Regards, these are. And I give my regards to Broadway. Broadway is a street I’ve never seen. New York is a city that I’ve never seen.
Oh, I’ve seen it on television, of course. But that opens a question about seeing. As if the questions up to now have not been about seeing. But regarding in the sense intended here is not just seeing, if by seeing you mean only some mysterious physiological alignment of rods, cones, and wavelengths. Wavelengths are those things that we’re supposedly “on.” Together, we are supposedly on them. “On the same wavelength.”
I’m thinking of how I see the things that I’ve never really seen. I have regard, or a regard, for a thing that I’ve never regarded in person, “in the flesh” (“Pink isn’t well, he stayed back at the hotel”). To listen in a way that makes the listening a gaze… doesn’t that mean seeing what one has never seen? Isn’t it like going somewhere that you’ve never gone?
If I tell you to give my regards, it means that I won’t be there. And it might be that my regards are just like that. They might be the regards of someone who is never there. I think that I’ve become Rael (become real?), waiting for the windshield, caught in the cage, slipping into the doktor’s waiting room, chasing the raven… But I’ve never been there, and I have not seen any of those things. My regard is from here, not from there. I’m live, but not in person.
This is not just a spatial dislocation made metaphorical. It’s more like a metaphysical mark of music. No, scratch that; not music as thing. It’s latent in any listening. Let’s not forget that listening is a verb. It seems like the doings of many verbs can be done, can be accomplished. But a verb, just insofar as it is a verb, is a doing rather than a done/accomplished. If it’s present tense, that is. And the verb ‘listening’ can be present tense even though I am not present. I have to be absent in order to send my regards. So the regard is a present-tense non-presence. And hopefully when I send it, it comes as a present (a gift).
Consider Rael’s story in this regard (ah, see what I did there?): His “problem” is that he must get his own regard, and give his own regards (to Broadway, among other places). He keeps finding himself in different places, different spaces, maybe even different worlds. He wonders at that uncanny window in the bank above the gorge, where is “home,” as opposed to just another dream. To have a regard toward home, to send one’s regards there, involves leaving home. It’s a window, so it seems like he can go back, but can he go back? Can we ever go back? Is going back just the same, in the end, as stepping into another dream?
And a possible kicker: Is finding the regard, sending the regards, ultimately seeing… is it the same as no longer regarding “the problem” as a problem?
Suppose it really is only knock and knowall.
Suppose you’ve got to get out to get in.
Hop on that misty mountain. (“And baby, baby, baby, do ya like it?”)
That we CAN like it. That would be good news. Take it, with my regards.