I Dream of a City

October 13, 2009

Adam sends this:

I dream of a City, but not like any we know in our Time. This City is more like a forest – of crystal columns, thinking inscrutable thoughts. But the City is powerful – it reaches across all Times, drawing people to It. It exists, as a Boundary or Guardian, at the Side-ways limit of Time. It’s the most extreme version of Planet Earth – an entire world that has formed, against extreme improbability, a singular Intelligence, the City. All of the Earth is the City, from the organised crystalline iron of its core, to the whispering computing gas that doubles for an atmosphere. While It is an Intelligence, it is made of trillions of trillions of minds, thus why it draws sentients from across all the Earths. And its electromagnetic thoughts are linked across the Mindful Galaxy and Meta-Galaxy. It lives in a cosmic Ocean of dreaming, collected from all the Universes, which (via hyperspace? Plato’s Intelligible World?) come from all the possible Universes that the City encompasses as the Limit, collecting them and preserving them as the Guardian of all Worlds.

I dream of visiting that Earth, the City, walking through its warm Thinking sands, listening to the quiet whispers of thought in the atmosphere, looking at a trillion Dreams turned into scintillating sparkles in the Forest of Crystal as the Sun showers it in sensations of a trillion trillion minds.

What strange constellations grace its skies? What stories do the Stars tell when all are Alive and talking, discussing, discoursing and even arguing?

What strange Beings walk the streets of a World made of thoughts?

In my dream, the City speaks to me with one Voice, though surely it is but a infintesimal fragment of its Intelligence that addresses me, but I sense something of its multiplicity. The Voice is clear, beautiful and alien yet somehow familiar – perhaps this is how Reason would sound if given a Voice.

The City tells me I have a question of it, that it can only answer when I know what it is…

 What’s the question?

Kitty at the End of Time?

October 5, 2008

A mysterious painting, also from Bill Goodwin, that he has titled Kitty at the End of Time?

Kitty at the End of Time?

Kitty at the End of Time?

Dream in a Puptent

October 5, 2008

Bill Goodwin sends this short story, a summer reverie:

Dream in a Puptent
Sunday afternoons in Cheviot Hills…when the gumball machine dreams its fishbowl dreams in the locked hardware store and men slice at slanting gold light in the Rancho Golf Course (each *whack* swallowed without ripple into the great, wide eucalyptus silence)…those late afternoons when dogs on frayed leashes click along over sidewalk cracks and doves the color of instant cocoa lean and blink on high telephone wires, singing-down the day in sad voices like little threads of gray smoke…you might find a garden hose looping across a velvety green lawn to end in a great fan of silver fire.
 
The cold spray leaps up from Mr. Fox’s front yard and catches the last rays of daylight.  Each diamond droplet ignites with a fierce brilliance too perfect for this world.  The rippling aura betrays every slightest movement of evening air, dissolving at its outer limit into chaotic whorls of shining mist.  Follow the arcing drops with quick rollings of your eyes and you’ll discover endless, fleeting patterns, gone in an instant yet frozen forever in your heart, like the sharp pain of love itself…
 
Let imagination penetrate that watery curtain, and on the far side you might find a childhood world too-quickly evaporating.  A white house angles its melancholy sage-green shingles at the sunset sky.  A tiny property of no great consequence, a mere atom of geography that yet keeps all years and dreams safe and everlasting in its rose-thorn coils and wasp-nested timbers.  Skim past the warm, wide back driveway, chalk-scrawled and firework-burned, tickled by drifts of dry bouganvillea and stray rivulets of hot-rubber-flavored hose water.  Pass the dry-rotting garage, humming with radio tunes, hiding plaster molds and messy mixings of glue and foil and latex, a peeling cranium of cans, cobwebs and army-cot sleepovers.  The backyard?  Leaf mold and apricot liquor.  Over one wall, a neighbor’s camping trailer slumbers under a hoary avocado limb, over another peeks the work shed of old Mr. Schaffer.  How many nights that shed’s roof proved a choice spot to lie, shoulder blades gritted into wet  tarpaper, star chart held in one stiff arm and red penlight in the other, picking-out constellations tangled in a tall sweetgum tree whose branches are burdened by two types of stars: bright, cosmic fires and dark, prickly seedballs.
 
Evening gathers quickly as you drift low over chipped stepping-stones of unguessed decades, past shaggy mints and jasmines still concealing corroded childhood treasures.  It’s the way with kids’ games.  Noise  and Riot one moment and the next, the silence of pyramids as the whirlwind moves elsewhere…
 
Onward the drifting.  Darkness falls quickly here under the trees, the ivied telephone poles, the cinderblock walls.  At last something shapes itself out of the shadows.
 
