Thursday, December 13, 2018


Existentialism is when I discover that I'm the private joke that hasn't been shared with me.I think Beckett would appreciate those who are able to pierce through that psychic prophylactic against comprehension and grasp the humor he observed and recorded. I have the idea that Beckett permeated the membrane that separates this reality from the metaphysical one, in Plato's sense of the term (and Wallace Stevens as well with his theories about the Supreme Fiction) and instead of finding Ideal Types as promised, he found an empty room. In the Ideal World, Ideas never changed and neither did their representations in the material plane. 

Maybe they didn't, but I imagine that the kind of fatalistic assumptions that existentialism brings us too--that we are always free no matter what the limitations upon us are, that we are always free to make a choice, even without arms or legs locked in a cell in a bunker fifty miles under a mountain of Bad Faith--but we soon enough get bored with the certainty that matters in the world, the objects of God's main made visible to us, and we go back to fiction, to poetry, to insanity if need be to imagine new ideas. 

This world needs to move and we need to believe that there is an agency in this discussion, that we can destroy what God had wrought or create something new and previously unthought of from the raw stuff we find ourselves born into. We want to transform ourselves by transforming the dirt under the fingernails. Smart folks, the cynics, the nags, the braying chorus of told-you-so-ers will inform you that nothing can be created nor destroyed but merely transformed into a different form of energy. So does Plato's Cave endures? Or are we our own Christ and push the boulder away from the cave entrance and walk to to the stream and wash our faces, not fearing the water might flow through the holes in our hands as some of us might fear. It goes on. It is another night when the music stops playing and the chimney smoke as dissipated in a stiff evening breeze.
 There is only the sound of cats brawling in bushes and shadow-cloaked homeless rummaging through the dumpster. Neither gives much thought to how nothing ever changes even as all alliances come loose and we invent more words, ideas, sentences to put them in. What matters is who owns the bush, who gets the half-eaten sandwich and the carton of soured milk.

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