Point of View: Eternal Hope, Eternally

"How could you doubt an afterlife after having been vouchsafed such a vision.”

   “I felt so environmentally impoverished,” I said to Rusty Drumm, a Montauker, “as I drove the other day out of Montauk toward scruffy Springs.”
    “It’s God’s country,” he said.
    “You can say that again.”
    “It’s God’s country,” he said.
    “You’re not kidding. I’ve never seen such a sky. Radiant with filtered silver light cascading down through tiers of mauve clouds . . . as if the heavens were opening to receive me. How could you doubt an afterlife after having been vouchsafed such a vision.”
    Later, when I told Durell Godfrey, many of whose photos on these pages are heavenly, she said, matter-of-factly, “I know — it was as if you could hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.”
    “And the Vienna Boys’ Choir too. Not to mention the Harlem Gospel Choir, the Mississippi Mass Choir, the U.S. Naval Academy Men’s Glee Club, the Hamptons Choral Society, and the Swingle Singers.”
    I stopped on Old Montauk Highway and took photos, but as with the full moon I once saw over the Maidstone Club, I learned later that they weren’t quite as astounding as what I’d seen with my mind’s eye. And still, I had seen glory beckoning.
    With this thought in mind, I turned to Unamuno’s “Tragic Sense of Life” where, on page 240, he says, “And the soul, my soul at least, longs for something else, not absorption, not quietude, not peace, not appeasement, it longs ever to approach and never to arrive, it longs for a never-ending longing, for an eternal hope which is eternally renewed but never wholly fulfilled.”
    An ever-expanding consciousness, along with the Universe. Not a bad idea, though perhaps we simply become extinct. Either way, you’re inclined to do your best, to be mindful as you can be rather than just muddle through — to continually aspire to live in wondrous Montauk rather than to be sequestered in Tiffany Estates.
    It’s hard, of course, to be always alert to the wondrous, especially when there are so many distractions making claims on oneself and so many forms to fill out. We — I say ‘we,’ though it’s predominately she — are going through one of those muddle-through times now. When, she wonders, will death and duty loosen their hold and let her live again, when will “D&D” yield to “R&R?” Will it happen in Cayo Levantado at the end of the month, or will we be taken hostage by the sequester? It’s hard to become one with everything when your cellphone keeps ringing and when your mailbox is packed with forms requiring immediate attention. They say we’ll be incommunicado on Cayo Levantado. “Estoy incommunicado en Cayo Levantado, que maravilla he logrado . . .” and so on.
    Which reminds me, there are taxes to attend to. I think we’ve almost reached the point where we’re going broke for our deductions. It’s our way of keeping hope alive.