I used to feel ecstatic riding my bicycle, knowing that this beautiful, simple machine, powered by my own body, could carry me anywhere I chose. I could go to work, or I could pass right by work and travel all the way to Tennessee, or deep into the north. I’d fantasize about maintaining a secret storehouse with all the tubes, tires, chains and spare parts I’d need for a life-time. I’d be free forever.
Now I ride my bicycle and I know that with each bump the frame is gradually weakening. The chain and all the parts are slowly corroding and grinding themselves down against each other. The tires are unrolling themselves into the road like tape, leaving an invisible path of rubber particles everywhere I go. I will need to replace it, bit by bit, by pieces made by other people. Maybe someday no original parts will remain, and this bicycle will exist as a tradition. I am riding over streets made by people, to places valuable solely because of the people there. And what is going on in my body? It is corroding, sickening, healing, weakening, strengthening, replacing its own substance, but its terminus is inevitable. As I ride, I rethink and resurrect the words of people who wrote and died, and I think about living people. And the things I think and have rethought in reading are meant to be told – they demand telling – if someone can hear them.
If humankind were to perish I’d want no part of what remained. We are in this together; and if we can learn to accept and love this inescapable fact (and stop trying to fantasize ourselves out of it), we can seize our freedom to make our time here together easier to love. Life is still vast.
Space repeats itself in time. Each moment contains the entirety of space. Space and time repeats itself in each subject. Each subject contains the entirety of space and time. We are forced through time and we move about in space. What about subject, I and We? Can we “move” there? Have you moved or been moved in the interlapping being of an other?
An admittedly weird digression:
Hermes was the messenger of the Olympian gods who moved infinitely quickly, at the speed of thought. What sort of messages do you suppose he transmitted? Facts?
Janus, the double-faced Roman god of doors, was related to Hermes, and I think he can provide us a clue. From Wikipedia:
Historically, however, Janus was one of the few Roman gods who had no ready-made Greek counterpart, or analogous mythology. We can find in Greece Janus-like heads of gods related to Hermes, perhaps forming a compound god: Hermathena (a herm of Athena), Hermares, Hermaphroditus, Hermanubis, Hermalcibiades, and so on. In the case of these compounds it is disputed whether they indicated a herm with the head of Athena, or with a Janus-like head of both Hermes and Athena, or a figure compounded of both deities.
I enjoy the question of what divine thoughts moved through the split brain of Janus? Was it an inner dialogue? Was there a witnessing consciousness somewhere above or below? Was he of two minds, or one… or three…?