A crisp pup tent the color of green milk.
 
No light burns inside.  Yet within the canvas womb a conversation is taking  place.  Unbelievably, I’m  whispering away the dusk hour with Laurel Crawford, yearned-for love of all the seasons and shoe sizes from kindergarten to this very edge of Junior High and that ocean beyond, featureless in the glare from its rolling leagues and impossible, faraway horizon.
 
The time of open spaces is not yet come however.  Our lives are still swaddled in familiar things.  If the future is watching it stays silent, making itself known only as a confusing tickle that quickens random moments, like a snowflake or mosquito on one’s cheek which, brushed away, only returns again and again.
 
The dwindling light creates a dreamlike atmosphere in the pup tent, softening the contours of Laurel’s round face and chestnut braids.  Her wide eyes and rose-petal lips float in a bowl of warm cream, her gingham dress is a mystery of midnight cloud.  Our voices mix like woodsmoke in the dark.  There is a faintly mildewy scent, touched with citrus and something else, an intangible girl-powder perfume, indescribably intoxicating.
 
“Do you ever wonder,” whispers Laurel, “what we’re doing here?  What it’s all about, I mean.”
 
“All the time!” I confide (heart leaping–a soulmate!)
“I think it’s a mystery.  The answer isn’t made out of thought…it’s something else.”
 
“What else is there?”
 
“I don’t know, exactly.  But all we can think about is the past, right?  The things around us are all the past, we only recognize what we’ve seen before.  The part that’s alive and moving and mysterious is the future.  That’s what we are!  It’s like there’s this cold water flowing in, and we’re the little holes–you know, in a sprinkler–and the future comes right out of us, like drops of sparkling light!  And it all mixes and swirls around in the air like mist, and finally settles down into the ground and is the past.  And we keep waiting till it’s over to think about it, so we never get anywhere…”
 
Why am I talking like this?  Why is it suddenly so  important to spill out all my crazy stuff?  Do I  imagine she’s impressed?  “You think a lot, don’t  you,” says Laurel.
 
“Sometimes, yeah, I guess.  When it gets to be too much I write it down in a little book I have.  It’s all full of weird junk.”
 
Laurel moves closer, a wriggly motion terrifying and  sweet.  “That’s not what I mean, though,” she says, warm breath stirring the hairs at my temples.  “I mean these little meetings of ours, here in your pup tent.  What are we doing here.”
 
“Oh.”
 
Seconds tick by.  “Well,” I say at last, “I like talking with you.  I think you like talking with me…”
 
“I do.”
 
“I’ve liked you for years.  Ever since kindergarten.  I  think you know that, I mean I guess you know–you know…”
 
“I do.”
 
Laurel leans closer, her expression invisible in the gloom.
 
“Have you ever kissed a girl?” she asks.
 
“Not really,” I stammer.
 
“I’ve never been kissed,” she confides.  “But I think about it.”
 
“Me, too.  Sometimes.”
 
“Sometimes?” Laurel teases.
 
We’re getting closer every moment, somehow, without my intending it.  The edge of Laurel’s little finger is in actual contact with my leg.  So close, her lips, pink-candy tongue and peppermint teeth.  I start to form a plan of saying sometimes like now but suddenly it doesn’t matter.  Because it’s happening–the kiss–like soft ice cream melting, and time and space vanish, and you could hear a pin drop in my heart, and out over the distant ocean the sun itself holds its breath.
 
After an eternal moment Laurel pulls away.  Her smile dances the dark like a feather in a warm, black pool.
 
“You should have been bolder with me,” she says.
 
“I thought you liked Mickey Rotsler.”
 
“I did.  I liked you too.”
 
“Maybe I was bolder!  In some other world, I mean.”
 
A giggle.  “You are so strange!”
 
“No, really,” I protest.  “Maybe it’s like the sprinkler.  Everything fanning out, all the time…”
 
“My mother believes in reincarnation.”
 
“Not me.  Too simple!  The truth’s gotta be stranger.  Scarier, kind of.  That’s what keeps us stuck in one world.  Lack of courage.  Never going out on a limb. Always checking on each other, wanting to be sure.  Maybe everything’s imaginary!  Life is just the one fantasy we all agree on.”
 
“Life isn’t a fantasy!”
 
“Why not?  Being alive only means making choices, right?  Not just sitting around like rocks.  So you’re creating it, even if it’s just choosing whether or not to brush your teeth.”
 
“Better to brush,” says Laurel.
 
“Be serious,” I say.  “Being alive means using your imagination, is all.  Maybe fantasy is just the brave part of our imagination,  the part that knows about the other worlds, and reaches out and feels around.  Maybe every time we have a fantasy it’s true somewhere.”
 
