Updated on 12.14.06: Last nite the Diplomat corraled me at Hal & Mal’s and confessed puzzlement over a panel. Luke Skywalker is the obvious focus of panel two (except in the Sallyverse), and it was generally accepted that Bruce Springsteen was the subject of the third, with multiple people teasing a “Dancing in the Dark” meaning from the shadowed hands.
Most people missed the first panel. I was laid up in bed all day Saturday, wracked with fever, and troubled by dreams—or nightmares—about the writer James Kim, who died last week, not long after his wife and children were found in the Oregon wilderness.
In the dream I was either with James, or was James; I cannot recall. But I vividly remember clutching at snow-covered branches and pushing them from my way as I walked along the banks of a river.
As my fever warped and stuttered, the nightmares fell away, and I was comforted by the myths of my childhood. Then Jedis fell way to more recent myths, and the dog-eared copy of Bruce Chatwin’s In Patagonia nestled underneath a crush of yellowing New Yorkers and seventies Legion of Super-Heroes slid into my consciousness.
Thus the hands are not those of Bruce and an elfish Courtney Cox dancing onstage in Birmingham, but literal (if tiny) recreations of the hand paintings in la Cueva de las Manos in Argentina. Mine were just little pieces of cut-out paper with India ink atomized across them—a little too densely, I fear.
Loss, redemption, permanence.