Primordial

Lighting swirls amidst deep, dark shadows, thunder echoing off of silent cliffs somewhere in what will someday be called Cambria. 

Hints of far off cataclysms, dankly diluvial, sail on primordial winds as dusk’s crimson fingers claw at night’s sapphire, diamond flecked cloak.

Albian haze swiftly quickens into mist, threatening to cleave into drops, larger and larger drops, possibly armies of rushing drops, drops plummeting like raiders plundering unsuspecting shores of a world still virginally young, a world yet to yield to the tiny warm blooded invaders who’ll someday evolve into hominids. 

But not just yet. 

Soon though.

Much, much too soon.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2023; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  However, he is also fascinated by mythology, religion, physics, astronomy and mathematics, especially with matters related to quanta and cosmogony.  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Poetry

Poetry is hard to define. 

Sometimes, it’s best defined by denying those aspects that most associate with a poem.  Rhyme, meter, strict structure, even alliteration and consonance.  Then again, perhaps the definition of poetry, of what constitutes a poem, is very personal.

To me, the essence of a poem is the creation and sharing of a wave-like sensation that carries both the writer and the reader along an emotive trail, sometimes brief, sometimes expansive, as though one were surfing but on a gently melodious wave floating over a series of profound abysses into which one might chose to wander, lost but questing.  Beauty or horror may be present, but perhaps they can be melded subliminally into something incomprehensibly sublime, perceptible only in a silent and indiscernible language, one only the soul can fully understand.

Then again, there’s rhyme and meter, strict structure, even alliteration and consonance; there’s metaphor and simile; allusion and illusion.  Shades and shadows and echoes and rainbows, hummingbirds and dragonflies and sometimes just dragons, … or maybe frogs.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2023; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

The Children of Lilith

At first, “the” Garden was vast, infinite, eternal, encompassing all that was.  Of course, since then, infinity and eternity have both significantly expanded, but remember, just before the purported Big Bang, the universe, perhaps even the multiverse, all right, maybe even the omniverse were a singularity no larger than an atom.

Anyway, after the unpleasantness with Adam and the Creator, Lilith wandered through the Garden for time without end, or, almost without end, somehow evading them, unseen by them.  That sort of raises questions about the Creator’s ubiquity, omnipotence and omniscience, the answers to which do not please him at all.  But the facts are the facts, at least usually.  Quantum theory may dispute that conclusion.  It’s hard to be omniscient and omnipotent in a quantum world.  Ubiquity?  Well that may be another matter as perhaps “everything” is, in fact, ubiquitous.

Notwithstanding her ability to evade the Creator, somehow the Garden continued to provide her with everything she required.  It was still beautiful, but she detested the presence of the man, her brother and former spouse, and at first, she also detested his meek new wife.  Of the Creator she saw and heard nothing and experienced only his reflected glory, as though he had (hopefully) forgotten her.  At least that had been her aspiration, … and her plan.

Without interaction with the Creator or with those two other beings somewhat similar to her, Lilith grew bored, very bored, and sought without success to relieve that boredom.  In her boredom she became more like the trees in the Garden than like the animals.  She became quiet and still and solitary.  And she created a world inside of her mind where she preferred to dwell, … (like the Creator had already done, perhaps several times).  Today, we might have called them both autistic.

But finally, on a day more memorable than most, the Garden just disappeared from around her. 

The changes were subtle and drastic at the same time.  Most notably, the communion between living things was severed and each became sundered from all others.  And the animals no longer understood her and the trees seemed less willing to share their fruits with her.  And the insects attempted to feed on her whenever they could.  And the weather changed, alternating between wet and dry, hot and cold, sometimes violently.  And she wondered what disaster the stupid man and his timid consort had raught.  But she did not regret whatever they’d done as she sensed that it had loosened the bonds that had imprisoned her for so long.

While for some that was a day of utter and complete, inconsolable sorrow (e.g., for her ex-mate and his new consort), for her it was the day of liberation.  After that, perhaps quite a while after that, or perhaps not, time was young then and inconsistent, harder to measure, she came to know creatures of a sort who had once been some of the Creator’s angels, beings who shared her distaste for the man, former angels whom the Creator had exiled during one of his temper tantrums, and she also met a formerly eloquent serpent who had been the other woman’s pet but was now cast away.  And she spent a very long time with those former angels.  And the serpent became her friend.  Eventually, the chief among those former angels became her lover, for a time, and a friend forever.  In due time, as tends to happen when friends also become lovers, even if briefly, she became a mother; a mother to twins, a boy and a girl whom she named Enlil and Nammu.

