Homeland: The Making of the Empire by Gaither Stewart

1 Mar

 

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
February 28, 2016

The parable is told of the boiling of a frog. If you put it in boiling water the frog will jump out as soon as it feels the heat. But if you put it in cold water that is slowly heated it will not perceive the danger. The warmth feels good. It will slowly relax. As the water warms more and more the frog’s energy will begin to drain and its sense of well-being will increase. The water gets hotter and hotter but the frog begins to fall asleep. By the time the water boils it is too late for the poor frog to take any action at all. The frog perishes in the boiling water, cooked to death. (A metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to or be aware of threats that arrive gradually.

 

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Source: Homeland: The Making of the Empire by Gaither Stewart

 

I remember how it was back there, once upon a time. But my remembrances are infrequent, weak and mendacious, illusive and unreal. I remember best little things, emotions and impressions, like how it felt in my halcyon days, back in what seemed another epoch. Once upon a time in my boyhood and youth there was the spirited sweetness and vigor of the smell of lively clover rising up on a summer day. The resplendent colors of the hillsides in the fall. The taste of fresh blackberries with cream in the summer. The sounds of the ships’ horns as they eased so gracefully down the river toward the bay and the high seas. The first intrepid touch of a girl’s soft downy thighs. It had seemed good and endless.

 

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And sometimes still today, for briefs moments, walking in a park or eating a certain fruit in a certain way at a certain time or watching river boats gliding along winding waterways, I feel it. A flash of nostalgia before the familiar sensation vanishes back to where it came from. Then I feel disillusionment at the behavior of the Homeland, although I know I shouldn’t, for now I have become aware that the fablelike “once upon a time” never existed. It never was. Not even at the very start. It was nothing but a dream.

 

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