I recall the first time I saw You, as through a thin veil of time, a vision of peace, a quiet voice behind which one sensed a deep strength. In the tumult, the chaos that then was, You were reassuring, a calm presence that was not all human, and yet without threat, somehow in and out of this world, an ancient Being who knew all about us, the like of us, in our misery.
Ever since, You appeared when this frail soul was lost, every time an inspiration for hope, for wisdom, for courage. Although I did not, still do not understand, it was plain to see that You knew everything, the small lies, the cowardice, the fear that haunt us. So that there is nothing to hide, and to take the high road ahead, we only have to listen, and to obey.
Image: Deutsche Post stamp, 1979 : Johannes Faust avec Homunculus, Méphistophélès. scanned by NobbiP, Domaine public, Lien
The clouds came with the giant moon, as if to hide us, humans, from the glare of its pitiless light. At the corner of our street workers rush home, to warmth, love and a well deserved rest. Friday night is for joy, dancing, the smiles of lovers, the hopes of poets, and, later, as ghosts start roaming the quieter streets, the shadow of Faust…
Bless be the City, and be pardoned those, who believe in the right of man to walk alongside the gods.
Image: Dr. Fausto by Jean-Paul Laurens
“I’m just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood…”
~ The Animals, Don’t let Me Be Misunderstood
I have met him in many disguises, always the smooth talker, sometime the beautiful female seductress, sometime the innocent child.
I always see through his masks, but to give him credit, he’s trying hard to fool me, as well as everyone else.
That evening, in a remote quarter of the city that is sometimes called “Faust’s metropolis” – as it too often changes its looks – I got almost fooled, and yes, I admit, my guard was down.
He came to me as a young and very handsome beggar, and I listened to his words carefully, as I was intrigued and suspected an assassin.
I did not leave the beautiful eyes one instant, and expected the young man to draw a weapon of some sort, but no, he was offering the city to me – pure and simple: “I know you love this place” he said in the most melodious voice, upon which I replied: “It is not yours for giving, this is not the city of the Angels, nor is it the city of Satan, it is the city of the Archangel”, and I drew my sword.
We met by chance, one of those city encounters, that usually lead nowhere.
But it was your dress, the colour matching your smile, the shape of you, suddenly more visible than if you had been naked: I looked at you as a photographer, then as a poet, then – yes of course – as a male who wanted you, who wanted to know and own that beautiful picture of a woman.
But no-one is to own you, for you are free and want to stay that way, you are no object, your beauty is for itself, and if you play, it’s on your terms, dress and all: there is no Pygmalion on your horizon, just you, and, cohorts of people like me – if only I had known.
So we walked, chatting, a close time capsule, oblivious of the crowd, of the trees, of time slipping, your voice as smooth as honey, the colour of your dress still holding me, transfixed.
“So”, you said with a bright scarlet smile, “are you sure you want to know who you have met, Doctor Faust? Then I will show you the other side of me”…