The subtle interplay of things is on my mind. I watch how separate things are not; how things that are divided are not divided at all. I watch amazed as a thought first thought 37 years ago comes home to roost almost four decades following its first iteration. I watch as things undone many years ago undo the undoer today. I stand flabbergasted at this exquisite causal chain that leads from the past into the present and leaves the present trembling all over again.
In 1960, at a bar on the Champs-Elysees, a man who was dying prevailed on a young American woman to carry a document to New York. If a picture is worth a thousand words, these words were worth a thousand pictures, so exquisite and beautiful were they in their conception, selection, placement and use. It was a beauty that no one who had ever lived had seen before. It was a document that if delivered into the hands of someone who could make it known to the entire world would change our discourse so completely, readjust all that is broken, orient our yearnings so absolutely in the proper direction that the world as we know it today would be transformed into something much, much better.
Sadly, the valise in which she carried her belongings including the manuscript was lost in transit or stolen from her stateroom during the transatlantic crossing and the document has not surfaced since. No one knows if it has been destroyed, was tossed over the side of the ship or is simply waiting to be found at a more auspicious time. The only thing we know for certain is that we are still waiting.
As the ship entered New York harbour, the young American woman leaned on the railing. She observed the Statue of Liberty and its flame and the city under a carpet of clouds. She was sad that other people would not be able to read the manuscript, but her sadness was tempered because she had read the manuscript and she had already been transformed by it. One could not read the manuscript and remain the same.
She wondered where the manuscript was now, but she also knew that its words had taken root in her and would live on in her no matter where those pages lay. She did not feel obligated to “spread the word” or anything like that; she knew that the message was so powerful that it would tell itself in its own way and its own time.