Wengen – December 26 2013 – almost 2014.
Let’s Say it all Starts – with the years of my infancy when I saw my mother all broken, bones up in the air, flesh all torn up – all here, almost all here in this Alpine village where…well, “were the ruins still there as I played as a child”. Yes, the ruins are all here.
Ten years ago today (seems like a real eternity), Christmas of 2003 I was writing frantically what was (then) supposed to be my autobiography. Back then, still living in Belsize Park and after having mooned the audience in Rio after the closing of the curtain over my best piece thus far, “Tristan und Isolde” (version # 2, after the Weimar version 1996 with Hans Aschenbach), I came up here to Wengen to write.
Those writings, were called “Suicide Note – Truth and Lies “the Empire of Half Truths”.
My mother was still alive.
Yes, my mother!
Yes, Freud again. Or, something like that.
Freud in my “Tristan und Isolde” was a natural occurrence of the fact that I lived very near his statue (off of Ornam Road, NW3) and the Tavistock Clinic and, thus, the Freud Museum, on Frognal. Yes, Wagner’s masterpiece set in Freud’s practice! Makes all the sense in the world.
Today, on this snowy day in Wengen, where the “ruins are still there as I played as a child”, I feel like calling it quits, saying my final goodbyes and moving on to something else. Something else? Something other. Something other-else. Goodbye ain’t good enough. I’ve said it too many times. Far too many times and nobody believes in my goodbyes any more.
Thus, this autobiography would make sense again as a Suicide Note. Total sense. Full cycle. “Mission accomplished” would be the term, had it not been so trivialized (lately by Snowden)
Did I treat my mother in a terrible way towards the end of her life which – seen in retrospect – I am now bitter about.
“I was sure, from the beginning of my pregnancy, that I was going to give birth to a genius” – she said to me (I think it was in New York – while living with me right after my father’s death in 1984).Imagine that! Imagine driving and hearing these words! Yes, while walking with me in Williamsburg, or in the back seat of my dark green Toyota Celica (the Nicaraguan tank), crossing over the Williamsburg bridge, that is what she said.
Something has just occurred to me:
My mother was always an image I saw through the rear view mirror!
That’s astonishing to me.
I represent and interpret my life and compare my state of mind as that of an eternal refugee.
A refugee. All my life fleeing.
Does anyone know what that means? Spending a life running or “on the run”?
Yes, on the run I remain.
If this were a movie and not just writing, it would most certainly be a “road movie”.
But it’s my life’s story: “The Empire of Half Truths”. Is anybody out there really listening?
I expect that someone, some day, somewhere, might.
But I am screaming. Of course the language isn’t one of two: it’s the language of Babel. It’s all of it. The whole universe and its sounds.
It’s deafening. It’s deafening in the “Court of Public Opinions”
Yes, I’m beginning to understand. My mother is a rear view mirror image and my scream is as loud as that of the refugees! But nobody hears a sound because it’s a deafening silence outdoors. Heavy snow is covering it all, as it always does, as it always did in this place where “the ruins still there where I played as a child”
Gerald Thomas – boxing day – 2013.
Photo by Masha Frolyak
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