tales of brave ulysses

‘WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?’ So asked the cashier at the local supermarket. “I haven’t seen you around in a while.” I tried to remember where I had been, but the memories eluded me. I was in Kuressaare over the weekend, but there was a black hole in my recollections. I remembered most parts of the trip, but it was as if I had only been there in part. I remembered the end of the year party at the school, and a few things before that. I realized a package had been waiting for me at a parcel machine that I had ignored until yesterday. And there was an important letter, unanswered since May 28. On June 4, I had produced a significant work of fiction, and also in early June, I had rattled off a number of short stories. So I had clearly been engaged in something, yet it all felt so distant now. Rather sometime around 11 June, I had started to remember with great accuracy nearly every moment of my life. The visions came pouring in. All of a sudden it was 1985 and 1991 and 2006 and 2013, all at once. There was no distance between these times or events. They were all happening simultaneously, like many plates spinning concordantly in motion. I also began to understand how various influential figures, women I loved, had interacted with my life. I awakened to how so much of what the aggrieved might call gaslighting went on in the past, instances where I had been misled to believe things about my own feelings that were not true. I sent old loves sailing from the harbor of my heart, ships no longer allowed to port at my docks. Away they sailed, far into the ocean currents. New love gusted all through me, mirroring other moments in time when I had touched pure bliss and ecstasy. Strange happenings up here, in the mind, or in the universe. Touching the tapestry of cosmic time. Remembering the rickshaw drivers in Hyderabad, the driver pressing forward through the hot thick traffic. His woman behind him, arms wrapped around, black hair flowing in the wind. Forward through time and space. On the deck of a ship below the warm Mediterranean stars and breezes. All of eternity flowing through me. Shining Buddhas. Thirty-six million Hindu gods. I fumbled for foreign words. Rapture. Enlightenment. Nirvana. Euphoria. Slowly this grand awakening settled like sediments into sea bottoms. I remain shaken.

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