Eternity

All my life, without knowing it, I have believed in eternity. Not an afterlife, but an immediately present eternity. So I have had a hard time accepting that people of the past are really gone. For me they are or have been still there. Really there – Here.
For example, I am looking at the overture to Mozart’s The Magic Flute, in the superb movie made by that great creator Ingmar Bergman. He was not conducting but all music in a Bergman film sounds like Bergman – so I have to add to his accomplishments his being a great musician. And in this filming of the overture among the people shown in the audience is his young daughter.
Now for me this is a major  problem. This filming of the overture is immediate and real for me, and there is this radiant daughter, perhaps thirteen. who sits in my brain as a living creature.
But Linn Ullman was born in 1966. And has written four novels, is a graduate of New York University, and a major literary figure in Norway, where she lives in Oslo. And is now around forty-six years old. Luckily I don’t know much more about her, and I just learned that. How much paradox can we tolerate?
This will come closer to home if we think about our fathers, whatever emotional attitude that idea provokes. For no matter the emotion they are still really with us. Which is the source of course of our idea of spirits, ghosts, or an afterlife if that idea happens to be real to us. The duppy shuts the shutter, CLUP, with a bang to remind us of their presence.
In the case of my father, he led a dance orchestra, and made hundreds of recordings. So if I play a recording, can I not think of what he must have been feeling at that point in his life. Some people say to me, stop listening to that old music. But for me it is not old music. It feels to me today, with a slight increase in understanding, the way it did when I first heard it at five years  old. Nothing dies. Although much is forgotten.
But what if he had been a movie star with a vivid personal presence. And had left me a heritage of many powerful films. Who would I be seing in those films. You may argue that what is on screen is just a performance, but in fact for a child, no matter what age, his presence is still  here.

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