From Muse, Music, and Musings

6 04 2010

I found these letters written during Saul Williams guest-teaching stint at Stanford last year. Feels appropriate that this signal my return to this forum. The prompt was to draft a letter to History. This is unedited.

October 27th, 2008

Dear History

I haven’t known what to say to you for a long time. You seem so large and so obscured. I think I’m afraid of you and the things you’ve seen. I wonder if you would have intervened if you could have. But I guess, since you’ve been around since the beginning, you were in on the  master plan or maybe you never drifted away from that permanent state of the primordial. I wonder what your eyes look like. Have they changed with the epochs? Do you ever weep? Do you already know how things will turn out? Does that soften the infinite wounds you will witness? If you haven’t seen the end, do you get scared of death like us or bored because you will never know that passage?

I still don’t know what to say to you. I don’t know if you are the vast unknowable collected moments of time or just me, myself moving through life without greater or lesser awareness of my surroundings. I guess it’s more frightening to speak to myself as history, knowing that somewhere in my body are the vestiges of age old holocausts, wars, romances, marriages, births, deaths, dying stars, nascent universes, colliding particles, all the creations and fabrications of physics, theory and philosophy, evolution, and all things that you and time have seen together. Everything must live in my body from relic or relative through the energy that no one created. Could it be that I am history?

Holy shit!

But perhaps there are nothing but stories, told over and over again, creating the moments of history and myself anew. Maybe there is only one moment in history, continually explaining itself, trying to make itself known without the extra opinions of all we pundits, historians, and housewives. Everyone keeps the story, like the sacred fire of ceremony. Everyone keeps the fire of history kindling, billowed by our lives and every breath we breathe or whisper, every song and every mourning wail. Everyone keeps the fire of history.

I’ve always thought that free will and fate were the same thing, like every duality. Maybe you know the answer. Maybe you have no opinion, having every opinion available to you at all times.

But what’s the use of asking questions when it’s raining sweet warmth on the trees and I’m still in my room.



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