“So Alice In Wonderland really happened?  The author just sort of tuned in on it?”
 
“No, but maybe he put the story together out of little bits of truth that are each real somewhere.  I don’t know how to put it exactly…”
 
Embarassed, I brace for Laurel’s laughter.  But instead she kisses me again (the pup tent spins).
 
“I think it’s like a flower garden,” she says, pulling away.  “All we’re doing is going along, planting moments.  Some real, some just fantasy. We’re stuck in a rut, struggling along, unable to see into anyone else’s row.  But while we’re busy with the dirt the things we left behind are growing, in ways we can’t even imagine, up toward the sun!”
 
“Yeah!  Wow.”
 
“So maybe it’s enough sometimes, just to imagine a  thing.  Then at least a seed is planted.  The picking comes later.  Or the weeding.”
 
“Who does the picking?”
 
“God, of course.”
 
“So I’m in the mud, and God gets the flowers?”
 
“You are the flowers!” says Laurel.  “Up into the light, that’s your real life!  You just get distracted and forget.  Like when you’re dreaming and there’s all these different people, and things going on, bad or good.  But when you wake up, turns out it was all you!  And you laugh it off.  You take what you can use from the dream and go back to your life.”
 
“God’s life…”
 
“Mmm.”  Laurel takes my hand in the dark, weaves her ivory fingers into mine.
 
“I like that idea,” I tell her.  “It’s amazing really how we think about the same weird stuff.  The exact same.  It’s almost too much to…”
 
“Can you read my mind right now?”
 
I pull her close, wanting to pluck and smell the softness of her, of this strange, sweet union of spirits.  But something shifts and the rapture is lost, gone in a fog of not knowing, and Laurel gone too–stolen–veered away into a place neither future nor past.  Only a solitary boy remains to ponder the matter.
 
A boy who’s been alone in the pup tent all along.
 
 
–Bill Goodwin, Los Angeles, 2008

Ruins of Chollas Station

September 3, 2008

Stimson Jaycat sends along this:

Have been doing some “photo” studies of the ruins of Chollas Station over the last week.
 
So far, have only found two construction date stamps in the ruins, on the same ruined foundation…one with a date that could be 1887, 1937, or 1957….while ten feet away one that clearly states 10-60.
 
I first came upon the ruins in 1973, then again from 1975-1980, then 1986-1987, 2004, then 2007 to present.
 
The west end, with the plaza I call “town square, has looked pretty much the same over the last three decades, though some of the mud hills have fallen down onto the ruins, and some of the trees are taller.
 
The most striking change is in the valley to the west, where three tiers that run nearly half a mile, are now almost completely choked with shrubs.  The concrete blocks we used to call “the tombstones” are still intact, but buried under more dried native plants.
 
Above the tiers several concrete blocks are tumbled, with rebar sticking out.
 
To the west, north, and north east suburban housing looks down into the ruins and eucalyptus grove that embraces it.
 
Some time in the last half decade graffiti artists have finally found the stone faces of the ruins, but for decades NO ONE left their mark on these forgotten constructs.
 
It always feels like time has run out in the remains of Chollas Station.   Have only been there at night, once.  Fled the place twenty one years ago when I found a strange figure burning manuscripts in a fire with in a ring of yard wide cement drain pipe turned on it’s side.
 
Best fotos may follow.

# just a pi, approximately

August 28, 2008

Douglas sends this, with the comment, “. . .below is a collection of approximately 25 different songs where one line from each was collaged with another line – producing a new Breed.”

# just a pi, approximately

And in the park outside of town, the leaves The way we look to a distant constellation, that’s dying You’ll think of me, and you’ll be smiling You may get disgusted, And think Im strange Thinking goin’ turn over, tryin’ sleepin’ on my side but I know’s where you been oh , there’s a red house over yonder My husband’s in the house and he’s scared to leave hes sleepin with his head in the kitchen, And his feets out in the hall A blackened shroud, a hand-me-down gown Maybe he lost his voice while out shopping Is your mouth a little weak My little serenado?

People know the part you’re playing.

With good and harm, with honour and disgrace.

a crowd of people turned away, but I just had to look it’s a shame and a sin. You just love that woman so much You used to stand on the tables, You used to shoot out the lights She knew your devils and your deeds, And she said Well it’s Too late Tonight WHERE YOU GONNA RUN TO NOW WHERE YOU GONNA GO nothing to thrust out the window, no white flag Imprisoned by this doubt, As if by doing nothing Ain’t it funny how the feeling goes away?

