Thursday, June 08, 2006

Our Sea-Washed Sunset Gates Shall Stand

What we have here, taken plainly, is the old dream of America. Although, if we take taken plainly as some sort of cue, we may also contrive to assure Old Europe of its dream motif status. Meaning, of course, that the boundaries, the definitions, as we once knew them, most likely no longer apply.

Shorelines, however, are always a reliable yardstick. Rivers and streams also serve their purpose. Line their banks with fishermen and you have, by some definable degree, a measure of the predicted outcomes. As in, vis a vis, the state’s status or, at least, its position in and against what we used to call the whole world stage.

And whereas old Europe has carved itself its accepted mythical status by way of illuminations, chalk drawings and state sponsored Outsider Art, new Europe has been left to fend for itself within a kind of tumultuous vacuum. Art, on its own terms, is not enough to anchor new Europe - not as it currently stands. Which is why it drifts, ineffably, into what might well be regarded by future generations as a gigantic continental twist. But if nothing else, new Europe has at least managed to free itself from the clutches of aristocratic vampires and evil legions of evil thingies. In that sense, it is as much a blast as old Europe was once a boom.

Stories, of course, abound. Of travellers and émigrés, and witches and machine heads. And of the masses of ordinary men and women who stood against them. Of how old states, and old state values, were transformed by a miraculous, and totally unexpected, reaching out that built bridges between fractured communities, bovine culturities and desperate traversities. In the end they had no choice but to weave themselves into the various fabrics of the various – the multitudinous – newly drawn dawns of European tests and practice.

And it all took place after the rain. After we, us old Europites, were flushed down the drains with the poison of the rain. Bleached, we beached. After a push through pipes, along gutters, through veils, we emerged into what we first of all thought was sunlight. The luminosity of the brand new dawns. But on closer reveal we were blinded by the exhausted gasps of a thousand European suns, flaring their last before their final inversions. Wave goodbye, they told us.


Blogger e4c5 said...

This is an interesting piece. Not having visited Europe it is hard for me to visualize the changes.

3:55 PM  

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