from “The Great Building and Other Conversations with the Unknown One”, Blesok 2001
Muaz was distressed.
He was travelling for five days.
Ever since he knew of himself, Muaz liked travelling; he was excited and cheerful before the trip, and very concentrated, focussed on everything around him during every trip, even the longest one. As early as a five-year old boy he did not detach his nose from the windows of the wagons, trains, ships, even when the night would overcome everybody. He looked outside, even in the obscure darkness, focussed, so as not to miss something of the new world opening before his eyes.
Now, here he was coming in the night on the fifth day of the greatest and most exhilarating travel. Muaz knew neither how nor why he accepted the trip, but clearly knew that he could not have done something different. He had to follow the impulse that was the only signpost left to him in the search for the way to the destination.
From the first day of his entering the unknown land, he was told: Follow the signposts, and the way will take you to your destination!
At the beginning, the signposts were numerous and very transparent. On second thought, he realised now that they were so well organised that he had no possibility to make a mistake!
He just needed to drive along the clearly marked motorway. All lanes led to a faraway, unknown, but same direction! Big, green boards with huge white letters indicated the cities that were waiting for him and for thousands of other drivers to decide which exit they would chose; where to stop, look for their fortune, begin or finish some work. And while the tires were producing a nice, discrete sound going over the clean, smooth asphalt, without any uneven spots or holes in it; while the translucent morning when he started the journey was opening before him a sight with sharpness he had never seen and in distances he had not seen before even in his dreams, in passing, with the angles of the eyes, he noticed that some drivers very early drove to the edges of the motorway. They exited as early as in the first kilometers, behind the signposts with the names of the places. The cities themselves, the small towns, inhabited places, whatever they were, could not be seen, so that he could not create a certain picture of their size, appearance, even though the landscape could basically be followed: mild, tame hills, grown out with dense, solid woods, dappled with meadows. The fact that it was an early spring imparted a particular astonishing beauty to them – intensive nuances of the pungent green colour of beech leaves in May, smiling hues of warm shadows, as if depicted on sfumato green Venetian glass. And then, and above all: the melodious, majestic splendor of early April!
For Muaz, early spring was a synonym, an epitome, a poetic manifestation of ecstasy. Utopia of all utopias! When everything sprouts, blooms and is filled with juices. When all is denied except for the Beginning. When both the sound and the thought of the End are forbidden! When all things are overwhelmed by the echo of the manifest announcing to all living things that there will never be withering, a yellow leaf, a closed, dried out flower, long, gloomy autumn rain, bare, blackened branches, heavy bodiless winter fogs to cover the last trace of those who dared live for the challenge, and to eradicate the very remembrance of them!
No! What touched his heart was not yet the needle but more something like a whisper of a cold note from a distant Friesian music! Yet, Muaz did notice. He could not help admitting to himself that he noticed it since the vehicles stepping out of the motorway were leaving for their chosen destinations (Chosen!?, why did he believe that they must have been chosen, and not for an instance coerced, ordered, or by confusion, by some heavy error, compulsory decisions to abandon this day glazing with sunshine, like with a strawberry glazing!?). He stumbled over the word destinations. It was the first one to occur to him. A routine word. Precise. Still how warning! O tempora, o mores! Fatum et destinatio!
And then suddenly, a clear, severe pain! The whisper hardened, sharpened. It was already a needle. The needle on which the heart excitedly pulses cautiously as the acrobat on the wire. And the abyss beneath! Unbounded! Very much in passing, as if incidental, not on purpose, and yet, yet… Muaz thought: “Without any deception: it was the needle!” This sudden and direct thought, sharper than an awl, which dawned on him as he was looking ecstatically, admiringly, and in a moved manner, at the tame scenery meandering slowly beside him! EXIT! Exit – EXITUS! The horrible word on the other side of all diagnoses, a diagnosis annihilating and making hilariously redundant all previous expertise, diagnostic bravura, consultative groups of doctors and chief medical officers!
The harmless, joyful invitation for exiting covered and concealed all of them, and was closed like a lid after them. Exit – EXITUS!
