Tijuana gringo : antes/before : after/sigue

Thursday Jueves 17 Febrero 2011 59 Winter 15 Moon 54 SpaceAge

I continue to read the MEMOIRS OF HADRIAN by Marguerite Yourcenar.

Very transporting. Takes me back to the Roman Empire.

We are very much like them. A great power upon the earth, we speak volumes of how we are free, with our power flowing from the common men and women of our land.

But there are cracks in the wall of the empire.

Emperor Hadrian designed, and ordered his engineers to construct, a perfect, round, dome. But, in the middle, there hangs an open eye where rain falls inside, sloshing and mucking the marble pavement below. Incense rises up toward heaven, and the filthy air answers back: human, you are dirt.

Airplanes are landing behind closed doors.

Between the cracks of my brain, who knows what crooks and nannies lay hidden in each others' grasping arms? The shadow.

My grandmother had a crush on Gary Cooper. She used to take my mother and my older aunt to the movies on Friday night. They had to go by trolley. That was several years before the Japanese returned all that scrap metal we (U.S.) sold to them in the 1920s and 1930s. It came whistling back as shells and torpedoes to kill our boys and a few women, too, that Sunday morning when all might have been well, but was not. There were cracks in the wall, even then, and their name was grease, petroleum, oil, gas.

We still suck at the great teat of dead dinosaurs and ancient peat. The air is still foul with fumes of our lamps and fires, but now even more, even faster, even higher, even greater than before. Yes. There are cracks in the wall of the empire, and we put them there with our greed and lust and desire.

The horsemen are coming. Famine. Pestilence. War. And Death.

And Death rides a pale horse over the broken and bloody ground. The very earth cracks and crumbles in the earthquake, and renders up, and gives forth, corpses in their trembling dawn of hell.

There are cracks in the wall of empire.

Yes, we know it well, we who were weaned upon the automobile. There are cracks in the walls of every empire ever born on this world. And we shall not be the first, or the last.

Unless... unless we crack, and crumble to our knees, and repent.

Tijuana gringo : antes/before : after/sigue

Daniel Charles Thomas