"To a new world of gods and monsters."
Dr. Pretorius in Bride of Frankenstein.
For those of us without children around us it's easy to lapse into a Bergsonian sense of time as subjective. I live and my friends live, and we don't notice that children are growing up all around us, making us confront the years of them as ours decline in likelihood. One of my closest friends just turned 80. What happened to my girl who got old when I wasn't thinking?
My friend is beautiful. She's tiny and lovely, a girl of this world.
We, her boys of summer in our ruin, perhaps a bit heftier today than then, a bit greying, maybe a little thin on top, a few lines on us from old dramas we'd rather forget, we're boys and boys and boys all over still.
Let us carry on.
Walt Whitman (1819–1892).
Leaves of Grass.
I SING the Body electric;
The armies of those I love engirth me, and I engirth them;
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the Soul.
Was it doubted that those who corrupt their own bodies conceal themselves;
And if those who defile the living are as bad as they who defile the dead?
And if the body does not do as much as the Soul?
And if the body were not the Soul, what is the Soul?
Our bodies are ageing before our tired eyes; I look at myself and stare in blurry disbelief. I am made by those unmade, and in time I will be unmade too. None of us are monsters made or gods who make: we are us. We are sometimes beautiful. We are always us. No god owns us, not no man. No! We'll live so long that we'll dance naked with naked Muslim girls, and we'll sing the body electric. We are beautiful.
The Triumph of Venus 1980, oil on canvas, 52"x 72"