For What It's Worth – a literary site

The literary site of Jason Bentsman and Contributors. Entertainment, illumination, edification

A brilliant sunny day – I walk into the old neighborhood I lived in from age 5 or so to about 13 or so – It seems immaculately clean, and empty, no one around – The old house is perfectly painted, the lawn lush green and perfectly mown –  I have a key, and go inside – The shades are drawn, some interstices of bright light bethronged with tiny motes – My old dog Prince is there [black flat-coated retriever] – He seems to be 7 or 8 years old – I have a conversation with him; he can speak – I always thought he was the brightest dog I’d ever come across, almost human (perhaps some bright human reincarnated as a dog due to some infraction) – Lie down on the carpet alongside him and pet him while we chat a little and catch up –  It’s as if I’ve gone back in time to when he is 7 or 8 – He automatically understands that I’ve come from the future; his sense of time is more intuitive and accurate than humans’, unclouded by human conceptions – ‘Yes, I’ve learned to speak your language basically,’ he says, ‘and I’ve learned a little of what you call poetry’ – ‘Well, why that’s astounding,’ I say. ‘Most dogs have very little understanding at all, let alone can learn to speak English!’ – I stand up, we continue talking – He makes some comments about the human race from a dog’s point of view – ‘Your species thinks itself very clever, but has gradually gone insane. You all produce countless items you don’t need, destroy your home (the planet)— countless species’ home— and each other in so doing, just to amass this needless clutter and meaningless pieces of paper [money], rather than simply live cooperatively, in tune with nature’ – He makes various other observations [which I can’t recall] – My parents are supposed to arrive soon, and I want to leave before they see me, for I’m from the future



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One wall of my bedroom, the wall facing the street, is an expansive veranda behind glass— a sort of observatory— looking out into black space and stars. The veranda moves to the left, slowly, like a moving walkway. But, actually, it’s the display within the blackness that moves. And everything seems to be moving rightward at an equal rate.

 

Emerging from within the blackness in a grand elliptical arc from left to right, as if on a conveyor, scenes from the world pass before me. Tableaux, isolated in passing pockets, glowing in ethereal shades of pastel neon— blue, violet, indigo, purple, pink, yellow, less of green, orange, red—

 

Vacation scenes/ Tropical resorts/ Cruise ships on the waters or docked at a port/ Seaside villages/ European villas/ American 50s diners/ the American highway of the 50s/ the Southwest, New Mexico, Albuquerque, Arizona/ Route 66 in its heyday/ Americana, nostalgia, kitsch—

 

And the stars, how golden, how silver, like illuminated sparkling ornaments hanging in the blackness on invisible strings.

 

A metaphor for the universe, and the endless wonder we experience— the nostalgia for that we know not— if we are receptive.

 

That we experience as children, because we haven’t yet allowed our “understanding” to confound, to refute that which is right in front of us, all around us: the Mystery. That contemporary society, with its technology and constant hustle, has blinded us to.

 

As if I were standing in some remote place on the edge of the universe, at the end of time, looking at the nostalgic career of humanity, in the guise of a grand panorama, merely an elaborate set and props, pass before me.

 



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It is a pleasure bringing you writings and other media through FWIW, but the site takes a lot of time to run (curate, write for, illustrate, code, share, etc)— sometimes a hundred plus hours a month— and incurs considerable costs to sustain. Donations from engaged readers like yourself are indispensable for it to continue running and remain Ad Free... If you derive any joy and value here, please consider becoming a Supporting Regular, with a modest recurring Monthly Donation of your choice, between a cup of tea and a dinner.

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