I think that the project of being alive is to be alive. So there will always be twists and turns and steps forward and steps back, but that's just your life. There is no sort of place at which to arrive, and I think that the more one focuses on an end point, the harder it is to get there. It's like the horizon, sort of ever receding, ever receding, ever receding.
It was a challenge for me to play somebody who was so quiet and receding and depressed because she's also on screen all the time, and she has to remain compelling and entertaining. I was really nervous that people were not going to stay with me while I was just staying behind that bloody counter.
Besides, " she says, eyes twinkling mischievously, "it'd never work out between us. I'm still holding a candle for Professor Haven." "How could I compete with a middle-aged English professor?" "Well, " she says, "you could do, but it'd be useless. Something about his receding hairline just drives me mad.
It is we who move through time, not the reverse. When we walk beyond any one of life's instants, it becomes nothing more than a receding milestone. We can look back, but we cannot retrace our steps. The past remains stationary, while we are doomed to move ever onwards. To do otherwise is against nature.
The fall of Empire, gentlemen, is a massive thing, however, and not easily fought. It is dictated by a rising bureaucracy, a receding initiative, a freezing of caste, a damming of curiosity "" a hundred other factors. It has been going on, as I have said, for centuries, and it is too majestic and massive a movement to stop.
Other memories stick, no matter how much you wish they wouldn't. They're like a song you hate but can't ever get completely out of your head, and this song becomes the background noise of your entire life, snippets of lyrics and lines of music floating up and then receding, a crazy kind of tide that never stops.
Marriage is not a house or even a tent it is before that, and colder: the edge of the forest, the edge of the desert the unpainted stairs at the back where we squat outside, eating popcorn the edge of the receding glacier where painfully and with wonder at having survived even this far we are learning to make fire
Tell them you came, and saw, and looked into my eyes and saw the shadow of the guard receding. Thoughts in time and out of season, the hitchinker stood by the side of the road and levelled his thumb in the calm calculus of reason. [...] Why does my mind circle around you? Why do planets wonder what it would be like to be you? All your soft wild promises were words, birds, endlessly in flight.
Our globe is under new dramatic environmental pressure: our globe is warming, our ice caps melting, our glaciers receding, our coral is dying, our soils are eroding, our water tables falling, our fisheries are being depleted, our remaining rainforests shrinking. Something is very, very wrong with our eco-system.
She catches sight of herself in her video-feed, her face contorted with fury. Wiping spittle from the sides of her mouth, she reaches behind her to grab her lip gloss and reapplies it. 'And don't even start thinking about what a bitch I am, ' she says. Her eyes are steady, the heat receding from her skin. 'This is not my fault. I'm just doing what we have been trained to do. This is who we are, freida. This is who we were designed to be.
When [beauty pornography is] aimed at men, its effect is to keep them from finding peace in sexual love. The fleeting chimera of the airbrushed centerfold, always receding before him, keeps the man destabilized in pursuit, unable to focus on the beauty of the woman--known, marked, lined, familiar""-who hands him the paper every morning.
To me the gold price takes the form of a very uncomplicated formula, and all you have to do is divide one by 'n.' And 'n', I'm glad you ask, 'n' is the world's trust in the institution of paper money and in the capacity of people like Ben Bernanke to manage it. So the smaller 'n', the bigger the price. One divided by a receding number is the definition of a bull market.
He had never seen the ocean before; he knew it only as the featureless blue void between the detailed continents on his father's old globe. But now he saw that it was anything but featureless; distant blue swells rising and falling, like great lungs tasked to power the surging and receding of the foamy waves washing across the shoreline beyond them.
O smile, going where? O upturned look: new, warm, receding surge of the heart-; alas, we are that surge. Does then the cosmic space we dissolve in taste of us? Do the angels reclaim only what is theirs, their own outstreamed existence, or sometimes, by accident, does a bit of us get mixed in? Are we blended in their features like the slight vagueness that complicates the looks of pregnant women? Unnoticed by them in their whirling back into themselves? (How could they notice?)
