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Vespers: “Normality” and the Once and Future World

“There is a world dimensional for those untwisted by the love of things irreconcilable.”

Normality. It’s just ordinary life. There’s nothing “new” about it. It is your birthright. You were given it by God and it has been stolen from you. Seek it. Create it. Defend it. Be it. Then, and only then, make it new. And having made it new you can return to what it was then.

What then was it?

It was not a special place. It was ordinary. The most ordinary place in the world. It was fraught with a strange excitement, fecund with endless possibilities. It was built of a metaphysic so loose that the most absurd accident could happen and it would only be a part of His Grand Design. It was a place where revelation and prophecy were daily events, the Second Coming scheduled for tomorrow after lunch, magic considered merely another, older branch of science, poetry an acceptable mode of speech, and caricature a widely appreciated attitude. As far as we know Rasputin, William Blake, St. Teresa, and Walt Whitman had never lived in the green house, but they would have been welcome if they had wandered in.

Let’s go then and knock upon the door.
All you’ve got to do is step right up.
All you’ve got to do is ring that bell.
You can come as you are.
There’s nothing to be hung about.

There is some wine for the asking, music always playing, pipes forever smoldering. Perhaps there will someone to meet and take home later. Perhaps there will be a chance for love among these phantoms; among these phantoms we have set to sleep in music that our dreams remind us.

Take me back
Take me way, way, way back

On Hyndford Street
Where you could feel the silence at half past eleven
On long summer nights
As the wireless played Radio Luxembourg
And the voices whispered across Beechie River
In the quietness as we sank into restful slumber in the silence
And carried on dreaming in God

And walks up Cherry Valley from North Road Bridge, railway line
On sunny summer afternoons
Picking apples from the side of the tracks
That spilled over from the gardens of the houses
On Cyprus Avenue
Watching the moth catcher work the floodlights in the evenings
And meeting down by the pylons
Playing ’round Mrs. Kelly’s lamp
Going out to Holywood on the bus
And walking from the end of the lines to the seaside
Stopping at Fusco’s for ice cream
In the days before rock ‘n’ roll

Hyndford Street, Abetta Parade
Orangefield, St. Donard’s Church
Sunday six-bells
And in between the silence there was conversation
And laughter, and music and singing
And shivers up the back of the neck
And tuning in to Luxembourg late at night
And jazz and blues records during the day
Also Debussy on the third programme
Early mornings when contemplation was best

Going up the Castlereagh hills
And the cregagh glens in summer and coming back
To Hyndford Street, feeling wondrous and lit up inside
With a sense of everlasting life
And reading Mr. Jelly Roll and Big Bill Broonzy
And “Really The Blues” by Mezz Mezzrow
And “Dharma Bums” by Jack Kerouac
Over and over again
And voices echoing late at night over Beechie River
And it’s always being now
And it’s always being now
It’s always now
Can you feel the silence?

On Hyndford Street where you could feel the silence
At half-past eleven on long summer nights
As the wireless played Radio Luxembourg
And the voices whispered across Beechie River
And in the quietness we sank into restful slumber in silence
And carried on dreaming in God

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Terry April 21, 2022, 7:50 PM

    A very relaxing five minutes indeed. Both visually and audibly.

  • Anonymous April 21, 2022, 11:37 PM

    Was it always so, or just in the hallowed mists of imagined remembrance, G?

    Does it matter?
    Play on, piano man.

  • KCK April 22, 2022, 12:25 AM

    VM makes things that are more than the sum of their parts.

  • ThisIsNotNutella April 22, 2022, 1:56 AM

    Good news! Gonzalo Lira is still alive. Just did a quick proof of life live chat with Alex Christoforou on the Duran channel. Ukrainian SBU picked him up a week ago.

  • ghostsniper April 22, 2022, 7:44 AM

    The US needs a Daddy.
    That’s what Howard says:

    • ThisIsNotNutella April 23, 2022, 4:02 AM

      Not over at the New Warmed Over Freshly Reconstituted Neo Con Job, it doesn’t.

      You’d better know Who’s Yer Daddy if you’re planning to tarry a while in that Burg.

      More a matter of being slapped down by the Pale than being Beyond the Pale (although I kind of enjoy the latter).