Wednesday, March 14, 2012
There Is Also
- Søren Kierkegaard, Works of Love
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Take a minute and let SK's words soak in a minute. Read them out loud. Whisper them to yourself. Say them over and over until you can say them blind. Take all the time you need.
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Did you do it? Did you take your time? Did you?
I couldn't move past this sentence for a couple of days. I read it. Re-read it. Put the book down and had the distinct feeling I'd been kicked in the balls.
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One of the unique characteristics of a fucked life is one's awareness that one's life is fucked. One senses a truer life just out of reach. One lives an awful half-life, but because one can imagine a better, fuller life, one imagines it is a matter of the rest of the world recognizing one's abilities and genius in order for that better life to arrive. One tells self-soothing lies to one's self in order to locate the responsibility of one's life in the hands of fate instead of one's own hands. One believes that because one possesses the awareness of one's fuckedness, one can be redeemed at a moment's notice because one means so well.
One is a shithead.
Redemption, like happiness, is earned. It does not, cannot, arrive without the sweat of your metaphoric brow. When I read the sentence above in Kierkegaard I was struck square in the head with a two by four by the simple, direct, declamation: HIS LOSS IS IRREDEEMABLE.
You think you're fucked now? Wait until you realize that your redemption will never come because you have deceived yourself about the nature of redemption. Or better still, don't wait. Quit lying to yourself about the work, the work my fucked friend, it will take to unfuck what you have fucked. But here's the news, comrade: this is the way it is supposed to be. Don't shy away from your work; don't denigrate it; don't compare it to another's; don't be embarrassed of it; don't hide it under the bushel of your fuckedness. Release it. Embrace it. Show that motherfucker off. Work at your work, whatever your work may be, and understand down into the marrow of your bones, that this is your redemption, this is your Get-Out-Of-Hell-Free-Card. But it only works if you work it––day in and day out, in large and small ways, for an audience of one, for an audience of millions, it doesn't matter. What matters is how you approach it, how you engage it, what you make of it.
The world wants what you have to give, but only you can give it. And if you can't wrap your mind around the idea of the world giving a fiddler's fart about you and your work wrap your mind around this: you must care about your work and you need to stop deceiving yourself about how you're doing.
Because he who self-deceptively cheated himself out of living––his loss is irredeemable.
Kierkegaard is not wrong and you know it.
Now go, and sin no more.
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