Rainer Maria Rilke
Once released from life, having lost it in such violence, I couldn't calculate my steps. I didn't have time for contemplation. In violence it is the getting out that you concentrate on. When you begin to go over the edge, life receding from you as a boat recedes inevitably from the shore, you hold on to death tightly, like a rope that will transport you, and you swing out on it, hoping to land away from where you are.
My small torrent of words dissipated into an elaborate sense of expanding and receding. It was my entrance into the radiance of imagination. This process was especially magnified within the fevers of influenza, measles, chickenpox, and mumps. I got them all and with each I was privileged with a new level of awareness. Lying deep within myself, the symmetry of a snowflake spinning above me, intensifying through my lids, I seized a most worthy souvenir, a shard of heaven's kaleidoscope.
She says, "But in contentment I still feel The need for imperishable bliss." Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her, Alone, shall come fulfillment to our dreams And our desires. Is there no change of death in paradise? Does ripe fruit never fall? or do the boughs Hang always heavy in that perfect sky, Unchanging, yet so like our perishing earth, With rivers like our own that seek for seas They never find, the same receding shores That never touch with inarticulate pang?
Imagine a tiny ant on the back of a massive African elephant. No matter how diligently that ant marches east, if the elephant he sits upon travels in the opposite direction, the ant will end up farther west than his starting point. Similarly, we will find ourselves receding from our goals if our conscious and subconscious minds are not aligned.
Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts... A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding...
The lover of photography is fascinated both by the instant and by the past. The moment captured in the image is of near-zero duration and is located in a ever-receding then. At the same time, the spectator's now, the moment of looking at the image, has no fixed duration. It can be extended as long as fascination lasts and endlessly reiterated as long as curiosity returns.
Soon I find myself squatting on the floor. I am still striking my face; not with my fists this time, but with wide-open hands. I am slapping myself. The sounds I make when my palms meet my cheeks are like an unrelenting round of applause. I am clapping myself. Or clapping for myself. I start to giggle. All the voices are receding now. I am no longer filled with rage or disappointment. I clap and clap and simply cannot stop.
I have my fears. Yet, notwithstanding the complicated difficulties that rise before us, there is no receding; and I should blush if in any instance the weak passions of my sex should damp the fortitude, the patriotism, and the manly resolution of yours. May nothing ever check that glorious spirit of freedom which inspires the patriot in the cabinet, and the hero in the field, with courage to maintain their righteous cause, and to endeavor to transmit the claim to posterity, even if they must seal the rich conveyance to their children with their own blood.
Mercy Otis Warren
In the whole of your absurd past you discover so much that's absurd, so much deceit and credulity, that it might be a good idea to stop being young this minute, to wait for youth to break away from you and pass you by, to watch it going away, receding in the distance, to see all its vanity, run your hand through the empty space it has left behind, take a last look at it, and then start moving, make sure your youth has really gone, and then calmly, all by yourself, cross to the other side of Time to see what people and things really look like.
Just looking at them I grow greedy, as if they were freshly baked loaves waiting on their shelves to be broken open--that one and that--and I make my choice in a mood of exalted luck, browsing among them like a cow in sweetest pasture. For life is continuous as long as they wait to be read--these inked paths opening into the future, page after page, every book its own receding horizon. And I hold them, one in each hand, a curious ballast weighing me here to earth.
Just looking at them I grow greedy, as if they were freshly baked loaves waiting on their shelves to be broken open-that one and that-and I make my choice in a mood of exalted luck, browsing among them like a cow in sweetest pasture. For life is continuous as long as they wait to be read-these inked paths opening into the future, page after page, every book its own receding horizon. And I hold them, one in each hand, a curious ballast weighing me here to earth.
