Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Triumph of the Infinite

I got up in the night and went to the end of the hall. Over the
door in large letters it said, "This is the next life. Please come
in." I opened the door. Across the room a bearded man in a
pale-green suit turned to me and said, "Better get ready, we're
taking the long way." "Now I'll wake up," I thought, but I was
wrong. We began our journey over golden tundra and patches
of ice. Then there was nothing for miles around, and all I could
hear was my heart pumping and pumping so hard I thought I
would die all over again.

~ Mark Strand (from "Almost Invisible")


  1. Wow. This is quite something. It reminds me of something that actually happened to me once when I stayed at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. I got up very early -- probably at 4:30 am or so -- to exercise. Returning to my room I proceeded down a long white featureless (except for doorways and overhead lights) hallway and couldn't find my room or a connecting passageway to other corridors, which I looked for repeatedly. Because it was so early I didn't think it was right to make any noise and there were no house phones available. Suddenly I thought, "I'm dead. This is what it's like to be dead. That's what has happened." First I became enervated, then I tried to calm myself. One way or another, it seemed that my options were limited. Eventually I figured out that a communicating, featureless white-colored door had swung shut and there were other hallways, my room existed and I wasn't dead, which I must say came as a relief. I had things on my mind, things to do, etc. It was the oddest real-life dream I've ever had. Curtis

    1. Curtis, that is so interesting.

      In case you haven't already read it, I highly suggest Haruki Murakami's novel, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I think you would find it fascinating. It's a broader explication on what that "poem" and your experience implies ... at least that's how I think of that book. So much more, as well.

  2. I've seen Murakami's name floating in the interwebs for a bit now via folks I dig, so I should probably check the stuff out.

  3. Check it out, Randal, you won't be sorry.

  4. Hi. I will definitely check out the novel as soon as the seas recede a little bit. Thank you for recommending it. Curtis