Month: October 2010
Q & A in the land of transitions
Bess, you is my woman. The fan blades absurdly turn, while winter continues outside, the coffee shop’s nutty air following its orders.
This shop has no internet, I found out too late. But for all intents and purposes, I am alone too.
Bess, is not actually my woman, you know? My woman is gone to work, and I cannot touch her. I cannot feel her hair with my lips, or trace her hips with my hands. Or even ask her if she’d like a tea, or a “mate”.
The though that has me pegged to this bench right now, is: transitions. I spent my life wondering about the exact limits of things. When does waking end and sleep begin? Even in the most violent of deaths, is there and actual divide? I am, with Zeno, obsessed by the eternal loop of divisions. Even in the sudden there must be a place that is not before nor after.
This place, like awaking, where you are neither a dead or an alive cat, holds an important degree of freedom. It is a freedom condemned to remain untapped, because of its fleeting nature, but its potential affects me.
The though behind the though is loneliness, of course. All true thoughts are destined to go there. You cannot share your transitions. Freedom, by its essence is cruelly detached and contains within the requirement of loneliness.
Today Camus’ suicide posit doesn’t seem to be the question. Neither does Hamlet’s choice of states.
The question is, at this point in time, with the air rotating clockwise while the coffee roasts in the back, is there any question we could ask, that will yield a satisfactory answer?
The rainy season is upon us…
The rainy season is upon us, the people under the skies and the pathos of Vancouver Island.
There is really only two seasons around here: the drier, tempered few days we call summer and the unending years that constitute each winter.
The light dampens, the spirit sinks and the plants first get sickened by rot and the die. Next year we, the eternal optimists that keep a garden in this wheather, will plant new ones.
The few that survive, the ones we call peremnials, are like old friends to us. The winter survival we shared, the little green the gave us in the dreary days, we thank them, and try to repay with care.
So, this is what I wrote last week, under the spell of the rain:
I am waiting for death – not mine.
The death of a garden we nurtured all spring and summer.
Autumn is here.
Winter is not death: it is afterlife.
With its dry air and the utter depth of its emptiness,
winter is a macabre heaven.
Autumn is the dirty, wet, muddled process of dying.
Muddy spring is the incessant fucking of two wild creatures in heat.
We are at the metro station, going south towards sterile,
but we will come out at the other end after a while.
Some trains have a circular route,
El Cervantes & My Father
It has been published in its own website http://www.elcervantes.org. I highly recommend it if you read Spanish.
Using the history of T.N.C. he explores the trajectory of Argentinean Theatre in general and – by extrapolation – its tangled thread of art and politics for over a century.
At this point he is trying to get some form of hard-copy publishing under way. You’d think the T.N.C. would jump at the chance to get the material out there, but it hasn’t made it past the “promises” stage. Pretty sad, really; and a telling indictment of the situation of the venerable institution.
Laughter and love
“There had been a girl who had laughed with him, the laughter deep inside her throat…” Clifford D. Simak – A Choice of Gods.
Laughing, we are told by Hans Ruesch in his book “Top of the World” (that I knew a long time ago by his Spanish title “El País de las Sombras Largas”; a much more inspired title indeed), is what the Eskimos call making love. Having lived in Canada for 27 years, and having spent some of them in the north, and furthermore having known at least one Eskimo in person (Hey Johnny! I wonder how you are doing these days….) I am no closer to verify that tidbit of information that I was when I read the book all the way back in Buenos Aires, and all those years ago, in my adolescence.
It seems to me that even if it wasn’t true, the concept behind it is good enough to merit adoption. I know, for myself, that of all the passionate moments I shared with my Gabi, those in which we shared a laugh are the most lasting ones. Sharing a poignant, or a dramatic event can tie you to a person – even sharing a traumatic event I imagine can do the same, or so we are told in countless books, movies and TV serials – but sharing a laugh with a person you love gets you closer than anything else ever will. The more you laugh the more you love her, and the more you know her.
How will this all end up?
I fantasize about suicide, I fear heart attacks, cancer, acts of agression or simple accidents. Yet I still ask myself constantly “how…?” and “when…?” as if the question didn’t actually mean “why would I ever…” – after all, I am the dreamer.
I am scientific minded, you could say. I do not meant to imply I have special claims to mastering a science, or a long, medium or any-sized actual experience with science. I just mean have a mind that clicks better with the idea of science than with the idea of faith.
I discovered very early that I cannot lie to myself. That is, not if I can see what I am doing (there is all kinds of lying that we do that we know nothing about, and regarding those I have no special powers).
It was right after my granmother’s death. I was seven years old and I needed reassurance that I will see her again and above all, that that awful thing that just had happened to her wouldn’t ever happen to me. So I turned to God – or I rather tried, because it didn’t take. Even at seven I knew that I was just wishing there was a God, but I didn’t really believed in it. And I knew that without proof I could never believe.
The thing I like about science was never so much the science itself, but its philosophy, its ethos. Don’t get me wrong, from my adult perspective I’d love to have studied physics, cosmology or math; but back when I was a teenager there was this artificial and arbitrary divide between the worlds of arts and letters (to which I thought I fully belonged), and the world of hard sciences. But even then I thought as a scientist as far as the burden of proof goes. Because, mostly, atheistic marxism is very much like science in that aspect, and that was the soup I was cooking in.
By this I do not meant I refused the spiritual world. To this day my favourit stories include a healthy dosis of the supernatural and with it (and without it) a sense of the higher purpose. But just as I do not equate higher purpose with religion, I resent the appropriation of the spiritual world by the spiritual types.
Some of the spiritual things I believed in are: love between two persons -love that is so strong and lasting that it creates a third person that is both of them and more; the incredible affinity between animals of different species such as man and dog – dogs and their unbelievable talent for self sacrifice, us and our constant need for reassurance; the powerful connection to other person’s mind that is reading; music, music, music; the instant surrender that happens when you first see your child… you get the gist, right? I am contending that the powerfully emotional is often akin to the spiritual.
Throughout the years I lived in a sort of divided state. My convictions are fundamental to me, and my convictions on the issue of death are and have always been very clear: we cease to exist as an entity, we decompose and disappear. There is no “energy” or “intangible” that remains behind. No essence of our beings survives other than what we live in other’s memories – but that residue has no awareness of itself. Yet, on the other hand, I detect a mockingly detached part of me waaay in the back, by the shadows, that “knows” that death and annihilation of the self – of *this* particular self – is simply impossible.
I have tried to shut that guy up a thousand times; there is nothing I despise more than false hope. But he refuses to go away. I fear that when I grow old and in all likelihood atherosclerotic, I may give in to him. If that moment ever comes, please shoot me. You have my blessing and absolution.