Cassandra’s Tears

Tears of joy, tears of pain, we are reflected in the salt-water pools we create. So let us build a fleet of paper boats and sail them on our ocean of indecision, laughing at the wind-whipped white-crested waves that would wash over us, drowning us in our own despair, yet somehow never vanquishing us in the end.

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Location: Lennoxville, Quebec, Canada

Friday, October 15, 2004

Symphony No. 3 by Henryk Gorecki, Op. 36

De profundis clamavit. From out of the depths I cry to thee, but though I walk in the valley, the mountains do not move closer of their own accord. Mohammed must go to the mountains and shout from their summits, “Let my people go!” For as I lay dying, I heard the strains of heavy machinery wailing in the distance and the sounds of silence wove a fortress about me. The crying in the wilderness did not deter my search for the engine of happiness, the joy of sex, nor the scarlet pimpernel. “I am a god,” said Claudius. “I fly and I fall earthward, but I soar aloft on angels’ wings, wings of lapis and azurite and turquoise, jewelled by Hopi who hope for more.”

There is no more, merely a descrescendo and descent back to the depths from whence cometh our lord, for thine is the kindom, the power and the glory, glory hallelujah! For mine eyes have lifted up to the hills from whence cometh the ice and snow, the glacier that flows and the arctic wind that blows. “I am invincible,” said Old Man Winter, as he clambered out of the depths, de profundis, crying out, O Lord, a mighty fortress; but the fog lifted and rose, wafting away in the sunshine, leaving the blue and green and yellow and all the colours as pink as a baby’s bottom, until one voice called out of the wilderness, “See me! Hear me! Touch me!” and we did. We saw, we heard, we touched, we were admonished, and we bowed down defeated.

But the angel said, “Fear not, for I bring you tidings of great joy,” and the sky filled with light and a multitude of the heavenly host had tea and crumpets and smiled benevolently on the shepherds shitting their pants from fear. For lo, the ground opened and out spilled a great light, the illumination of Gutenberg, the flowing outward of words, words, words, and Hamlet bowed his head to the outpouring and was humbled.

There are mountains and there are valleys and there are trolley cars that travel through city streets, filled with the dregs of humanity wending their way homeward, anxious for hearth and home, the pipe-bearing dog. Yea verily I say unto you, pack up your sorrows, for only the answer is blowing in the wind, the dust has cleared, the fallen masonry is gone, there is nothing left; only the barren sands stretch far away, there is no pedestal to stand upon, no soap box to preach from. We fall, we crawl, we return to the depths from whence we emerged, our voices silenced; there is nothing left to say, just starlight and gaslight. De profundis clamavit.


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