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To be there and here, at the same time

— Without moving, I travel the universe searching for an eternal passageway, a landmark to the infinite, the razor’s edge. Perhaps it’s just a concoction, this portal to enlightenment, to be there and here at the same time, but this quest for the holy has become my holy quest.

We have a new sign in town, Cazenovia Library – Gallery and Museum. It is the path between the ancient and the present, from the mummy’s tomb to the current bestseller. It is written words strung like gems on threads that bind us, reminding us of what was and what will be.

It is the essence of our commonality, lending grace to our combined humanity. To me, there is no grander entrance, the vestibule of shared experiences, the gates of Eden.

On cold snowy nights, my father would come home from work and suggest a short ride to Silver Lake pond, where the steel drum cans were punctured to allow ventilation for individual wood fires on the riparian edges where the ice met the shore.

Dad could dance on razors, like a carefree Norwegian picaro. He could perform forward and backward swizzles with comical ease and of course, he could fall, leaving us all convulsed with laughter. He taught me how to stand, start and stop, to skate in circles and eventually in figure eights.

Fortified with Mom’s hot chocolate and avoiding the speeders and the hockey sticks, I would find a spot off to the side and follow my own trail round and round marking the universal sign of infinity.

One day, hale and sharp, my blades on the thick ice fell through.

Beneath the surface, in the crystal cold liquidity, I discovered more life than I had ever envisioned.

The icy fingers of the deep cradled my brain, conjuring memories I was too young to keep with visions of unknown creatures from distant lands, squeezing out innocence like juice from a ripened fruit with unheard words, painting images unforeseen, and it was always there, right where I was skating.

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