I remember the time when blood turned to brine — and so did love — and ideas came to life, and words were set alight and the wrong were proven right in a deluge of clarity and might, the sight and sound of which unleashed a wave of indignation that swept the kingdoms and leagues and carried forth their legacy to distant lands and faraway junctions, forlorn stations, to strange peoples, traditions and cultures whose world history was different, distinct, their context bizarre and outlandish, who had no intention of welcoming strangers to their shores and hunting grounds, their mansions and courts, yet who, as time passed and the circumstances changed, entertained the waves of settlers and pioneers, embracing their challenging message until province and fiefdom and tribe and isle became offshore territory with something to learn, something to gain, to the disdain of the local warlords and their strongmen who huffed and puffed and blew their lungs in, handing empire the initiative, granting reason the advantage, paving the way for progress and innovation in the grand scheme of things, for a grand recalibration of the system at large, steadying the direction of the world’s cultural fleets, adjusting the tensions between its volatile crews, balancing the relation between point and counterpoint, between contrary stations and belief systems formerly at odds, and between grief and elation, between the wide open horizon and the dark dungeon of inertia and reticence, fear and damnation, crushing amateurism to a pulp, eradicating mediocrity, liquidating ill-logic and maleficent tradition, rejecting the veneration of all things quaint and parochial and obsolete — smashing all this with glorious vengeance to set a new standard for everyone to follow, for everyone to heed in the light of today, in the wake of tomorrow and all coming morrows and morns and nights adorned with the mystery of starlight and the expectation of dawn, the ebb and flow of paradigms functional, progressive, visions carried atop the foam-crested crowns of tidal waves and torrents, washing away the crust and dirt of yesterday, casting aside the grief and sorrow that kept dreamers frozen in pretension and false hope, cracking the rime to go wild, wild with determination, break free, seize the day and move forward, rise and march ahead in exaltation, into a time neither loaned nor borrowed, into a future tempered in lofty dreams, schemes and aspirations, deep into an age that belongs to them and only them and none but them, their kin and offspring.
If only we’d wake up from our beauty sleep and do the same. If only we rode the frightfully awesome wave without looking back all the time, throwing caution to the wind (for a change) and worrying about the outcome later, after our moves have been made and the dust settles. Our words spoken and recorded, our victories claimed, firmly consolidated, setting a precedent, a new starting point from which to set a fresh course, a clean slate on which to write our stories.
From the upcoming collection of short stories and vignettes DISAPPEARANCES: XAVIER MARKS THE SPOT