Ephesus is where Oz wants to go. It is on the Ionian coast in modern day Turkey. St. John was there in the first century. So too was St. Paul, but Oz would go back another 500 years.
He wants to stand before the Temple of Artemus, to gaze at the Library of Celsus. He wants to meander along the banks of the Kaystros River and put his foot in the ever-flowing water, as did Heraclitus of Ephesus in the 5th century before the Christian era.
Knowing there is no answer, he wants to ask:
To Heraclitus who knows,
To Heraclitus who says,
All things pass and nothing stays.
Could I not run ahead?
And stepping in the river,
Find the shoe I lost.
Heraclitus of Ephesus was really not so old, 60 years old to be precise when he died. Unless, one considers the average life expectancy in ancient Greece was 25, and that Heraclitus was wise beyond his years, having written on topics diverse as nature, logic, learning, and human affairs.
Then we may conclude that he lived to a ripe old age, having learned that all things pass and nothing stays.
Oz is looking at his iPhone 6 remembering when trips in the car meant no annoying calls, remembering that what is good today does not last.
Remember the phone
In grandpa’s house
A brown box that hung on the wall
A cord and ear tube with which to hear
A tube in which to speak
A girl in a distant room says
May I help you?
Remember the phone
Your parents had just one
Black and squat it sat on the counter
And in your hand, you held the power
To speak and hear at once
And sometimes you imagined you were blind
While your fingers played with the holes
Just to hear
The ding-a-lingy of the dial while
You wondered what happened to that girl
Remember the booth that stood on every corner
A glass box that became shelter from the rain
Where Superman could change
Where dimes were more precious than gold
To one who needed more time
But time caught up with us all
And mid-sentence came a click
I’ve lived long enough to know
That what was once good enough is gone
A vacation to Flathead Lake in Montana (the largest lake west of the Mississippi) inspires many thoughts. The season is ending, the tourists going home, the kids to school, and all too soon, I am back to work.
White on blue
Standing on the shore of Flathead Lake,
I spy a solitary sailboat
Spreading her white sails to the breeze and the water
Oh, my heart aches to be there,
I long to be gone
A speck of white
Where the blue of the lake meets the blue of the sky
Long do I gaze while the boat disappears
When the cold wind kicks up, and
With a sharp tug on my pants
My sons says to me,
Why are we here?
Un grain de blanc en bleu
Au bord de la rive de Flathead Lake
Je regarde un bateau à voile
Diffuser ses voiles blanches à la brise et à l’eau
Oh, mon cœur a mal à être là,
J’aimerais être parti
Un point de blanc
Où le bleu du lac rencontre le bleu du ciel
Long je regarde pendant que le bateau disparaît
Lorsque le vent froid se lance, et
Il y a un pistolet sur mon pantalon
Pourquoi sommes-nous ici, me dit-il mon fils?
Another season is ending. The setting sun on Flathead Lake turns the blue sky a golden yellow.
An hour before.
The afternoon sun warms my black shirt and shoulders. A brief swim in the cool lake momentarily cleanses my body of sweat. From the waters edge, I gather five smooth stones to remember my visit. The largest of the stones, a soft grey granite with even white striations, fits nicely into the palm of my hand, but once out of the water it begins to lose its luster.
Now, sitting on the porch of the Raven, the sweat begins to return, running into my eyes as I stare into the distant haze. If you can’t stop life’s relentless pace, at least a cold beer slows it down long enough to enjoy a moment before it becomes a memory.
In such a place, strangers come and go.
From down the road, a mother arrives with her eight-month-old daughter, Cory on a mini-vacation. I complement the blond curl on the top of Cory’s head, we exchange observations on life as strangers do. At another table, sits a teacher from Austin, on her last hurrah before returning to her students. Inside at the bar, three tattooed bikers in baseball caps with sun glasses perched on the visors share beers and adventures.
Even the bartenders and waitresses at the Raven know that the season doesn’t last. Only the coming snow will stop the endless parade around the lake and the side trips up into Glacier National Park.
Not everyone is here to escape, some are here to stay and play.
Walk – to move along or travel on foot at a moderate rate; to advance in such a manner that at least one foot is always on the ground, but always to advance and not retreat and wallow in the misery of hate.
Talk – to speak to another, and so, express ideas or thoughts.
“To walk the talk,” by example, to do what we demand of others.
Promenade – pour se marche à pied à un rythme modéré; Pour avancer de telle manière qu’au moins un pied soit toujours sur le sol, mais toujours pour avancer et ne pas reculer et étouffer dans la misère de la haine.
Parler – converse à un autre, et ainsi exprimer des idées ou des pensées.
“Faut-il joindre le geste à la parole,” par exemple, devenir ce que nous demandons aux autres.
Here in the Land of Oz it has been hot for two weeks with temperatures in the triple digits. Head phones on, listening to Phil Collins – I wish it would rain, I go for a run and the sweat pours down, down on me.
Ha, ha. Running in the rain, I must be insane, there is thunder and lightning, and it is really quite frightening, one, two, three, flash, as I splash through the water, I am soaked to the bone and my phone is getting wetter, I am going fast, betting it won’t last, Holy guacamole, I am thoroughly splattered, not that it matters, but I better take cover, because mother, it’s is stupid and only a deluded doofus would find this so much fun…