I am squashed to the fibre of my ego by smug middle-class America participating in their gentile affectations. How they love to meddle in platitudes and security, floating on placid seas in their leisurely middle-age years, lost to youth and utterly carefree about the shadow of death as if it were the shape of a seabird mindlessly swooping over their tall masts.
Sometimes, I’d like to live on a precipice guarded over by larks or Angry Young Men. “The world is too much with us.” (Was that Wordsworth or Shakespeare?).
Do I want my paganism as well as enlightenment? Yes, absolutely. If I must give my heart away then it will be to writing, my family, books, nature, friends, fiction, and idleness.
Can you have an imaginative morality? One that can make us better human beings through personal narratives that bind us all together in one great book?
The world is too much with us. We care more about facts, about conflicts, or people on the other side of the world than about the individuals we all are alone with, nothing but the ever-expanding universe creating space for our fleeting mortal coils. With all our science, religion, philosophy, art, we are still incapable of understanding our own selves. Only art, it seems to me, gets us a quick peek at the unknown and then it’s back to life for a deluge of reality.
We start out life as this child who knows so little but who wants to desperately learn, and does, so beautifully on his or her own, trusting themselves, and then we become adults and it’s somewhere assumed that we should know everything. That we should know what time to go to bed. What time to get a job. What time to get up and go to work. What time to get married. What time to have kids. What time to get a divorce. What time to get successful. What time to get a raise. What time to get a promotion. What time to get a pay increase. What time to be famous. What time to retire. What time to die.
Well, fuck it, I don’t know any of this and neither do I want to. I want to quest still. I want to continuously be able to say, “Surprise me! I’m a simple fool who only wants to learn.” Is this immature? Should I just settle down and become a functioning member of society whose every question is answered either by science, religion, the Web, the news, social science, the economy, never having to risk having a doubt or an idea that jolts you to your very core.
Consciousness is all around us but we rarely act upon it for fear of finding we all have souls that need work now and not simply leave it to transmigration or salvation or some other kind of divine fix. I think we are all responsible for our own selves and we can only really be confident in having one if we take that responsibility by admitting that we are flawed but are forever hopeful that it won’t always be so.
A Young Turk slowly turning into a middle-aged griper