By Robert L.J. Zenik
I fell into it. I could see where I was going and define a tiny bit of the whole journey. Many years later and reading the additional six thousand or so books gives me definition. I now know how real I am. It was travel I had found, very real as long as I quit, to rest, see. North pulled me high into its black face and from this place of active contemplation, I looked down the steps, I descended the ladder, I climbed out, jumped down, dove in, let myself be pulled, retained the original idea, set adrift, boarded, let fly, wandered aimlessly, feasted, ate, and suckled nectar from tit of star. What is it? This place I was in had me cold.
William held me by the waist belt. Dinner was cooking on the hotplate. One pot filled with water almost boiling with a couple of potatoes. Two slices of white bread with margarine. William looked ghastly. I had never seen him look so old. Second month into summer. Seasons were a mystery and beautiful. Like an ocean.
William shuffled. Moved slowly from pot to table, pot to table.
“We’ll look at the house,” he said. A car drove by and along the street south. It would be destined that short distance, no further.
I would drive round and round in circles. Once I got my bearings, the drive would be in straight lines, out and back. A need to get back.
I bought the house later that day. I’d rebuild it over a three month period and move in December twenty-second. Second year into the eighties. My thirty-first year.
Trudeau had been in my mind since high school. To me he was God. I had no idea how or what he did. I had no idea of who Prime Minster is. It was just that he was cool. Ledaine and the Beatles and Lennon in Montreal – Suzzane, and Pierre Elliot Trudeau. I was new to television. I had watched it twice before.
This side of truth a canopy leaves the sky a king for six years, and I relish what I fell into, how I stumbled, how long the road was, energies I entertained, people I would meet, how I’d leave a life of one kind behind me and skip through several others. It wasn’t that it was easy, fumbling through the rebuilding of the house and then feeling the lows of the art and what it meant to be a position as a rock is a body.
Silence had touched the earth as I was there. Everything that’s there in front of you is in need of being explored. Is there some kind of truth in Thomas? I can say there is. B.C. says there is. I don’t really want to get into it unless I have some plans.
There’s forty-five hundred ways to stay Venus.
It meant everything to me. To others, nothing. I had no idea. Pure and simply I would stand in one spot, breathing, I’d take a few steps in the direction of the work, acquaint myself with the tired, drop away for a time, go back to it, look over the steps I’d taken, evaluate my failure, let sun breathe in me, a few seconds at a time would be all I could handle, leave myself in the little sleep of rub, return to eat, return to touch, return to see, the blessings were once a form of fright, now they’re frightful forms, but better off received.
It was a shock to one day see myself a little baby with wings flying around.
I don’t know. Loyola. Theresa of Avila. John of the Cross. Latter part of the ninety’s – ’96, ’97, Windows 3 point 1, Windows ’95, Linux, Programming, Analog and Digital-Basic Electronics. Two thousand and one – 2001, A space Odyssey. Nine years from retirement. Robert L.J. Zenik – poet, standing in the cold, waiting for the making of the rose – is a writer from Sudbury, ON.