Maybe I took the bus there, maybe it was a train. I certainly walked a distance. The memory isn’t clear. It was outside the city. In the suburbs, maybe past that or right on the border. It could have been right in the center of town, I couldn’t tell. It took time to get there, but I couldn’t mind that even if I wanted.
Never really sure how to prepare for this. I’ll just go with empty expectations of the place and of myself. The self-conscious feeling is a bug. It gets stronger as I get closer. Yes, it would be a nice thing to say that I did. No, I wouldn’t feel good about it. A sustained mild pain for a cathartic flush of endorphins. Maybe. Glad I skipped that coffee; better this mild fog of nonrecognition. Stagger the registers of sense and place. Definitely. Every tourist will find the resting place.
The site is familiar. This is an experience of return. Like that quiet place, like that place on the hill, or that place in the valley. Musical melancholy to the rhythm of Walk. Walk. Walk. Always down. Like into a cave. And around. To where they may have stood before.
– – –
I’m sorry I forgot your name.
May I shake your hand?
These were your things? These were your markings? These the objects held up against you?
Will you tell me of this place? Or maybe of life before?
Strange how in memory, you are constrained by place and yet I can walk through walls. Perhaps if can find a way to set you free, you will set me free?
On stones. Stones. Stones. In the stones.
– – –
There usually is a remarkable structure that is built or sometimes a space left for us to gather around or in afterwards. Some figuration in the place or on a wall designed to take the projections of those gathered. Making this site of memory, a site of meaning. Now life is no longer just about survival, making ends meet, but about a more valuable kind of life “with a consciousness that entertains past and future, apprehending the primal mystery of sexual generation and the ultimate mystery of death and what may lie beyond death.”
We will gather everywhere, because we gathered here first.
And this isn’t the suburbs. It isn’t the city. It is the first of both.
The first permanent settlement was for the dead.