WE’RE ON A TOUR BUS, coming down along the Northwest coast. The scenery is gorgeous, with the blazing orange light of late afternoon among swirling clouds. We cross a long bridge into America – the Columbia, I first think, though I can see little below or beyond – we come to a kind of Sturbridge Village of the Far West sort, debark briefly. I look up to see in the parting clouds a chevron of mountain peaks. I identify them, with Baker and Shuskin and the baby in front, but the clouds close over before you can view them, though you try.
Only days before, I couldn’t think of anywhere I’d want to travel.
SEVERAL TIMES IN THE NIGHT, I encountered Abraham Lincoln’s Best Friend. Maybe not completely, but at least close to it, probably from his New Salem days. A storekeeper of some sort, maybe a printer with the shop “out back,” at least the action appeared to be in the other room. He greeted me / us across a rough plank counter, had some Blacks working behind him. With impassioned, watery eyes kept trying to tell me / us about a meeting or gathering for later that night, but carefully, not to be overheard by spies. The general plight, fear in the air.
I’M OUT DRIVING ON SOME CURVING rural roads I once knew. Take a turn to the left. Somehow, I wind up returning to the Ashram for a visit. From the circle, Swami addresses me by my street name, obviously a rebuke, and then asks, “What are you doing here? Why did you come?” Obviously, there will be no satisfactory answer. I wind up leaving.
Since it’s a vacation, I stay overnight elsewhere. Find there’s a public evening performance on the street. It’s an Ashram presentation from the Mahabharata; Swami, seeing me, is quite upset, shoots darts. I get the picture, and leave – realize as I’m going she’s still entangled.