And he did not see again any of those who chose him, who could not resist the sign, at least as an example, a blessed thing.
These five days.
However, he himself was not anxious. The needle swiftly vanished like a nightmare. He spit thrice over his shoulder. And the needle disappeared. And again the endless, majestic road was opening before him. Without holes, crevices, or uneven spots. Perfectly flat, leveled up with the asphalt which, as if it had just been poured (and only for him, and for his comfort and pleasure!) over the long silk string over which he was searching for his place.
No! Until this moment he had no reasons to become upset. And indeed, Muaz did not get upset because the indications were clear, the signposts could be seen from a distance, the light was perfect, as it suits a morning in April, under the washed and crystal clear sky after a heavy, splendid night rain! Even with all his efforts put in, there was no place where he should halt, and think. Ask. It was obvious in every, most minute detail, that the builder of the motorway very precisely worked up all route. Who goes, where does one go, how to get there – all those crucial questions for a traveller through an unknown district, were considered, premeditated, and solved! All the way, from the narrow, local path where he started the journey, gradually, led by the signposts, he advanced, he was led towards new, didactically timed and increasingly made complicated traffic junctions, crossroads, viaducts, underpasses, exit and entrance ways. Thus, he did not happen to encounter a new situation on the road without being informed and directed on some of the previous stretches of motorway.
So, he was travelling smoothly and surely. The first day. Then he stopped to take a nap. To do the necessary, the essential. In his mind, to go through all important points from the previous day. To add and subtract. Where he made a mistake, or where he could have made a mistake (because at least as he could see, there was no mistake!), where he acted appropriately, where he behaved particularly well, intuitively, with inspiration. Since he first saw that information, Muaz was overwhelmed. It impressed him, and he thought it was prudent and nice that in the school of the wise Pythagora, all had the duty to finish the day repeating it sincerely and in detail in their minds. After he had gone through the previous day in his mind, thoroughly, without dishonesty, like Pythagoreans who did this so as not to repeat the mistakes and in order to strengthen the rational and virtual acts in the greatest detail, from the waking-up until the present moment, in bed, Muaz fell asleep with a reassuring and encouraging feeling that he and his first day of the long journey were happily embraced, pleased with each other.
And after Muaz thought for a while, a little later after the learning about the Pythagoreans, he found out the discreetly masked and still the same recognisable advice – knowledge, with Bacon, and he only reinforced his own belief in that ecstatic technique. Inebriated by his own ability to fit in, create harmony, first with himself, and then with himself and with the world, he promoted the principle of Vindemiatio Prima! “The First Harvest”, “The First Grape Harvest”, “The First Crop”, and eventually “The First Reexamination!” in the condition without which since then, he did not let himself fall asleep.
And he peacefully fell asleep the first night. For he found no errors. Huge, serious, threatening, definitely not. He clearly recognised the signposts in the course of that day, he did not miss any. He did not even hesitate. He did not exceed the permitted speed, he did not oversee, at least there was no signals that he oversaw, not a single traffic sign.
And he fell asleep. With the First Crop in his embrace, he Fell Asleep with the firm promise to himself to do this remedial practice his entire life. He knew that only in this manner it was possible to gain experience out of one’s own life. Only in this way, one can live his own experience! He exactly knew what he should continue planting and sowing; where to plow; what plants to support, assist; what and how much he can expect from his cultivated field. From his orchard. From his vineyard.
A day later things became a little complicated. He was already in the zone of heavy, intense traffic. He even saw the first traffic accident. He did not stop. There was no need for that. But the two cars involved in the incident, stayed behind him. Once in a while, for a long time, Muaz glanced at the mirror. The drivers stood outside. They gesticulated. More and more minute. More and more insignificant. His way was still clearly marked. But now he had to concentrate. The numerous signposts did not lead him so automatically like on the first day. Basically, there were no problems for the one who carefully followed them. They were there for him at the right time.
Consequently, he slept in a nice motel the next, second night. With Vindemiatio secunda hugged. He drew new, interesting conclusions. He generalised them. Compared them with what he had learned until then.