Throwing All You See Into Obscurity

Meddlers from the End of Time

July 6, 2008

A long message received from Stimson Jaycat; visions, landscapes, meditations.  Read on  . . .

 

Before the events of May and June of 1987 put me on a quest regarding a recovery of Gnostic practices and world view…culminating in the months leading up to the last war and pretty much wrapping it all up for me on my fortieth birthday, I’d had a series of “visions” if you will that seemed to be a fusion of two of my favorite classic Golden Age Science Fiction novels: THE END OF ETERNITY by Asimov and THE CITY AND THE STARS by Clarke.These visions would be most pronounced in the Ruins of Chollas Station north of College Grove Drive. Those ruins are still mostly intact…though the area that was grated to be the start of the land fill has been re-visioned by the city of San Diego as an Athletic Field.

Even thirty years after my first encounter with the Ruins, they are still pretty much the same, not a whole lot of decay: early in the 20th Century they really knew how to make concrete that lasted.

Or Did they?

My failed Science Fiction Writer mind wondered some times if that was just a cover by the City, as half the neighborhood didn’t even seem to be aware of the existence of the ruins.

In the Visions, the ruin had actually always been there, before the coming of the white man, and were impossibly old, on the order of 30 Billion years, older than the physical universe.

That it had actually fallen back in time from some later epoch.

As part of the perfect final city, going back into the past to ensure that the future turned out the way it did.

A moebius loop paradox of galactic age endurance.

The People at the End of time were actively reaching back thru the ages, working on manipulating history to come out the way it should.

 


They way it should?Real time was at the end of time, the time of perfection, when humanity had reached its highest goal.

But there were factions at the end of time that wanted to reach into the past, start nuclear wars, change elections, have person a make choice c instead of d in their life;  just to change their own standing, or their group’s standing, at the end of time.

A nuclear war in 1988 would have only small adjustments in the final city. In all possible worlds the Final city is there, just with different aspects.

The City at that end of time was much like Diaspar, the version in THE CITY AND THE STARS, not  as in AGAINST THE FALL OF NIGHT: Enclosed, everyone dinkin around in virtual environments of intellectual exploration or having esoteric sex, mathematical pursuits that go on for tens of thousands of years across incarnations; human beings incarnated via a Master Computer, sex only for enjoyment not reproduction. A potential population in the trillions, with only a few millions actively incarnated at any given time.

Sounds like Heaven.

The Eternals and the Factions: One of the actual jobs in this Diaspar like city was monitoring the prior centuries, millennia, eons and making corrections to time: ensuring the time line. But unlike Asimov’s Eternals who could only manipulate Centuries starting from the 2600s: when the Temporal Field was created, drawing energy from Earth’s Sun’s Death Throws, these Temporal Guardians/Adjustors and Rogues had access to all time, including a pre-human dinosaur civilization. The dinosaurs didn’t die out, our human ancestors at time’s end dropped the bomb on them.

Not a totally original notion, all of this. LAST AND FIRST MEN has the mind of a Last Man influencing Olaf Stapledon to write that book. In LAST MEN IN LONDON the premise is revealed that Olafs’ Last Man had been with him for decades, and actually influenced much of his actions…which I wasn’t to read until about 1996.

But it was never clear from these Blakean visions if the Platonic Guardians were actually physically traveling back in time, or if they were just mentally traveling back in time, focusing on key individuals at key times.

The last half of the twentieth century being a Crux Period from the view point of the end of time…that this was the era in which humanity could make or break it’s world.

Anyway.

Events in Ocean Beach in the last weeks of May 1987, and then leading up to a return there on June 10th of that same year, sent my life in a completely different direction, hot on the heels of hermetic speculation . A year later, after a correspondence with a celebrity on the subject, I was enmeshed in a close study of the published material pseudo Gnostic Victorian club, actually making up some of my first elaborations of their spiritual speculations at that point, diverging from their stodgy co-masonic practice.

 


Little did those Victorian Speculators, or myself and my late twentieth century comrads, realize that the information they took as a supreme spiritual key to understanding the universe was actually a miscommunication from a yet different set of humanity, a mere seven billion years past our own era.
 
And then making a re-entry into the work force in a completely alien field to my interests, and actually succeeding in it.
 
All through the 1990s there was this constant background interest in this misunderstood communication.  One myth stated these were semi-divine beings.  Another that they were Extra-Terrestrial in Origin.  Until the accident with the laser driven time machine in 2012 no one realized that this key to the spiritual universe was a partially working radio to a race of Man facing extinction on an Earth nearly swallowed by a Swollen Sun.
There should have been clues that this wasn’t what it seemed.  Everyone who spent any considerable time delving into it suffered strange flu like symptoms.  Or worse, became allergic to almost everything in modern life.
 
