Thursday, May 21, 2009


Clear skies; fresh air blowing down from the Gorge. Dandelion fluff wandering out on the wind, out over the sea.

I've lost the thread, as I do, periodically, upon having achieved or completed something. Othello's occupation's gone. What was I doing with my life, again? Who am I this time?

It's easy to think of these as the times of failure. They are, after all, when I eat stupidly, drink too much coffee, linger unprofitably and compulsively on pleasures that don't please.

But, precisely because they are the times when things obviously don't match up, they are actually windows. It's a good thing not to have my ducks lined up, sometimes. To watch them paddle away into new water. Not to know what the hell I'm doing. Nothing more poisonous than knowing what I'm doing. If I really knew what I was doing, it would be time to close up shop and go home.

My shoulders drop and the heartspace opens. I can breathe again. Spread my hands out and look at them, backs and fronts: for as long as I can remember I've looked at my hands this way, puzzled, trying to understand what they mean. They're characters, glyphs. Words, clearly; chapter headings, maybe. I return again and again to Chinese, maybe, in the hope of someday learning to read my hands.

Alfred the Great wrote somewhere of yearning for heaven as the place where all will be made clear. He was a man of immense curiosity. He wanted to understand everything. But I don't think he ever noticed how things disappear, once you know them. If we actually were in danger of understanding everything, we would probably be in danger of completely erasing the world.

Not something that worries me much.

No comments: