For those of you who have written to me from time to time about the 'lady from atlantis', I have some sad news: she died last week at the age of 79. The last time I saw and spoke with her earlier this year, she was as radiant and resolute as when I first met her. She still believed in her prophecy. How fortunate she was.
Here is what I wrote about her five years ago:
She is exquisite, beautiful, tall, slender, thin-boned, with shadowed grey-blue eyes, sensuously pale skin and young, long hair that is nearly white. She is 74 years old and alone. Her husband is gone and her only daughter died many years ago. She lives in a small place with her plants and a cat and her music. Most of the time, she walks and talks to herself and anyone else who listens. On a few occasions, I've been "anyone else" on the street listening as she talks about her dreams, her visions, her understanding. Like many mystics and my beloved mad Aunt, this delicate, articulate woman believes that 2001 (the rightfully first year of the new millennium) marks the awakening and reappearance of the treasured and patiently lost city of Atlantis. It rises, she says, invisibly at first, high into the sky and spreads like a mist across the face of this blue planet. As it slowly appears, she says, like an apparition over moonlit water, it brings with it a display of universal life in universal clarity. All religious ideas will dissolve, all temporal laws and mores will fade. There was no past year or decade or century, she says, just one long period from the time the crystal of Atlantis slipped into the sea until now, the next time.
She has said this to me on more than one occasion and has led me to believe her. She is my Sisyphus. What happened last year and the year before that is all part of the heisenberg rock that engulfs her and everyone else… simply to be pushed to the top of the hill and then allowed to roll down again. What intrigued Camus about his Sisyphus was the time spent walking down the hill, free-spirited, knowing what will happen, free in that knowing. So have I become intrigued with this woman who lives in the present and is free of the past and the future.
Like Camus, I've concluded… she is happy.
Next month we will publish a new Special Issue:
What is Art... in 2008? As with all of Scene4's special issues, this one is by no means comprehensive or subject encompassing. Rather, it is a series of unusual reflections by the unusual and distinctive writers who have created this magazine over the past eight years.
Look for it on January 1.