Here We Are Now, chapter 13 (the sequel to Ticket to Ride)

Here We Are Now, a novel of the Grunge Generation

by philip scott wikel

chapter thirteen

poets don’t exist

they are only seen on seismographs

and geiger counters

fingers to the universal pulse

prognosticating the collective

if the world’s gone mad

an artist is its face

paint or pen

smile or otherwise

He stepped back from his first composition. It seemed to have come natural to him and what he saw before him was an updated version of Picasso’s Guernica. His response to Sept. 11 and the war that ensued.

It featured the war torn faces of the men on both sides and the innocent victims caught in the middle. There was fire and the raining of missiles and the fear and horror found only in war. Dylan had added a few Middle Eastern motifs in order to define the geographical setting. The war had begun in Afghanistan and the newspapers, the television and the radios were fraught with reports of the war on terrorism.

The painting condemned neither side and seemed to speak to a great distaste for violence. No one wins a war. One side may lose less but both lose, and the losses can never be replaced.

Dylan added this thought to his journal…

“It’s a beautiful thing,” said Morgan, “I’ve written my own response to all this… at least perhaps, something’s been given to me to try and explain it.”

schematic

by Morgan Blake

I think myself not superior,

but apart,

or better,

and at the same time,

a part.

I think of the things I do as not greater,

but lesser,

at least,

of less apparent impact.

I will not shine in your eyes erudition

on the subject

but instead give you a dim view.

And it’s the you of this that must be figured,

you figure,

and I’ll do the same and am doing the same.

because the definitions are that grey;

the sea joins the sky on a day heavy with fog,

that we must do so together.

The sun in myself on you and the apparent them,

What first they are not,

what you are not,

and then what I most certainly am;

the I being you as you become the eye in this and not superior,

but apart,

or better,

and at the same time

a part.

And then as a part of the greater,

or the higher,

reaching down to perform the lesser,

or less apparent,

the minute,

the trivial task that strikes like flint,

the power fed feeds.

I,

or now you,

won’t speak in specifics.

I,

or you,

and finally we,

will not give logistics or diagramatic signs of the specific.

Specificity dims the impact of the metaphor,

(the intellectuospiritual machine)

in which to plug the act,

the response,

the thought,

or the feeling,

and then just push “play.”

“This is pretty dense stuff Dad. I think I get it but could you explain it a bit?”

“Well, like I said, I think it’s more like something that’s been given to me, but, I’ll try to explain what it seems to mean to me.”

I think myself not superior,

but apart,

or better,

and at the same time,

a part.

“I never have thought that I am better than anyone, just different, and being just different, still a part of the greater whole.”

I think of the things I do as not greater,

but lesser,

at least,

of less apparent impact.

“I believe it’s the little things we do that mean the most. I know it sounds like a Hallmark card but it’s true. The little things don’t seem great too many, but they seem important to those for whom you do them. And it’s nice when people do them for you.”

I will not shine in your eyes erudition

on the subject

but instead give you a dim view.

“I won’t try and dazzle you with great knowledge or wisdom about the world, and many times Dylan, as a writer, I would expose the dark side and share the down side in order to shine light on it.”

And it’s the you of this that must be figured,

you figure,

and I’ll do the same and am doing the same.

“This is about finding common ground and a call to those who would join together to do what’s right.”

because the definitions are that grey;

the sea joins the sky on a day heavy with fog,

that we must do so together.

“The world is not always clear, rarely in fact, but together, we can bring up the sun on a cloudy day.”

The sun in myself on you and the apparent them,

What first they are not,

what you are not,

and then what I most certainly am;

“I’ll bring out my light and shine it on you and the dark question of those who don’t know the light. First realize you are human, and have responsibilities. As a writer I felt I was responsible for being a conduit.”

the I becoming you as you become the eye in this and not superior,

but apart,

or better,

and at the same time

a part.

“We merge and together we become one great eye of light. Lofty stuff I know, but good. At this point we fuse and instead of being fractured pieces we become more whole.”

And then as a part of the greater,

or the higher,

reaching down to perform the lesser,

or less apparent,

the minute,

the trivial task that strikes like flint,

the power fed feeds.

“Now fused, and powerful in our fusion, we remember that it is still of utmost importance to stay grounded and pay attention to the little things. The little things create small sparks of light and that spark becomes a flame fed by the sparks and energies of others.”

I,

or now you,

won’t speak in specifics.

I,

or you,

and finally we,

will not give logistics or diagramatic signs of the specific.

“Further fusion. And here it’s important to note that there is no specific mission, only of doing the right thing wherever we find it to be done. There’s not necessarily a roadmap for this and I won’t kid you into thinking there is. You must just trust that God will present it to you. Here we become Christ-like in our faith to be led by the divine.”

Specificity dims the impact of the metaphor,

(the intellectuospiritual machine)

in which to plug the act,

the response,

the thought,

or the feeling,

and then just push “play.”

“The intellectuospiritual machine is your heart and mind. When you are presented with a task, however small, you must take the time to internalize it, roll it around in your mind and let it rise in your heart. The moment to act will rise in you at the right time and it’ll feel something like the moment at which, in a classroom, you feel the need to raise your hand and offer guidance or knowledge or a new point of view.

You see the whole thing is about coming together as a clear whole, sort of like the early Christians, to drop all the extraneous stuff, and to focus on the doing of right, right thinking, right action, and perseverance. I may be paraphrasing Krishnamurti here but all of the great people had these things in mind.”

“That’s amazing .”

“Thanks son. You’ll likely say the things you need to say in your painting. The we for you might be other artists, it might be gallery owners, it might be people who admire your work, and it will definitely be your mother and I.”

“I love you Dad.”

“I love you too.”

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