Friday, September 30, 2005

this world of dew

is only a world of dew
and yet...


i think my posts have been indicating my recent moodiness. true: i'm in an odd space, easily up and down, sensitive to all manner of trivia. the weather is brilliant, and in the park, babies are learning to walk back and forth in front of a guy playing the electric guitar. a few blocks later this guy in a truck chastises me for crossing the street on a yellow light, and even though i know it's not important, i can't stop that quick sting of embarassment.

treating everything as Mind, really testing this worldview, is tripping me up. i feel like i'm losing perspective in a very weird way -- i have a hundred ways of questioning my assumptions, all these damned rhetorical tricks of turning things around, so that i don't know what is a beginning, middle, or end of a line of thought, an argument, a feeling, what is important, what can be forfeited. to be fair, i've been engaging some heavy-hitting stuff recently -- martinis, renewed contact with once-volatile ex, 2046, bertolucci's The Conformist last night (holy crap). i've also been working on a big project i don't love for a month, and, you know, people are dying.

but this shows everything: people are dying. i keep writing this sentence. right now. now. now. i don't feel it. does the removal of illusion mean feeling it? feeling it, and then accepting it, and not feeling it again? or maybe forcing any kind of consciousness isn't the game to play, that we should be grateful for how life brings death close only in short, periodic bursts, so that moral consciousness and grief is a naturally irregular rhythm? what the fuck kind of question is this? who or what has the answer to this, can confer any kind of truth on it?

i must be trying to see suffering and its end at one time; it must be breaking my head. issa was smart and let the ellipsis hold the paradox. we all write in these units of question and answer, conflict and resolution, sitcom style, pluck out a thread and run your finger from beginning to end. i am having some weird philosophical block about conclusions, like it's not even possible. like, i can't think answers, just what's happening, just one step out from that into my self-resonance, pain or peace. everything else: i'm ignorant.

In the far, far future, essentially all matter will have returned to energy. But because of the enormous expansion of space, this energy will be spread so thinly that it will hardly ever convert back to even the lightest particles of matter. Instead, a faint mist of light will fall for eternity through an ever colder and quieter cosmos.

they put stuff like this in the newspaper, and they don't think it'll mess with people???? who has read The Cloud of Unknowing? holler.

Friday, September 16, 2005

i believe i have got the blues

last night i was stuck at the office until 8pm not working but getting documents together for mailing to ex-landlord and lawyer-dad regarding the $2,500 invoice said ex-landlord has stuck my ex-housemates and i with. this made me insanely grumpy. i was like, "grump!" i went grumping along back toward my apartment. a lady on broad street tried to hand me some flyer, and i said, "no thanks." she said, "okay, honey." then her friend across the street said, "did you get one of these from my friend?" i said, "i said no thanks." he said, "okay. you have a lovely smile."

i was like, it's fake.

anyway, back at the apartment, which btw has these very distinctive scents in it: clove cigarette smoke (living room), new zealand mango citrus soap (bathroom), me (bedroom), i was exhausted and wondering what to do with all this grump that was ruining everything, and then i thought, i believe i have got the blues. i was thinking of something i was reading somewhere: you got troubles? i got troubles. i got troubles.

i put on Great Ladies Sing the Blues, this pretty awesome compilation i bought when i was, i dunno, fifteen or sixteen. it's all jazz standards but HOOBOY nina simone! and i just lay on the couch and felt like a transfigured piece of shit.

today i feel better. around 3pm i up and decided to go to fire lotus tomorrow morning, so i called and talked to yukon, who was really nice and amused that since may my address, telephone number, and credit card have all changed. so i'll be getting on a train tomorrow at 5:30am.

i've been fooling around on friendster, having little panic attacks about all the cool people in the world. i feel that the connections feature is inexplicably strange. you can zoom in and out on a kind of random dot-and-line representation of your connections to people, and swing the dots around, and wonder what this means about your relations.

p.s. thanks to wh for the trigonometry assistance!

Monday, September 05, 2005

private language

of all the many many many things that have happened to me and other people in the past week or so that i might write about, in fact i find myself inclined to begin where i left off, with the end of Herzog. (btw, on the corner of the fountain in rittenhouse square. only celebrities and people from manhattan are that well-groomed.)

there's a certain amount of physical description in the book, both of people and of landscape, rural and urban. what concerns me is the natural landscape, what happens when a very good writer spends time describing the grass, the light, the trees, and a reader is reading closely. i presume that i am not singular in the degree to which i can and do identify with what i'm reading; i'm not the only person who looks up from a book to discover it's much later than one though, not the only person to cry over fiction. perhaps i have a particular sensitivity, but that's all. regardless, i don't think i'm making this up:

whether an aspect of bellow's talent, or an aspect of my current mental climate, or both, reading those descriptions, and committing to them, as i put it to N, affected a strong and sudden shift in perspective for me: identify deeply with the way grass is, with the way light is, and what is it your mind is up to? what is this imaginative intimacy, and what constitutes it? written, somehow relevant to the affective environment of the narrative of a man's transformation, what does one make of dovetailing the glimmering, insentient natural within the human adventure?

omniscience is an easy mode to describe, to conceptualize; perhaps what i'm edging toward is that it's another thing to inhabit, even in the confines of a novel, all-seeing. i saw it a bit more clearly today reading Iris Murdoch's Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals: [regarding Wittgenstein's Tractatus] "Science and 'ordinary life' are public and use public, that is significant, language (or in other words, language), whereas morality and religion are private and ineffable."

who on earth knows whether and how to agree or disagree with such a thing, but i think the point is that the end of Herzog, and perhaps, at its most generous, literature as a category, has an ability to somehow trade in private language. of morality and religion? i leave that be. to have a private experience, and to speak about it, is difficult, and yet these days i lose my patience with public language of any tone faster and faster, i think, because it is public, because i feel (narrowly: feel) that public discourse is lousy at doing anything other point to or away from other public discourse. i don't mean to be cynical about it. we all need statements we can understand quickly, without looking too closely. but looking closely -- what then?