Wednesday, June 29, 2016
A Happenstance Witness and The Holy Ghost:
Neither a novel or documentary, but for the patient reader
a timely story about the collapse of Modern and Post-Modern Times.
By © Ludis Cuckold
Events 72 Years Ago (17)
There is no water in the lake.” I have come to realize that this means the lake of my dream was in the crater of a volcano. Many lakes form in such places, until the Earth opens her throat to either spit them into the clouds or swallow them.
It has been my ‘luck’ to live in many places that have since been erased or have otherwise disappeared.
The first place is my family’s apartment on the corner of Peace and Freedom streets (Miera un Brīvības ielas). The building received a direct hit at the end of WW2. Due to the confiscation of small businesses by large ‘legal’ corporate business entities and the consequent empoverishment of the population at large, the lot stands empty to this day.
The second place is my aunt’s farmstead, where I survived the years of WW2. Only a stone foundation, a chimney, and a red thread that I have placed around a stone at what used to be the entrance remain there now.
The third place is the refugee camp in Germany, which in later years was transformed into a Daimler-Benz car factory.
The fourth place is the address of 327 Columbus Avenue in Boston, which is no more.
The fifth place is Newton Corner, Newton, Massachusetts, which was raised in a ‘renewal’ project.
The sixth place is in Epping, New Hampshire, where my then wife and I lived, while she did her apprenticeship at the Machester Union Leader
The seventh place is likely to be my present residence in a neglected corner of Latvija, where I live by design in order to learn of the true condition of my country and the nature of its leadership.
What connects the disappearance of all these places is the instability of the ‘culture’ fostered by the city. The situation is well described by the 47th hexagram of the I Ching: “There is no water in the lake: The image of Exhaustion.”
The 47th hexagram instantly triggered the memory of a dream I had when about 23 years old and living on Columbus Avenue, but a stone’s throw from Boston’s Copley Square, Public Library, Back Bay, and Newbury Street with its art galleries.
I dreamt that I was swimming in a lake at dusk. I was swimming toward a young woman who I intended to emprace. However, just as I had reached her and was about to give a kiss, the lake emptied, and I found myself standing naked in the middle of what had been a lake. Where did the water go?
I was given the answer when I found myself running naked down a mountain side. In short, I was following the course the water had taken: at the foot of the mountain, I came to the shore of a sea. The sea apparently was where the water of the lake had run into.
But when I wanted to run into the sea, I was stopped from doing so by a boat that was patrolling along its shore. On the deck of the boat was a machinegun, and the gun was aimed at me.
I awoke and wondered who the young woman in the lake with me had been. Perhaps I have remembered the dream for all these years because I never found her. Or was it Anne, who, supported by her mother, aborted our child, then refused to speak about it? How could I have forgot this?
Now that I think back, I also remember the dream about the blueberry tulip (see EC 542), which emerged from all the blueberry blossoms which had dried up on the forest floor as the household of my aunt had gone to the forest on its annual blueberry picking expedition. I awakened from the dream with a profound sadness, even as I remembered that the dream ended with me coming out of the forest and finding at the edge of it two large tables set for a Thanksgiving meal. In place of turkeys, there were two large orange pumpkins steaming and emitting the aroma of pumpkin and nutmeg.
In real life no such Thanksgiving ever took place, but another scenario has etched itself in my mind.
My mother and her children are being packed by the young German lieutenant—her ever so brief lover in the midst of war—into a truck filled with German soldiers, the truck started to pull away with me still standing on the ground. I scream: “Wait! Wait! Don’t leave me!” and run after the truck. A German soldier on the ground grabbed me by scruf of my neck and the seat of my pants and even as we both ran, literally threw me into the back of the truck. Was the soldier the ghost, the scarab of my father on leave from Astrahan?
The remainder of the household, aunt Emma including, which left the farm a day later*, did not fare that well. As soon as it got onto the main highway, it was strafed by Soviet airplanes. Two of the horses ‘who’ pulled the wagons of household items and food were killed and one of the wagons had to be abandoned by the roadside. The bullets had come so close to Uncle Karl, that his and Lienītes** shirts were shredded by them. This according to a letter Aunt Emma sent my mother years later. The events took place during very hot, dry, and sunny days about the middle of August, 1944.
*The Soviets had staged a major offensive, which was stopped at the very doorstep, so to speak, of our farmstead. A German counter attack drove the Soviets back some ten kilometers (about 6 miles) whence they had come. The attack and defense cost the Soviets, Germans, and Latvijans the lives of some 40,000 men. When a few days after escaping, the Germans had second thoughts about having a woman with three children on their hands, they returned to the farmstead, I saw a number of burnt out Russian tanks, which German Panzers had knocked out. One such churned up a veritable sandstorm as it roared past our truck on the dusty country road. **Liene or Lienīte, a common Latvijan name for women, was my aunt Emma’s fourteen year old stepdaughter. She had been sent to dig trenches and arrived back home running past Soviet tanks.
I have mentioned elsewhere that Aunt Emma was my paternal grandmother’s youngest sister. She was the kindest woman I ever met: she even forgave me my ‘sin’ of crashing all the household dishes to the kitchen floor as in a panic and with superhuman strength, I pulled a sack packed full with survival gear past it. For reasons that I do not wish to repeat twice, I never saw anyone of my aunt’st household again.
So, maybe it is the Thanksgiving table in the medow at the edge of the forest that my ‘revenge to remember’, if successful (God makes the judgement), awaits. I expect that all my family will be there with all the aborted and unborn children, 36 sheep, 25 cows, 13 horses, any number of hens with a white rooster, a duck and eight ducklings, a number of pigs gone wild, not to mention all the faithful to their home cats and dogs.
This brings to a close Book II of a 2 book series (Book I: Upon Whom the Ends of the Ages Have Come; Book II: A Happenstance Witness and The Holy Ghost. Future entries are likely to take the form of "Addendums" of short paragraphs of thought as they come to mind and seem worthy to be made a record of.