Imagine you are walking down a leafy path... The sun is receding, and you are walking alone, caressed by the breezy light of the late afternoon. Then suddenly, you feel a large drop on your right arm. Is it raining? You look up. The sky is still deceptively sunny... seconds later another drop. Then, with the sun still perched in the sky, you are drenched in a shower of rain. This is how memories invade me, abruptly and unexpectedly...
When I was little, I was out riding my brand-new blue bicycle when I decided to see how far I could keep going without looking back even once. I could feel with my back how my neighborhood was receding, further and further away... but I kept pedaling with all my might, my mind almost going blank. All I could hear was the sound of my own heart, thumping wildly in my ears. Even now, I remember it sometimes. What exactly was I trying to do that day? What was it that I wanted to prove? It's no good. My mind just keeps fogging over. I have this irritating sound stuck in my head. What is it? This sound... Ohh... I know what it is. This is... the sound of emptiness.
All cities are geological; you cannot take three steps without encountering ghosts bearing all the prestige of their legends. We move within a closed landscape whose landmarks constantly draw us toward the past. Certain shifting angles, certain receding perspectives, allow us to glimpse original conceptions of space, but this vision remains fragmentary. It must be sought in the magical locales of fairy tales and surrealist writings: castles, endless walls, little forgotten bars, mammoth caverns, casino mirrors.
The past is a distant, receding coastline, and we are all in the same boat. Along the stern rail there is a line of telescopes; each brings the shore into focus at a given distance. If the boat is becalmed, one of the telescopes will be in continual use; it will seem to tell the whole, the unchanging truth. But this is an illusion; and as the boat sets off again, we return to our normal activity: scurrying from one telescope to another, seeing the sharpness fade in one, waiting for the blur to clear in another. And when the blur does clear, we imagine that we have made it do so all by ourselves.
Divinity is great enough to be divine; it is great enough to call itself divine. But as humanity grows greater, it grows less and less likely to do so. God is God, as the Moslems say; but a great man knows he is not God, and the greater he is the better he knows it. That is the paradox; everything that is merely approaching to that point is merely receding from it.
Burr had the dark and severe coloring of his Edwards ancestry, with black hair receding from the forehead and dark brown, almost black, eyes that suggested a cross between an eagle and a raven. Hamilton had a light peaches and cream complexion with violet-blue eyes and auburn-red hair, all of which came together to suggest an animated beam of light to Burr's somewhat stationary shadow.
Joseph J. Ellis
If you are in the mountains alone for some time, many days at minimum, and it helps if you are fasting. The forest grows tired of its weariness towards you; it resumes its inner life and allows you to see it. Near dusk the faces in tree bark cease hiding, and stare out at you. The welcoming ones and also the malevolent, open in their curiosity. In your camp at night you are able to pick out a distinct word now and then from the muddled voices in creek water, sometimes an entire sentence of deep import. The ghosts of animals reveal themselves to you without prejudice to your humanity. You see them receding before you as you walk the trail their shapes beautiful and sad.
In 5 billion years, the expansion of the universe will have progressed to the point where all other galaxies will have receded beyond detection. Indeed, they will be receding faster than the speed of light, so detection will be impossible. Future civilizations will discover science and all its laws, and never know about other galaxies or the cosmic background radiation. They will inevitably come to the wrong conclusion about the universe... We live in a special time, the only time, where we can observationally verify that we live in a special time.
Lawrence M. Krauss
In 5 billion years, the expansion of the universe will have progressed to the point where all other galaxies will have receded beyond detection. Indeed, they will be receding faster than the speed of light, so detection will be impossible. Future civilizations will discover science and all its laws, and never know about other galaxies or the cosmic background radiation. They will inevitably come to the wrong conclusion about the universe......We live in a special time, the only time, where we can observationally verify that we live in a special time.
