At work yesterday we had a grand old time listening to my co-worker read out ancient graffiti that was found carved into the walls of Pompeii. It happened to coincide with me reaching a section of Jeff Tweedy’s autobiography where he talks about reading Woody Guthrie’s unreleased lyrics/thoughts/diary pages. He describes how the lyrics covered “just about every possible genre”, and when I heard the words of the ancient Romans, I thought the same thing. It also occurred to me that, since Pompeii was buried by volcanic ash in 79 AD, and Jesus Christ lived from roughly 6 BC to 33 AD, that some of those graffiti might have been written during his lifetime. While Jesus was giving the Sermon on the Mount, someone was writing “Epaphra, you are bald!” on the walls of the basilica.
As I wandered through the moss-covered branches in Forest Park today, I felt real love. “In a former life, I must have been a hermit living in the woods” I said to my friend. The waters of Balch Creek balched on unceasingly, peaceful. We were there taking pictures, or more precisely, he was taking pictures of me. “If you see anywhere that just feels like you, or feels comfortable to you, go for it” he said. A little ways into the valley I saw a fallen tree trunk off the path, slightly raised off the ground, which had created a stony hideout against the hillside. I climbed up inside it. “I would live here” I said, thinking out loud. “Is this good?” “Yeah it’s great” he replied, “except, you’re kind of in the shadows.”