"I remember a time," Granddad said, "when the wind was high and the Immortals walked."
"What is wind?", they would say, " and what is rain?"
It was a game in the old 'house' that they would play with Granddad, and he would tell them stories. It was recalled by the old man concerning the time before the "Stumble" It was before the Dry time, before the Dark, when cars and carriages moved with lightning in their wheels, when horses, and there were numbers of them, great four-legged beasts that were for the pleasure of them only, would carry the stately people to here and the other place, or they would glide in their private boxes called automobiles.
God had sent the Stumble to rid them of their wrong-doings; because of them, some said. He had sent it to save the world from annihilation. There was a legend amongst Granddad's people, that a man would rise from them, and he would lead them out again into the light and the scented air.
The place was called Sundras now, legend making it sound as if there had been another name once. It was an underground place, of shadows and ghosts, of hardly illuminated corridors, and timeless living rock.
Granddad would tell them of when there was light and something called sunshine once, and they, not quite believing him, sniggered behind grubby little hands. Mother would scold, then, and Adam would stalk out of the shelter without even a nod, and wander the passage ways, some of them man-made, some natural faults in the earth's surface - caverns of intrigue and speculation.
Always wandering was Adam, always looking for something, at a loss to explain what it was. A future, maybe, or a past?
"That boy has a destiny", Granddad would say.
Mother would look down her nose, then. Sceptical, was Laura, and homely. Middle- aged they would have said, going grey at the temples, pretty once, beautiful, even, when Father had been alive. She was small, and slender, with a smudge of a nose, and narrow in the hips. The neighbours called her prudish, sometimes, without much of a sense of humour, but they didn't know her. She could laugh with the best of them, when things were good, and food was on the family ledge. But times were hard, now and Father was gone.
"Silly old fool"; then more kindly, "There is no destiny here but slavery and hardship, Father."
Granddad couldn't really remember the time before, he just repeated what he had heard long ago from the people who were themselves elderly in his youth. There had been a larger world out there, once, in the open air. He spoke of other things as well as automobiles. There were things called fields, and mountains and trees. There was Government, and machines which could think and....
"It's true, Laura, it's true. One day...."
Even that word had meant something once - day, a division between...
Day meant a division between light and dark, God-made that was. Made to mark the interval between work time and sleep time. Adam had seen it in the old books which Granddad had kept from way back. "God made the heaven and the earth......and the evening and the morning were the first day."
"I remember a time....", said Granddad. But he didn't - not really.
Granddad was very old, but not that old.......
or Back to: 9
and now one of my favourite poems
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All pages updated on January 16th 2001
has its place, no doubt, but we cannot refuse our support to a serious venture
which challenges the whole of the personality. If we oppose it, we are trying
to suppress what is best in man - his daring and his aspirations.
And should we succeed, we should only have stood in the way
of that invaluable experience which might have given a meaning to life.
What would have happened if Paul had allowed
himself to be talked out of his journey to Damascus?
Carl Jung (1875-1961), Swiss psychiatrist. Collected Works, vol. 11,
"Psychotherapists or the Clergy" (ed. by William McGuire, 1958).