I had two dreams about him after he died. I dont remember the first one all that well but it was about meetin him in town somewheres and he give me some money and I think I lost it. But the second one it was like we was both back in older times and I was on horseback goin through the mountains of a night. Goin through this pass in the mountains. It was cold and there was snow on the ground and he rode past me and kept on goin. Never said nothin. He just rode on past and he had this blanket wrapped around him and he had his head down and when he rode past I seen he was carryin fire in a horn the way people used to do and I could see the horn from the light inside of it. About the color of the moon. And in the dream I knew that he was goin on ahead and that he was fixin to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and all that cold and I knew that whenever I got there he would be there. And then I woke up.
We have no idea, now, of who or what the inhabitants of our future might be. In that sense, we have no future. Not in the sense that our grandparents had a future, or thought they did. Fully imagined cultural futures were the luxury of another day, one in which ‘now’ was of some greater duration. For us, of course, things can change so abruptly, so violently, so profoundly, that futures like our grandparents’ have insufficient ‘now’ to stand on. We have no future because our present is too volatile. … We have only risk management. The spinning of the given moment’s scenarios. Pattern recognition.
Can you hear me call? I have a lot of things I reminisce about. After all, I have nothing here. For example, things like summer clouds and cold rain. Things like the smell of a fall breeze, like the sound of rain drops hitting an umbrella, like the softness of spring soil. Like the feeling of peace at the convenience store in the middle of the night…
"pat, there’s no way to know where to go from here, it seems to me. i’ve been thinking about it all these years you’ve been gone, like there was some big mystery out there coming for me. but the longer i sit here and wait for it the more i realize that it’s never going to come. that it was up to me to go and dispel the myth of it myself. but having realized that, it’s like my feet are stuck in cement and i can’t move. you know chris has kids now, a boy and a girl and you’d love them. tamer than we were when we were little. i look at them and think that maybe chris had it figured out a long time ago. that he went searching and figured out that there’s just some old man behind a curtain pulling ropes and levers. sometimes i want to ask him about it but can’t bring myself to do it. what would he think i wonder? who would be the failure then?”
"pat, couldn’t sleep again last night. it’s been like that lately, don’t know why really. haven’t really been bothered by it for a while, so it’s back to the ceiling watch and the numbers and the remembrances of faces that i’ve lost. why do i do that do you suppose? just like i think of you.”
You wonder how these things begin. Well, this begins with a glen. It begins with a season which, for want of a better word we may as well call - September. It begins in a forest where the woodchucks woo, and the leaves wax green, and vines intertwine like lovers; try to see it. Not with your eyes, for they are wise, but see it with your ears: the cool green breathing of the leaves. And hear it with the inside of your hand: the soundless sound of shadows flicking light. Celebrate sensation. Recall that secret place. You’ve been there, you remember: that special place where once - just once - in your crowded sunlit lifetime, you hid away in shadows from the tyranny of time. That spot beside the clover where someone’s hand held your hand and love was sweeter than the berries, or the honey, or the stinging taste of mint. It is September - before a rainfall - a perfect time to be in love.
Who has never killed an hour? Not casually or without thought, but carefully: a premeditated murder of minutes. The violence comes from a combination of giving up, not caring, and a resignation that getting past it is all you can hope to accomplish. So you kill the hour. You do not work, you do not read, you do not daydream. If you sleep it is not because you need to sleep. And when at last it is over, there is no evidence: no weapon, no blood, and no body. The only clue might be the shadows beneath your eyes or a terribly thin line near the corner of your mouth indicating something has been suffered, that in the privacy of your life you have lost something and the loss is too empty to share.
Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.
Life is like a node which is born within the flow of information. As a species of life that carries DNA as its memory system, man gains his individuality from the memories he carries. While memories may as well be the same as fantasy, it is by these memories that mankind exists. When computers made it possible to externalize memory, you should have considered all the implications that held.
Three or four times only in my youth did I glimpse the Joyous Isles, before they were lost to fogs, depressions, cold fronts, ill winds, and contrary tides…I mistook them for adulthood. Assuming they were a fixed feature in my life’s voyage, I neglected to record their latitude, their longitude, their approach. Young ruddy fool. What wouldn’t I give now for a never-changing map of the ever-constant ineffable? To possess, as it were, an atlas of clouds.