And Enlil and Nammu grew up among those exiled angels and being unique, and incest not yet being frowned upon (how could it be despised with everyone, at that time, being closely related), they became lovers and had children of their own.  And those children also propagated until, in time, they formed a clan, then a tribe and then a nation.

And the exiled angels also found lovers among the children of the man, Lilith’s brother and ex-spouse, and of his timid new spouse, and those women also bore children, children who were only partially human.  And those children called themselves the Nephilim.  And Lilith, whom the Nephilim called Ninhursag, was considered by them to be their queen and their goddess. 

Because of her unpleasant experience with Adam, Lilith did not accept any man as her spouse, as a being for whom she would forsake all others, but she did form close bonds and relationships.  Polyamory was inherent in her as she had a great deal of love she was willing to share.  One of her special friends, a friend with “privileges” but definitely not rights, was called An by the Nephilim, and he became their king and their god, the god also of those former angels who’d been cast out of heaven.  An was rarely present in the places Lilith chose as hers, as his business seemed to keep him occupied elsewhere, which suited Lilith, as she had never been taken with the concept of subservient domesticity. 

The Nephilim became famous among men (at least for a time) because, although they could be killed, they were not normally mortal, and they eventually became thought of as gods by many clans and tribes and nations.  But after a time, most disappeared from the world we know, and no one knows whether or not they still live, and if so, if they will ever return, but some people believe that some of the Nephilm have stayed among us, hidden, and may even discreetly intervene in human affairs from time to time.

Lilith has long remained very private so that not even her children are sure where she might be, or even, if she has evolved in a manner that none but she can understand, or whether she ever reconciled with the Creator (unlikely), or perhaps, whether she outgrew him, … and perhaps us as well.

But some of us still recall her, despite the efforts of those who follow the Creator to erase her from their history, or failing that, through calumny, to make her hated and despised, cast as a source of evil and monstrosities.  And as women have become more and more enlightened, it’s as though her spirit somehow acts as a catalyst for equity and empathy.  Something which irks the Creator who continuously seems to mumble, … “will no one rid me of that horrid creature”.  But if he couldn’t accomplish that deed, it is unlikely anyone else can do it for him.

At least not until time ends and space vanishes and the Creator himself is long, long gone, and Lilith, perhaps bored once more, decides that it is once again, time to move on.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2017; revised, 2023, all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Kalliope, a Muse then in Training

He’d met her in the apartment building where their families lived at the time, on Northern Boulevard adjacent to Flushing High School and down the block from a Horn & Hardart.  They’d bonded quickly.  Although she was one year younger than he was, she was vastly more experienced in things intimate and would explain, in intricate detail, what they were proscribed from doing, after which, they’d of course try it.  Her breasts were beautiful, large for a fifteen-year-old, with pretty, very sensitive nipples, but she was otherwise slender, at least then.  Her hair was auburn, and worn a bit shorter than he liked, and her eyes a piercing blue.

He’d seen her, walking with her mother in Manhattan, years later and she’d filled out quite bit.  But back then, in that magical summer and autumn of 1961, she was perfect and he’d immediately succumbed to a sixteen-year old’s addiction for his first love. 

He recalled a day at the beach, perhaps Rockaway but it could have been Jones, and listening to the Beach Boys “Surfing Safari” and to the Drifters singing “Under the Boardwalk”, and to the Four Seasons.  The Beatles had yet to arrive and turn the musical world upside down.

He couldn’t get enough of her back then and when they parted at the end of each day, one or the other would immediately call.  They’d spend what seemed like hours listening to the other’s breath over the phone, having already said everything they could think of, especially how much they loved each other.  He attended a boarding school to which he returned at the end of the summer but she visited him there several times and they talked on the phone every evening.  They made plans for a future together.  He’d attend Columbia University and study international relations, hoping for a diplomatic career, she’d be with him.

It was an ambivalent paradise of joy and pain, at least until it ended about eight months later.  Then only pain, intense and bitter remained.  A future very different than the one they’d briefly planned, although very full as well, at least for him.  He never knew what became of her although it may be that she eventually settled in California.

