In other, olden times there were only phantoms. In the beginning, that is. If there ever was a beginning….
Who lived here first? Troglodytes perhaps. The Indian came late. Very late.
Though young, geologically speaking, the land has a hoary look. From the ocean depths there issued strange formations, contours unique and seductive. As if the Titans of the deep had labored for aeons to shape and mold the earth. Even millennia ago the great land birds were startled by the abrupt aspect of these risen shapes.
There are no ruins or relics to speak of. No history worth recounting. What was not speaks more eloquently than what was.
Here the redwood made its last stand.
At dawn its majesty is almost painful to behold. That same prehistoric look. The look of always. Nature smiling at herself in the mirror of eternity….
Were there once two moons? Why not? There are mountains that have lost their scalps, streams that boil under the high snows. Now and then the earth rumbles, to level a city or open a new vein of gold.
At night the boulevard is studded with ruby eyes.
And what is there to match a faun as it leaps the void? Toward eventime, when nothing speaks, when the mysterious hush descends, envelops all, says all.
Hunter, put down your gun! It is not the slain which accuse you, but the silence, the emptiness. You blaspheme.
I see the one who dreamed it all as he rides beneath the stars. Silently he enters the forest. Each twig, each fallen leaf, a world beyond all knowing. Through the ragged foliage the splintered light scatters gems of fancy; huge heads emerge, the remains of stolen giants.
''My horse! My land! My kingdom!' The babble of idiots.
Moving with the night, horse and rider inhale deep draughts of pine, of camphor, of eucalyptus. Peace spreads its naked wings.
Was it ever meant to be otherwise?…
And ever the sea recedes. Moon drag. To the west, new land, new figures of earth. Dreamers, outlaws, forerunners. Advancing towad the other world of long ago and far away, the world of yesterday and tomorrow. The world within the world.
From what realm of light were we shadows who darken the earth spawned?
-Henry Miller, Big Sur and The Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch