10 UG (Unter Grund)
Bartle Library, Binghamton University, New York
I sometimes think that there are only two eras of any importance in the future history of my life.
The first is the appearance of a new being, and the second is the appearance of a new temperament.
What the creation of an amoeba was to the seas, what the face of a primate was to the tropical forests, the face of the Grey Wolf was to Norman kings; these in past lives once belonged to me. It is not merely that I wish to be them, draw courage from them, or to run with them.
Of course I have done all that.
I have stood as Paris in elegant armor and as Adonis with huntsman’s cloak and polished spear. Crowned with heavy lotus blossoms, I have sat on the prow of Adrian’s barge, looking into the green, turbid Nile. I have leaned over the still pool of some Greek woodland, and seen in the water’s silent silver the wonder of my own beauty.
However, I want to be much more than that.
I won’t tell you that I am dissatisfied with what I have done, or that my beauty was such that art cannot express it. There is nothing that art cannot express, and I know that the work I have done in the multiple times that I have met death was good, it was my best work – – – this giving up of my life.
But in some curious way – – – I wonder will you understand me?
This personality of death has suggested to me an entirely new manner in life, an entirely new mode. I see things differently, I think of life differently. I can now re-create my life in a way that was hidden from me before. It is a dream of resurrection in my days of deliberation. Who can deny me that?
TOMORROW: 11 UG (Unter Grund)