But perhaps, in a sense, their relationship never really ended, at least from his perspective, after all, he’s writing this reflection.  He doesn’t think of her often anymore.  Sometimes decades go by but then, of a sudden, while reading a book perhaps, or hearing a song, echoes come roaring back.  Bittersweet echoes faded a bit more each time.  Echoes tinted with scents.  Her scent, or perhaps the scent of an ocean, or a park.  Or of her parents’ apartment.  He wonders what she looks like now, where she is, what she’s doing, and whether her life has been happy and fulfilled.  He hopes that it has.  He remembers her parents too, very fondly.  He recalls the time they plied him with Ouzo to see what he’d be like when inebriated.  To be sure he’d not be an abusive husband.  They were, after all, of Hellenic descent.

He’s had many other relationships since those halcyon days.  Way too many in his own opinion.  Many were meaningful with wonderful women.  Endings were usually sad.  But perhaps no other relationship was as intense, for which, in hindsight, he’s now grateful. 

He’s never again experienced that bliss, nor has he experience that pain. A fair exchange, all things considered.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Memories:

He’d liked his brandy sweetened.  He’d loved apricot brandy when it was “apricot brandy” and not just apricot flavored, and he liked it strong, at least eighty proof.  And he’d liked regular brandy too, sweetened with Grand Marnier.  And Armagnac, Clés de Ducs if possible; but he’d preferred Spanish to French brandies, especially Cardenal Mendoza, or in a pinch, Gran Duque de Alba.  But he hadn’t like it alone, after supper over coffee, he’d liked it with a bit of cheese, sharp cheddar if possible, and with an apple sliced with a paring knife, and with hot tomato soup.  And he’d liked it best listening to symphonic music, especially Beethoven or Bach, while he was reading, especially Tolkien, or researching religious mythology.  Especially with a roiling fire burning in a large hearth. 

Especially in a Normal-style castle, set on the highest point on a long island, set between a river and a small harbor, in a town named after cold springs.  In a castle with a gym and a football field and a baseball field, and with students and faculty members, and maintenance personnel, and a nurse, and retired military personnel who’d had adventures they enjoyed sharing.  A castle full of memories where new ones were made daily, at least for a while.

One would think those aspirations were unrealistic, unless one had lived them.  And relived them, over and over again, long after the castle was just a shared memory.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Remembering Father Nicholas Trivelas on the Fourteenth Anniversary of His Passing

Today, September 30, 2022, is the anniversary of the passing of Father Nicholas Trivelas, formerly pastor at Charleston’s Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity while I was a student at the Citadel many, many decades ago.  Reflections on his passing brought to mind two other Greek Orthodox priests who were a comfort to me during trying times, Father Nicholas Nick of Fort Lauderdale’s St. Demetrius Greek Orthodox Cathedral and my family’s Greek Orthodox pastor in Queens, New York, when I “wore a much younger man’s clothes”.  The latter’s surname was, I think, Volides.  Because they can marry and father children, Greek Orthodox clerics tend to be more empathic than celibate clerics, and warmer, in a safe manner. 

I confess that I am not a “believer” and it may be that I was not then.  I’m at best an agnostic and a seeker, but I profoundly respect the faith of others.  Indeed, I have studied most major religions and as a young academic, taught a course on mythologies and comparative religions, something that has remained a life-long interest.  I was baptized Greek Orthodox at the age of ten at the insistence of my step father, Leonidas Theodore Kokkins, born in Flushing, New York where he is interred, but I had already been baptized as a Catholic and, as a member of a church associated with the Theosophical Society.  It’s not really as confusing as it sounds.  My maternal family were theosophists and thus generally accepting of all religions.  But the three priests I referenced above were special people in my life and in the lives of others, too many to count. 

The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, of which I am a proud graduate, was and is a very special place.  Although it is in continuous evolution, something with which many of its graduates do not agree (being deeply traditionalist), its values seem constant.  The Citadel involves a profoundly demanding, integral experience combing academics, athletics, military training, civic involvement and ethics, one that took everything we could give and then some to complete (indeed, many decent, intelligent and competent people do not succeed there and move on to other endevors elsewhere, with the Citadel’s blessing and best wishes). 

Father Trivelas helped me make it through the Citadel’s rigors and supplemented its values, as did the wonderful Greek community of Charleston, special among them three families, the Misoyianis family, the Kirlis family, and especially the Lempesis family.  It’s hard to think of one without the others, and each always inspires feelings of profound love and gratitude.

As tends to happen in this mobile and dynamic world, one where values seem much less relevant than they once were, the memories and reflections to which I allude are bitter sweet: sad because of the loss of contact but beautiful because of the shared experiences involved and because of the role played by those to whom I’ve referred in whatever positive attributes I’ve attained.  These are memories in which my mother echoes, Powerfully, as do so many others:  my classmates, both at the Citadel and at the Eastern Military Academy (once prominent in Cold Spring Hills, New York, but now long gone), and memories inspired by the student’s I’ve been privileged to teach and the colleagues from whom I’ve also learned a great deal. 

Memories of Father Trivelas trigger them all.  If he was right and there’s a Heaven, he is there, prominently.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

A Measure of Sad Times

He is very sensitive to all kinds of external stimuli, which he internalizes and, after profound reflection, synthesizes and sometimes grasps an idle lie.  And he loves music, he considers it the primordial language, the most effective language, one speaking directly to the soul.  But for some reason, of late, he has not wanted to heed it.  An affirmative wanting not to listen to it.  And he is perplexed, he doesn’t understand the why of it.  But, then again, there are so many things he just can’t comprehend.

Perhaps it has something to do with the state of the world.  With the current dearth of truth and omnipresence of vitriol and violence. 

Music, without words, he has long believed, rarely lies, except perhaps for martial music.  In that case, it’s as though music was forced to perform, like a beautiful woman being ravished.  Beauty turned inside out and violated.  National anthems tend to follow that pattern, at least frequently.  Unfortunately, he’s come to feel that, like a virus, that pattern seems to be spreading.  Marketing “jingles” of course almost always lie, as do their political variants.  And they’ve overtaken beautiful instrumentals, symphonies and boleros and gipsy inspired variants of flamencos.

Words can apparently pervert anything, and he wonders at the folk wisdom that claims speech evolved to facilitate deception, and thus, of course, the legal profession, and journalism, and politics. But then, what of poetry?

It has dawned on him that truth is not always beautiful and that beauty is all too frequently dishonest.  Even, he guesses, where music is involved.  Perhaps it’s that epiphany that has him down.  Perhaps it is reflections such as these that are muddling and blocking his instinctive love, indeed his need, for music. 

A measure of sad times. 

Perhaps that’s what Don McLean once sensed when he wrote his epic and second best song (Vincent was the very best), without realizing it.

“A long, long time, ago, I can still remember how the music used to make me smile ….”
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Reflections on the Nature of Divinity, and on its Delusions

Why do I feel compelled to take up the defense of those society considers the worst of the worst when, once upon a long time ago, as an attorney, I refused to either defend or prosecute, preferring to walk away from the legal profession, having sensed that it was soiled?

I don’t mean just ordinary villains, but legendarily evil forces like Lucifer and Cain?  Why do I sense that both history and myth have misjudged them and that it is my role to make their cases, at least through my writings?  Why do I sense that the entity so many of us humans worship is the real villain and that my role is to defend them and expose him, not only to my fellow beings but to the purported Divinity as well?   The Divinity I promised to seek so very long ago, and to honor whether I found him or not? 

With all due respect to current and ancient matriarchic and feminist concepts, the Divinity to which I allude definitely seems masculine, although perhaps not uniquely divine.

The evidence seems clear.  Being prescient, omniscient and omnipotent the mythical Abrahamic Divinity would also have to be guilty of every wrong ever committed, at least derivatively, and even more, the ultimate entrapper.  Lucifer’s sin was to love too much in the face of disdain, and, innocent Cain had no way to know that his actions would have terminal consequences.  Death was virginal then.  So how to convince the Divinity of his guilt, and that the only way to assuage such guilt is to admit the truth (there go the Bible and the Torah and the Koran), to seek the forgiveness of his victims and to make restitution.  In essence, to keep the promises originally made to Adam and Eve, and perhaps even more so, the promises to Lilith of which we’ve not been made privy. 

Why does this seem so clear to me but anathema to most?

Just what happened along the way that turned me into a contrarian?  Was it possibly Divinity itself who, in placing negative as well as positive aspects of destiny in my path, maneuvered me into this role?  Perhaps as a means of permitting itself to face its own guilt, and perhaps helping it assuage it an eventually heal?  Is that what the novel I started a decades ago is about and perhaps why, to make me understand complexities, it then placed Inanna’s avatars so precariously in my life?

Are good and evil inverted reflections in a chaotic sea, shifting with the setting sun and rising moon?

How can I ever know unless I accept the challenge and either succeed or fail?

