i am that i am

the book

reading foucalt’s pendulum has been a three month odyssey through umberto eco’s dream library. i finally fell into the pace of the book, now, near the end. and everywhere i see lorenza, belbo — i am belbo, no i am aglie … the man with the scar was on my flight to chengdu. he chatted freely with belbo while lorenza smiled brilliantly.

in heidelberg, i read of princess lizzie, and her love of butterflies and cherries. her husband, frederick the v, elector palatine, who started the thirty years war with a defiant run up white mtn. i looked down at the gardens that reflect the subterranean truth, conducting the starlight down to pools below. then while the lights went out on the flight back home, eco tells me who sculpted those gardens and why.

in amsterdam, i remember, fleetingly, latin inscriptions on a doorway. the greater quest for christ. as they served breakfast, i reached the pages in foucalt’s, dealing with struggles of the english, french and german arms of the templars. and the inscription jumped from the bricks of dutch buildings to the pages below me. i almost choked on my pudding.

KLM food is the bomb. and the design is so apple. eco, as he admonishes admires and consoles the cowardly scholar during his one final attempt to seize the moment, speaks through Lia, the mother, of the threads that link us all, the umbilicus, the grail.

i read the chapter and stood to look back several rows, where my belbo seethed, lorenzas multiplied, lias cooed to their children and i wrestled with a vision of myself as casaubon the addict, aglie the pretender. i shook my head as, once again, a book has found me just in the nick of time.

Cub scouts watching the experiment
Sascha Matuszak
Sascha Matuszak

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