The more indifferent we are to received (i.e., established) ideas the better we can see what’s happening.*
When was America discovered? When was Tricia Nixon’s wedding? What is the correct chronology for the following events: the killings at Kent State University, the freeing of Huey P. Newton, the moon reaches its 73rd consecutive fullness (excluding times before 1900) without an eclipse in San Francisco, the Tupamaros capture Dan A. Mitrione in Montevideo, Jonathan Jackson tries to kidnap Judge Harold Haley and others, the earth is “created” from condensing clouds of gases/matter and what-have-you? Who won the World Series in 1962 and in which game?
Yet nature is made better by no mean
But nature makes that mean; so, over that art
Which you say adds to nature, is an art
That nature makes. You see, sweet maid, we marry
A gentler scion to the wildest stock,
And make conceive a bark of baser kind
By bud of nobler race: this 1s an art
Which does mend nature, change it rather, but
The art itself is nature.
— Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale
No doubt there is a significance to the fact that certain historical events occurred in a certain order and it is possible that someday we may be able to uncover a part of that significance.
Time is a fact but also an illusion and an indulgence. All events occur, die and are born again as new events, ripples on the surface of perceiving world. Why do you infect yourselfwith them? I infect myself with them because I enjoy the feeling that I am learning something real, something that cannot be slapped down as someone’s mere imagination, fantasy, idea, idiosyncratic notion. This too is, in a certain sense, though I am attached to it, an indulgence. What counts is today. The whole history of the Cold War, post-Napoleonic times, the post-dinosaur era, the earth and this magnificent universe, too vast for such as us to conceive of, is as nothing, might never have happened, if it does not do for us now.
I’ll do, I’ll do and I’ll do.
— First Witch, Macbeth
The Liberty Bell is at Disney World: Remember Today.
Our brain-waves follow the tracks sketched by the Corporation Drug: Remember Today.
When the clock chimes 3: Julius Caesar prefers Lay’s® Potato Chips: Remember Today.
At Briarwood School Joan of Arc picks up the screaming banshees in a ’72 Camaro wagon and lets them have their way with her at the Tastee-Freez.
You died tomorrow. (Someday it will be true, or true-ish.) I shall live today, what’s left of’it. I’ll live this afternoon at 3.53. At 3.63.
I’ll be born again as a rabbit. As a doctor. As your mother. I won’t be born. This is the beginning and the end so help me God. Whose? Speak f’or yourself’.
If you can do nothing else, remember to be alive at 3.53 or some other time.
© Jerry Kurtz 1975