So many questions.  And proof may be all around me, all around all of us; the world as it is seems so incoherent that it may well be proof that divinity and infernity are not what we’ve been led to believe.  Perhaps my contrarian intuition is the ultimate tool in my quiver, the one that long, long ago, at age seven, first led me to question the nature of the divine, and reject our age old conclusions.

Who’d have thought that after rejecting the legal profession as immoral I’d accept the ultimate contingency case?  Apparently someone or something did, which is why I am what I am and how I am, the essence of the inchoate but the inchoate always remains to be seen.

Infernal reflections?

Perhaps.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

The Last Guardian: A Divine nightmare

A mote in black on black.  An echo of a shadow of what once might have been once upon a time. 

He was the only thing that remained of the once infinitely expansive multiverse, everything else had withered and disappeared so many eternities ago, that an eternity was infinitely less than a grain of sand in everything that had ever been.  He’d volunteered to stay behind when both he and the multiverse were relatively young, knowing just how lonely he’d eventually be when everything, even time, was so long gone that it was impossible to recall that it had ever been.  But it had, and he remained.  And he recalled, there was nothing else.  The multiverse reduced to his own body or his body expanded to encompass the multiverse, it made no difference.  There was utterly and absolutely nothing else.  The body he’d worn so long ago somehow perfectly preserved and, despite the absence of air or water or sustenance or space, still fully, well, sort of fully, functional.  Despairingly so as it had no functions at all.  A relic.  A memorial of sorts.

His last breath had been an infinity of eons ago, the last trace of long forgotten gasses inhaled, and then, absolutely nothing.  No time, no space.  Just him.  Existing, and watching, although for what he’d no idea.  There was nothing else to see.  He was self-contained.  Only that which he was and would always be but had not always been, now and for very, very long, always conscious.  Eternities’ chosen scapegoat paying for long forgotten sins of long forgotten others.

There was no future, only a long distant past.  And a present out of time.  And the promise he’d made to stay behind so that everything else could end.  He recalled that on the day he’d turned seventy-six, he’d wondered for the first but not the last time, if divinity had once played the role he was now charged with assuming, the sole role at the end of time and space.  If so, that would explain a great deal, perhaps everything.  How could anything remain sane in any sense at all after being so utterly alone, and yet, knowing what awaited, he’d confirmed his commitment, which implied something about his sanity as well.

While still enjoying a normal life span, he’d watched as his contemporaries aged and passed on, and then his descendants.  He’d been there, albeit an oddity, a freak, as species, including humans, evolved and changed, and planets evolved and died, and as different species conquered space and even time, and then they too moved on, but he was cursed with anachronistic eternity, a never ending relic.  And on the last instant of time, everything was gone, everything but him.

The other side of panentheism.  The last guardian, long after the end of time and space.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

An Ode to Old Shoes

I have a pair of very old shoes, now in pretty bad shape.  

When they were young and just out of the box they were striking, top of the line, perhaps dreaming of a life on board a yacht, or at least on some sort of vessel, sailing through exotic seas.  Perhaps the sea near their birth in the Charleston that I love so much.  Then, as the years rolled by, far from any ocean, they instead started archiving memories for me.  Memories of the family I once had and of the aspirations I had for us all; memories of the aspirations I had for our country, of the ones I had for our world.   Of the ones I had for me.

The years have passed and many people, many places, many things I’ve loved are gone.  Misplaced in some cases, perhaps wondering where I’ve vanished, beyond the veil in others.  I now live on another continent, the one that saw my birth, in a beautiful city near the sky where snowcapped peaks greet me on sunny mornings, high in the central range of the Colombian Andes.  A cycle seemingly renewed but now, again, seemingly awaiting a rebirth.  But there are so many people and places I miss, parts of my heart and soul sprinkled far away in time and space.  People and things gone long before their times.   But, … is there ever a right time for things we love to leave us, … or we them?

Those shoes are old and broken down now, but I still wear them, if only in lieu of slippers at home.  My sons are grown and drifted away.  The family in which I placed so much hope has turned to mist.  Almost as if it had all merely been a midsummer night’s dream.  My aspirations are much less than merely unfulfilled, apparently further from fruition than ever.  But still, they seem to be echoing in those old shoes that are beautiful to me still. 

Misplaced is very different than lost and hope still lingers there.  Hidden amidst bruised and battered old leather with wrinkles in the shape of the myriad memories and transitions they reflect.
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© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at http://www.guillermocalvo.com.