Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Just a thought ...

I have been restoring and reordering what passed for order in my home office, which had come to mirror my self so much that I became uncomfortable with both - self and office. I also needed to give my knees a bit of a workout. So I took a walk, and found myself wondering why I keep doing certain things, like this blog, like reviewing books. I don't have to do it, and in these parlous economic times maybe I should step out of the way for those who need it more than I do. Why not just relax and take a long, lasting look at life as it passes by?
And I was surprised to find that what worried me was ... taking that "long, lasting look at life as it passes by." Worried is not the right word. Strolling along the sidewalk just then, what I felt was something akin to existential terror, the feeling that just being alive, whatever it amounts to, deeply down, is really weird and mysterious, and nobody really knows for sure what is going on ...
Luckily, my happy-go-lucky Ur-self popped in just then, and reminded me: "Hey, yeah. But everybody knows that, or learns that, one way or another. What counts is the sense of that, the experience of whatever we humans are as we happen to be."
Postscript: The entire edifice of human thought is premised on the assumption that being can be explained. Even Richard Dawkins thinks that and has arrived at a characteristically small explanation. But suppose there is isn't any explanation? Suppose nobody really knows what the hell is going on?


  1. I think Kurt Vonnegut's wisest statement was 'We're here on earth to fart around'. It gets me through most of those anxious kinds of moments you describe.

  2. I like Henry Miller's dictum that happiness consists in finding a more or less pleasant way of passing the time. Which is, I suppose, why I keep blogging and reviewing. Writing poetry, which I also to from time to time, is something different.

  3. HI Frank,

    What you are doing here, and in your reviews and artcles, is contributing, versus simply passing the time through some exitential fear driven obsession or compulsion. If you were to go into a phase by which you watched life passing by, I'd bet it would be sooner than later that you would re-enter the fray with something to say, that something would draw you back in. You fight the good fight.