A Walk in the Sun

Summer heat wrinkles the air and dries the brain. I move slowly, under pressure, as if pondering a great thought. All I’m trying to do is remember why I got out of bed this morning.

The sun’s warmth swallowing me up. It’s under my skin I can feel its fever in my blood. An alien energy that enervates, working against me, leaving me tired and mindless. Soon skin bones blood boiled away I will be nothing but sunlight, shimmering into air. Pure energy.

“We’re just energy,” he said. But not all energy is alike. The sun is a great giant preparing to swell and swallow us, a dangerous distant negative force, and enemy we keep at arm’s length. I feel the hostility of a fierce universe in the rays of the sun. A reminder of how precariously we exist in our little spot in our little galaxy, and how soon everything will be burned away and left cold ashes.

William Burroughs wrote about the ancient Pharaohs and their mummies. Human energy depends on the cellular: it needs a body. So hold onto the body if you want eternal life. Destruction of the corpse means “second death.” Nowhere for that energy to go. It stays with “Sekhu” – the corpse, the remains – until it is annihilated.

You need courage to live in full knowledge of this human limitation: “Knowing you might not make it … in that knowledge courage is born.” If I were nothing but starlight, I would have no need for courage.

“Allen Ginsberg says you got no soul.” How much more courage is required if this is true? You have to find some way – some practice, some method – to get yourself through this short journey in the sun’s heat. And nerves of steel to steer you. Maybe even telling yourself you have a soul, if it makes you gentler and happier. (And of course you might be right.) “Enjoy your stay here! And God bless you!” We’re all just passing through here. Enjoy your walk in the sun.

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