Friday, April 1, 2011

And I Call

Walt The Great
And I call to mankind, Be not curious about God,
For I who am curious about each am not curious about God,
No array of terms can say how much I am at peace about God
   and about death.

I hear and behold God in every object, yet I understand God not
   in the least,
Nor do I understand who there can be more wonderful than

Why should I wish to see God better than this day?
I see something of God in each hour of the twenty four, and each
   moment then,
In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face in
   the glass;
I find letters from God dropped in the street, and every one is
   signed by God's name,
And I leave them where they are, for I know that others will
   punctually come forever and ever.

- W. Whitman, Song of Myself

* * *

It is ludicrous to imagine writing a single word after quoting Song of Myself. Ludicrous. But that is what I am here for, so allow me to be ludicrous.

If you are fucked you haven't let go.

Let me say it again: if you are fucked you haven't let go; you haven't let go of some joy, some memory, some hurt, some pride, some injustice and you have sewn yourself into that injustice, that pride, that hurt, that memory, that joy and you and it are seemless in your stasis. Being fucked is being stuck and being stuck is a choice.

For a hundred years I have read and not understood anything. Those letters from God that Whitman leaves in the street are the libraries I have perused and gleaned nothing from, they are the works of lives I'll never know except by their words and I read without the eyes to see what it was they would have me know and I was stuck like a Christmas goose. What is it in us that always seeks to control our environment, to make it bend to our will, to ask why this? We are born hungry and feed upon our own strengths moving from helplessness to self-sufficiency and we naturally presume we are, in fact, complete unto ourselves.

We like mirrors instead of windows.

We listen to only that which supports our original thesis: I am a universe.

And it is true, it is true. In a sense we are complete, we need no knowledge except what we acquire. But if that is all there was to it why the fucked up lives, why the dissolution of always striving, but never arriving, why our grief, why our stumbling? Because we are universe in part, not whole. As much as we try to control the circumstances of our lives, there is more that cannot be controlled. We butt up against it and try to make it bend, but it does not. Here is the moment Frankl speaks of when he says that he and his fellow prisoners realized they needed to stop asking Life why? and understand they were being questioned by Life: And who are you?

Ah, who the fuck are you?

You are the faces of the men and women that Walt sees in the street, there is no one more wonderful that yourself because you are that face in the street to someone else. When you let go of being the only one who has ever lived and loved on this whore of an island, an island in God's sea, you lose track of your fear, lose track of your false pride; when you let go of your joys and hurt, when you scatter them in the street, like so many letters from God, someone will come across them and realize it is addressed to them and it will help them to let go into the mystery of this one chance at life.

* * *

We are all messengers, except we don't know who we are to deliver our messages to, or even what our message is exactly. I'm operating under the idea that my life is my message - not any single thing, but the thing itself - and the more I let go of hope and fear, the more I enter directly into this one moment, the clearer my message will be and those who pass over it in the street are simply on their way to their lives. I will have lived mine.

I am multitudes.

You too, my fucked friend. You, too.


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