And again…there was one of those shifts in perspective, and most of those involved in this studies became engrossed in the Philosophy and Life Style going by the name of “Agape” which promised to be a unification and solution to all western philosophy, religion, and spiritual yearns.
This failed, scattering everyone back to their individual lives.In times of Social Crisis like the failure of “Agape” I found myself returning to the Stapledonian Mytho of long geological eras of human and other intelligences’ history.

During the 1990s I got this fix via Dr. Benford’s novels set about 30K years from now near the Galactic Core…where humanity had come to Bitch-Slap ancient Machine based Intelligences for attempting to play the forced extinction game on them…only to end up being rats in the walls…until humanity played the final trump.

Benford’s sequel to the Diaspar story: BEYOND THE FALL OF NIGHT, tied in his Galactic Novels in a loose way to Clarke’s condensate of LAST AND FIRST MEN and STARMAKER: A time eons after carbon and electronic based intelligences settled their differences and got on with business.

In some ways I feel like a periodic comet looping around two binary stars at a 101 AU distance from each other: One being the Stapledonian Mythos and the visions of Winter/Spring 87, the other being an interest in Gnostic studies and practice, also binaried to Heideggerian ontology

Two years ago I had come to a point in my studies of original Gnosticism where I had made a major breakthrough into something new, actually putting together a more original system of doing things, more in line with the historical Gnostics and not the Victorian Era Simulation…and then suddenly I am in charge of computers around the world and my Dad is diagnosed with Lung Cancer…derailing continuing development from those discoveries to deal with a !CRISIS!…feeling like a microcosm of one of Stapledon’s future races of Humanity: They would reach some kind of spiritual pinnacle and then Viral Cloud Intelligences would invade from Mars, or their racial Joy would knock the moon out of Orbit, or after taking a billion years to arise again on Neptune and attain a perfect society there telepathic unity would upset the Sun (also an intelligent being) triggering a Nova Event to wipe out the vermin in his system.

 


 
With my father having one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel for a year and a half, was forced to re-experience the neighborhood in which I grew up.Returning to Oak Park on a daily basis brought back memories from forgotten decades, and a rediscovery that Chollas Station had been reopened to the public: the City closed it down in Spring ’88: giving me access to that space and the old memories.

The ruins endure.

 


The ruins look the same.
Though one structure ended up buried in adebris flow after the mud hill above it collapsed.
And yet many in the surrounding neighborhoods are oblivious that it is there.
Walking the ruins the day before thanksgiving last year produced a brief sense of fractured eternity, a cascade of images, of events and personages up and down the time line, and to the sides.

Those have been recorded elsewhere.  

 

While Clarke’s Diaspar is a perpetual presence in my imagination, the visions of that final city, and it’s broken projections into the current era, only occur in the anomaly of the ruins of Chollas Station.

 

Every now and then, confused individuals are found stumbling out of the Western Gate at Chollas Station road, and wander down into Redwood Village, babbling incoherently and trying to purchase food and drink at Trade Winds Liquor with what the owner of that store has told me was  “Monopoly Money”.   And chases them out of his store.

 

Outside of the ruins the Final City is only a vague presence.

 

Yet “when” I am is always suspect.  Doug Smith says we don’t even know what planet we’re really on any more.  Or what year this really is…

 

Falling off to sleep initially I dream of the Warner Valley, 50,000 years from now, when the male gender has gone extinct.  As I fall deeper asleep it’s Alexandria just before World War Two.   And Alexandria endures thru the night, in the predawn sleep it’s the Alexandria of Origen and Plotinus, and listening to the same lecturer that formed their thought, in that same academy like place…

 

Land and Skyscapes

June 30, 2008

Skyscape

A mysterious skyscape, above.  Are those towers or spikes? Below, a landscape of heat and vastness — both images sent in by AngiePenguin.  Perhaps they will inspire your dreams.

Landscape with Mountain

 

 

 

The Star Child’s Snow Globe

June 26, 2008

City image

A fascinating image sent in by Kiwi Girl. A castle, a flickering aurora, a crystal ball.  Does anyone else dream these things? A fine addition to the collection.

Dream a Little Dream for Me

June 25, 2008

Tell me your dreams.  I collect dreams, not prescient or precognitive–not dreams of what will happen in the near-term–but dreams about the future. The far future. Certain dreams are becoming more common–a dream meme, or dreme, if you will. I need to hear your dreams of the future.  Send your dreams as emails to dreams@cityattheendoftime.com, and I will review and post them. Dream pictures–artwork or photographs–are also desired.


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