Our time, why
shouldn't I go backward into the moment with my trembling preferences, my restless
desire, my thought's uttermost solitude? When I blink
I usually see my mother, sitting on
the sofa with a book, the gaze from her eyes full
of shimmering darkness. Am I filling you up? Maybe you could slap me or kiss
me or stick a finger in one of my orifices or in some other way connect yourself to my body.
I feel rather like the hand of John of Damascus, cut off
by his master the Caliph, restored by the Virgin Mary. Am I not just
so? The third hand. Take it. A church Father, maybe the last. Our
time. At times I wake up far from myself, helplessly calling out my mother's name with my
mouth full of sand. Compared to our bodies'
incomprehensible density the image, John writes, is a dark
glass. His metaphor makes us all transparent. Holiness illuminates the
body, makes it shimmer. A dense lantern. We should approach images as
we do living bodies, in veneration. They move
behind the dark glass. Chew their sand hesitantly. The image of Paul came to life,
writes John, when his namesake, Father Chrysostom, inwardly read
Paul's letter. Our
time protects no one from death. Inwardly we shall look at pictures of one another. Open,
eager faces. Searching. Hopeful. Despairing. And our time's
severed hand that absentmindedly always strokes other cheeks
Reddening the non-existent. The imaginary. Shimmering
From Ögonblicket är för Pindaros ett litet rum i tiden [The Moment for Pindar Is a Small Space in Time] (Stockholm: Wahlström & Widstrand, 2006). Copyright Magnus William-Olsson. Translation copyright 2007 by Rika Lesser. All rights reserved.
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