Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Life On The Moon

I am reading David Kranes' Low Tide In The Desert, a collection of Nevada short stories out of UNR press. One is "Life On The Moon." It is about a brilliant but sadly deranged college boy from Tonopah. He goes to college back East and meets a girl from the Eastern Seaboard in his freshman year. They fall in love and he calls her Ondine, a reference to a mermaid. He then has to go back home for the summer, where of course no one understands him. In his letters to Ondine, he says he has gone to the moon. I love this passage.

"The moon is composed as follows. Sixty percent sandstone. Twentyfive percent sand. Seven percent porous white bones (mostly skulls and spines). Three percent bleached lumber. One percent bomb testing sites. One percent casinos and motels. One percent human beings and lizzards. The texture everywhere is like pumice. The topography is pocked and cratered and uneven. There is no Time here. An early probe tried to bring Time to the moon, but it could not survive. Time died. Its remains are in a museum in Reno. School children go and look through the glass at it and have no comprehension. Time is 97 percent water."

Nevada produces some great writers only some of whom are named Laxalt.


Daphne Stevens, Ph.D. said...

The idea of Time being on display in a museum is (if you will) long overdue.

Time is a over-rated. It's a burden. It's an illusion.

Time and its accouterments belong in a glass case. Hour glasses, watches, sun dials, grandfather clocks--and, of course that most oppressive time-"tracker," the Alarm Clock.

Maybe Alarm itself will be absent from our night-stands? Maybe in the museum, right next to the Time exhibit...

Bishop Dan said...

Maybe the value of time depends on the angle from which you look at it. (Is that relativity theory?) This guy was a 19 yr old in Tonopah missing his girfriend. The alternative to time is eternity. Now for me, I can think of a lot worse places to spend eternity than Tonopah, but it's not my home town. If I think about being in my home town, potentially for eternity, then I could really feel bad about the death of time. I know, you're in your home town. But I assure you, it is not the same. You've never been in my home town.

Rev. Clelia Pinza-Garrity said...

Actually, I like time. I think it does have textures for different points in one's life and for the different events that one experiences. For me, time weaves a rich texture that I call the fabric of my life. Seeing my life in texture allows me to relfect on it theologically and spiritually and to appreciate the many gifts that God has and continues to give me.

Bishop Dan said...

Who knew this blog would lead to a discussion of whether we are for or against time? As it happens, I did a sermon on that last year. So I have posted it on the sermons section of this blog. Click on Sermons and find the one titled Time For You And Time For Me -- which doesn't say much about the sermon, just an obscure quote of T. S. Eliot.