5 Notes for We Dilettantes of the Digital Age
by douglas imbrogno
We dilettantes of this leisurely age, we who are not spies, freedom fighters, prisoners of the state or even lackeys of a cruel king, we occupy ourselves with introspection, studying the entrails of our ratiocination. Cappuccinos at hand. Meanwhile, the tossing river over there burbles, as it has burbled now these past ten thousand thousand years.
There are cougars in these hills, high on slanted slopes, ranged with forests of matchstick-straight lodgepole pines. Places where few men and women, much less boys and girls, have been of late, if ever. The cougars make their existence known by an absence: a chicken or two gone. The pad of their feet in the mountain dark quieter, more methodical, than the tap-tap-tap of this computer’s keys.
I am, he says again, too old for this. My moment passed while I was busy doing something else, probably rustling the quilt, hand between my legs. Meanwhile, the wind whispers its life story at my back. The papery rustle of the magpie’s white wings catch my eye. Like a streak of ink, its black body bolts across a field of winter wheat.
I tell myself: Remain open. Present. Keep words to a minimum, fully cognize the shape of things before your two eyes. The shape of a woman — curvaceous below, breastless above in thrilling fashion, like a muscled Olympian — takes his eye off the page. Off the prize. Which is — what? Acclaim is the evening drunk; its evaporation, the morning after.
The moment has indeed passed. All that’s left — and this is not insignificant — are the many, many moments which remain.