Lawrence M. Krauss
Does it mean, if you don't understand something, and the community of physicists don't understand it, that means God did it? Is that how you want to play this game? Because if it is, here's a list of things in the past that the physicists at the time didn't understand [and now we do understand] [...]. If that's how you want to invoke your evidence for God, then God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance that's getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time moves on - so just be ready for that to happen, if that's how you want to come at the problem
Neil deGrasse Tyson
What was I supposed to do then I wondered. Was there even a supposed-to for this kind of situation? A situation when when I looked at my receding past everything seemed retrospectively marked by an extreme order and predictability yet all moments since seemed to obey, and promised to continue obeying, their own set of stochastic, undisclosed, and undiscoverable laws. Where I was fully aware of the pitfalls and folly of a finely-tuned narcissism but still the known universe seemed to bend and bend inexorably inward and towards me where it awaited my next move, supremely ready to react accordingly. And how I knew that decisions I would soon make or defer would have near-Sophoclean import and yet nonetheless it all seemed oddly irrelevant.
Sergio De La Pava
I'm the girl who is lost in space, the girl who is disappearing always, forever fading away and receding farther and farther into the background. Just like the Cheshire cat, someday I will suddenly leave, but the artificial warmth of my smile, that phony, clownish curve, the kind you see on miserably sad people and villains in Disney movies, will remain behind as an ironic remnant. I am the girl you see in the photograph from some party someplace or some picnic in the park, the one who is in fact soon to be gone. When you look at the picture again, I want to assure you, I will no longer be there. I will be erased from history, like a traitor in the Soviet Union. Because with every day that goes by, I feel myself becoming more and more invisible...
Ever since, New York has existed for me simultaneously as a map to be learned and a place to aspire too-a city of things and a city of signs, the place I actually am and the place I would like to be even when I am here. As a kid, I grasped that the skyline was a sign that could be, so to speak, relocated to New Jersey-a kind of abstract, receding Vision whose meaning would always be "out of reach, " not a concrete thing signifying "here you are." Even when we are established here, New York still seems a place we aspire to. Its life is one thing-streets and hot dogs and brusqueness-and its symbols, the lights across the way, the beckoning skyline, are another. We go on being inspired even when we're most exasperated.
Your God loves your people and hates mine; he folds his strong arms lovingly around the white man and leads him as a father leads his infant son, but he has forsaken his red children; he makes your people wax strong every day, and soon they will fill the land; while my people are ebbing away like a fast-receding tide, that will never flow again. The white man's God cannot love his red children or he would protect them. They seem to be orphans who can look nowhere for help.
Matter would have the universe a uniform dispersion, motionless, complete. Spirit would have an earth, a heaven and a hell, whirl and conflict, an incandescent sun to drive away the dark, to illuminate good and evil, would have thought, memory, desire, would build a stairway of forms increasing in complexity, inclusiveness, to a heaven ever receding above, changing always in configuration, becoming when reached but the way to more distant heavens, the last... but there is no last, for spirit tends upward without end, wanders, spirals, dips, but tends ever upward, ruthlessly using lower forms to create higher forms, moving toward ever greater inwardness, consciousness, spontaneity, to an ever greater freedom.
Men who read it [beauty pornography] don't do so because they want women who look like that. The attraction of what they are holding is that it is not a woman, but a two-dimensional woman-shaped blank. The appeal of the material is not the fantasy that the model will come to life; it is precisely that she will not, ever. Her coming to life would ruin the vision. It is not about life. Ideal beauty is ideal because it does not exist; The action lies in the gap between desire and gratification. Women are not perfect beauties without distance. That space, in a consumer culture, is a lucrative one. The beauty myth moves for men as a mirage, its power lies in its ever-receding nature. When the gap is closed, the lover embraces only his own disillusion.
What are we after when we open one of those books? What is it that makes a classic a classic?... in old-fashioned terms, the answer is that it wll elevate your spirit. And that's why I can't take much stock in the idea of going through a list of books or 'covering' a fixed number of selections, or anyway striving for the blessed state of having read this, or the other. Having read a book means nothing. Reading a book may be the most tremendous experience of your life; having read it is an item in your memory, part of your receding past... Why we have that odd faith in the magic of having read a book, I don't know. We don't apply the same principle elsewhere: We don't believe in having heard Mendelssohn's violin concerto... I say, don't read the classics - try to discover your own classics; every life has its own.
