If I start to hear rhythmic whistling in my ears as if in a hiatus of moment in Kill Bill where in a split of second the tendering slices of the samurai upon unnamed and unheard antagonists spurts out splashes of the red ink on cam in an endless bloodbath, I also try to find ways to live out an addiction of inexplicable wandering. I try to burden my back with my bulky mailbag and sore the toes of my feet with this striding-along-addiction with a matter of miles in mind to and from points of departure and arrival. (Weird for you, normal for a natural weirdo.)
Last night, I tried to halt a seemingly unending and non-sense journey by going to my favorite shop in the mall near-by, the second-hand or maybe third-hand or maybe nth-hand bookstore where books go for the price as low as 10 pesos. I saw John Knowle’s Separate Peace in paperback at 15 pesos, got hold of it for few seconds and ponder if I would buy it but settled on considering the morbid drawings in between leaves of harrowing human figures in red. Thought this might have come from the penitentiary, in one of those basement cells where hard-liners and psychopaths dwell. . .grr-eerie.
And so I kept on looking and digging (perpetually) hoping that I could spot a worthy book. Luckily I found one, few minutes before the shop closed, by Beryl Markham. Found it interesting when I read a good comment from Ernest Hemingway at the back cover. Hemingway lauded her style of writing as: “marvelous. . .suddenly I am ashamed of myself as a writer”. What of me to reject West with the Night as his/her previous owner did for 77 pesos? I paid and left the bookshop.
At home, I took out quickly the loot from my bag and read it. Hemingway was candid; she’s one hell of a writer. However, as I scour the pages of this notable memoir, the writing subdued the basic fact of spectacle that this human figure imposes upon the reader. Ms. Markham was an Aviatrix of her time in British East-Africa; The first to fly the skies of the
Atlantic and maybe among the firsts (women) in her continent. Her writing immersed me into the aero-experiential world of the pilot and the romantic intertwining of mobility with the points of departure and arrival. I suddenly felt one with her:
“There are all kinds of silences and each of them means a different thing. There is the silence that comes with morning in a forest, and this is different from the silence of a sleeping city. There is silence after a rainstorm, and before a rainstorm, and these are not the same. There is the silence of emptiness, the silence of fear, the silence of doubt. There is a certain silence that can emanate from a lifeless object as from a chair lately used, or from a piano with old dust upon its keys, or from anything that has answered to the need of a man, for pleasure or for work. This kind of silence can speak. Its voice may be melancholy, but it is not always so; for the chair may have been left by a laughing child or the last notes of the piano may have been raucous and gay. Whatever the mood or the circumstance, the essence of its quality may linger in the silence that follows. It is a soundless echo.”
. . .suddenly I wanted to be an aviator myself and dispense with childhood daydreams as well as those in the night of the transcendental experience of flying with the wind above all matters settling on the ground : )