs where I had correctly believed in enchantment, and across
the Solent there was still rock and roll music and a folk singer, as there
had been forty years previously. And apparently, across The
Solent, the Isle of Wight was a log jam of merry makers waiting to give
their money to Neil Young or The Pixies, or some other combination of worthy
But this time, when the drum rolls, or
the tambourine rattles, while there is no space for enchantment there is
space for that coincidence that sometimes makes the world small. A
seduction that tempts the imagination to believe. A wonderful deceit
that suggests something cares.
And here, like Nietzsche, as he stumbled
into madness, I might wonder what is it that has made me arrogant enough to
know that if I had my life to live again, I would not change a thing.