Where the techno-medical model of birth reigns, women who give birth vaginally generally labor in bed hooked up to electronic fetal monitors, intravenous tubes, and pressure-reading devices. Eating and drinking in labor are usually not permitted. Labor pain within this model is seen as unacceptable, so analgesia, and anesthesia are encouraged. Episiotomies (the surgical cut to enlarge the vaginal opening) are routinely performed, out of a belief that birth over an intact perineum would be impossible or that, if possible, it might be harmful to mother or baby. Instead of being the central actor of the birth drama, the woman becomes a passive, almost inert object - representing a barrier to the baby's eventual passage to the outside world. Women are treated as a homogenous group within the medical model, with individual variations receding in importance.
Ina May Gaskin
There is much that is immortal in this medieval lady. The dragons have gone, and so have the knights, but still she lingers in our midst. She reigned in many an early Victorian castle, and was Queen of much early Victorian song. It is sweet to protect her in the intervals of business, sweet to pay her honour when she has cooked our dinner well. But alas! the creature grows degenerate. In her heart also there are springing up strange desires. She too is enamoured of heavy winds, and vast panoramas, and green expanses of the sea. She has marked the kingdom of this world, how full it is of wealth, and beauty, and war-a radiant crust, built around the central fires, spinning towards the receding heavens. Men, declaring that she inspires them to it, move joyfully over the surface, having the most delightful meetings with other men, happy, not because they are masculine, but because they are alive. Before the show breaks up she would like to drop the august title of the Eternal Woman, and go there as her transitory self.
COULD WE HAVE LIVED OUR lives ignoring politics? The Occupation determined the crops that the fallah planted, it stood in the face of every industrial project, it prevented us from establishing our own financial institutions, it hampered our wishes for education, it censored what could be published, it deprived us of a voice in the Ottoman parliament, it dictated what jobs our men could hold and it held back the emancipation of our women. It put each one of us in the position of a minor and forbade us to grow up. And with every year that passed we saw our place in the train of modern nations receding, the distance we would have to make up growing ever longer and more difficult. It sowed distrust among our people and pushed the best among them either to fanatical actions or to despair. And in Palestine we saw a clear warning of what the colonialist project could finally do: it could take the land itself from under its inhabitants. Could we have ignored all this? And what space would have been left for our lives to occupy? And what man with any dignity would have consented to confine himself to that space and not tried to push at its boundaries? And what woman would not have seen it as her duty to help him?
Were the stars out when I left the house last evening? All I could remember was the couple in the Skyline listening to Duran Duran. Stars? Who remembers stars? Come to think of it, had I even looked up at the sky recently? Had the stars been wiped out of the sky three months ago, I wouldn't have known. The only things I noticed were silver bracelets on women's wrists and popsicle sticks in potted rubber plants. There had to be something wrong with my life. I should have been born a Yugoslavian shepherd who looked up at the Big Dipper every night. No car, no car stereo, no silver bracelets, no shuffling, no dark blue tweed suits. My world foreshortened, flattening into a credit card. Seen head on, things seemed merely skewed, but from the side the view was virtually meaningless-a one-dimensional wafer. Everything about me may have been crammed in there, but it was only plastic. Indecipherable except to some machine. My first circuit must have been wearing thin. My real memories were receding into planar projection, the screen of consciousness losing all identity.
If you wear black, then kindly, irritating strangers will touch your arm consolingly and inform you that the world keeps on turning. They're right. It does. However much you beg it to stop. It turns and lets grenadine spill over the horizon, sends hard bars of gold through my window and I wake up and feel happy for three seconds and then I remember. It turns and tips people out of their beds and into their cars, their offices, an avalanche of tiny men and women tumbling through life... All trying not to think about what's waiting at the bottom. Sometimes it turns and sends us reeling into each other's arms. We cling tight, excited and laughing, strangers thrown together on a moving funhouse floor. Intoxicated by the motion we forget all the risks. And then the world turns... And somebody falls off... And oh God it's such a long way down. Numb with shock, we can only stand and watch as they fall away from us, gradually getting smaller... Receding in our memories until they're no longer visible. We gather in cemeteries, tense and silent as if for listening for the impact; the splash of a pebble dropped into a dark well, trying to measure its depth. Trying to measure how far we have to fall. No impact comes; no splash. The moment passes. The world turns and we turn away, getting on with our lives... Wrapping ourselves in comforting banalities to keep us warm against the cold. "Time's a great healer." "At least it was quick." "The world keeps turning." Oh Alec- Alec's dead.
The tavern keeper, a wiry man with a sharp-nosed face, round, prominent ears and a receding hairline that combined to give him a rodentlike look, glanced at him, absentmindedly wiping a tankard with a grubby cloth. Will raised an eyebrow as he looked at it. He'd be willing to bet the cloth was transferring more dirt to the tankard then it was removing. "Drink?" the tavern keeper asked. He set the tankard down on the bar, as if in preparation for filling it with whatever the stranger might order. "Not out of that, " Will said evenly, jerking a thumb at the tankard. Ratface shrugged, shoved it aside and produced another from a rack above the bar. "Suit yourself. Ale or ouisgeah?" Ousigeah, Will knew, was the strong malt spirit they distilled and drank in Hibernia. In a tavern like this, it might be more suitable for stripping runt than drinking. "I'd like coffee, " he said, noticing the battered pot by the fire at one end of the bar. "I've got ale or ouisgeah. Take your pick." Ratface was becoming more peremptory. Will gestured toward the coffeepot. The tavern keeper shook his head. "None made, " he said. "I'm not making a new pot just for you." "But he's drinking coffee, " Will said, nodding to one side. Inevitably the tavern keeper glanced that way, to see who he was talking about. The moment his eyes left Will, an iron grip seized the front of his shirt collar, twisting it into a knot that choked him and at the same time dragged him forward, off balance, over the bar, . The stranger's eyes were suddenly very close. He no longer looked boyish. The eyes were dark brown, almost black in this dim light, and the tavern keeper read danger there. A lot of danger. He heard a soft whisper of steel, and glancing down past the fist that held him so tightly, he glimpsed the heavy, gleaming blade of the saxe knife as the stranger laid it on the bar between them. He looked around for possible help. But there was nobody else at the bar, and none of the customers at the tables had noticed what was going on. "Aach... mach co'hee, " he choked. The tension on his collar eased and the stranger said softly, "What was that?" "I'll... make... coffee, " he repeated, gasping for breath. The stranger smiled. It was a pleasant smile, but the tavern keep noticed that it never reached those dark eyes. "That's wonderful. I'll wait here.
Self-consciousness is the curse of the city and all that sophistication implies. It is the glimpse of oneself in a storefront window, the unbidden awareness of reactions on the faces of other people- the novelist's world, not the poet's. I've lived there. I remember what the city has to offer; human companionship, major league baseball, and a clatter of quickening stimulus like a rush from strong drugs that leaves you drained. I remember how you bide your time in the city, and think, if you stop to think, 'next year, I'll start living... next year I'll start my life.' Innocence is a better world. Innocence sees that this is it, and finds it world enough, and time. Innocence is not the prerogative of infants and puppies, and far less of mountains and fixed stars, which have no prerogatives at all. It is not lost to us; the world is a better place than that. Like any other of the spirit's good gifts, it is there if you want it, free for the asking, as has been stressed by stronger words than mine. It is possible to pursue innocence as hounds pursue hares; singlemindledly, driven by a kind of love, crashing over creeks, keening and lost in fields and forests, circling, vaulting over hedges and hills wide-eyed, giving loud tongue all unawares to the deepest, most incomprehensible longing, a root-flame in the heart, and that warbling chorus resounding back from the mountains, hurling itself from ridge to ridge over the valley, now faint, now clear ringing the air through which the hounds tear, open-mouthed, the echoes of their own wails dimly knocking in their lungs. What I call innocence is the spirit's unselfconscious state at any moment of pure devotion to any object. It is at once a receptiveness and total concentration. One needn't be, shouldn't be reduced to a puppy. If you wish to tell me that the city offers galleries, I'll pour you a drink and enjoy your company while it lasts; but I'll bear with me to my grave those pure moments at the Tate (was it the Tate?) where I stood planted, open-mouthed, born, before that one particular canvas, that river, up to my neck, gasping, lost, receding into watercolor depth and depth to the vanishing point, buoyant, awed, and had to be literally hauled away. These are our few live seasons. Let us live them as purely as we can, in the present.
What are the dead, anyway, but waves and energy? Light shining from a dead star? That, by the way, is a phrase of Julian's. I remember it from a lecture of his on the Iliad, when Patroklos appears to Achilles in a dream. There is a very moving passage where Achilles overjoyed at the sight of the apparition - tries to throw his arms around the ghost of his old friend, and it vanishes. The dead appear to us in dreams, said Julian, because that's the only way they can make us see them; what we see is only a projection, beamed from a great distance, light shining at us from a dead star... Which reminds me, by the way, of a dream I had a couple of weeks ago. I found myself in a strange deserted city - an old city, like London - underpopulated by war or disease. It was night; the streets were dark, bombed-out, abandoned. For a long time, I wandered aimlessly - past ruined parks, blasted statuary, vacant lots overgrown with weeds and collapsed apartment houses with rusted girders poking out of their sides like ribs. But here and there, interspersed among the desolate shells of the heavy old public buildings, I began to see new buildings, too, which were connected by futuristic walkways lit from beneath. Long, cool perspectives of modern architecture, rising phosphorescent and eerie from the rubble. I went inside one of these new buildings. It was like a laboratory, maybe, or a museum. My footsteps echoed on the tile floors.There was a cluster of men, all smoking pipes, gathered around an exhibit in a glass case that gleamed in the dim light and lit their faces ghoulishly from below. I drew nearer. In the case was a machine revolving slowly on a turntable, a machine with metal parts that slid in and out and collapsed in upon themselves to form new images. An Inca temple... click click click... the Pyramids... the Parthenon. History passing beneath my very eyes, changing every moment. 'I thought I'd find you here, ' said a voice at my elbow. It was Henry. His gaze was steady and impassive in the dim light. Above his ear, beneath the wire stem of his spectacles, I could just make out the powder burn and the dark hole in his right temple. I was glad to see him, though not exactly surprised. 'You know, ' I said to him, 'everybody is saying that you're dead.' He stared down at the machine. The Colosseum... click click click... the Pantheon. 'I'm not dead, ' he said. 'I'm only having a bit of trouble with my passport.' 'What?' He cleared his throat. 'My movements are restricted, ' he said. 'I no longer have the ability to travel as freely as I would like.' Hagia Sophia. St. Mark's, in Venice. 'What is this place?' I asked him. 'That information is classified, I'm afraid.' 1 looked around curiously. It seemed that I was the only visitor. 'Is it open to the public?' I said. 'Not generally, no.' I looked at him. There was so much I wanted to ask him, so much I wanted to say; but somehow I knew there wasn't time and even if there was, that it was all, somehow, beside the point. 'Are you happy here?' I said at last. He considered this for a moment. 'Not particularly, ' he said. 'But you're not very happy where you are, either.' St. Basil's, in Moscow. Chartres. Salisbury and Amiens. He glanced at his watch. 'I hope you'll excuse me, ' he said, 'but I'm late for an appointment.' He turned from me and walked away. I watched his back receding down the long, gleaming hall.